It can’t be a big surprise that I am again working with Botanicals since I am sometimes known as the ‘crazy leaf lady’… How amazing is it that nature can assist to print on your favourite jacket or Jeans? How to print Cyanotype on Jackets, Jeans and clothes…
Do you love jeans? Nature? Being Creative? Well, let me tell you that there is a method that allows you to print onto natural fabrics like cotton jeans and capture the beauty of all the details. It is a photographic printing process called Cyanotype printing! It is a simple method of applying an easily mixed emulsion to a natural fibre fabric (like cotton, rayon, bamboo, linen, silk, etc), letting dry and then using some silhouette materials to expose to UV light like the sun. Rinse away the excess in cold water and there’s your amazing magical blue Prints! Yes, it’s how blue prints were made.
Yes, I’m deeply immersed in green plant material lately as I’m looking closely at all the design possibilities of printing with them. Ferns, blossoms, weeds, seeds, wild flowers, and so much more…
I’ve made an eBook!
Sometimes there is so much information and tips that I feel it needs a better way of providing easy reference. ‘How to Print Cyanotype on Jackets, Jeans & Clothes’ has over 70 pictures and 24 pages long. This book goes further than the basic printing and preparing the emulsion. I have designed a way to print on items of clothing that makes it much easier than using glass sheets and gives great crisp prints.
The Botanical Specimens:
There really is great material to use to print everywhere that you look! Even I spotted some weeds at the roadside that would be fabulous.
You can use almost anything as stencils and be creative at how you arrange the designs. Even some tops from grocery store strawberries look like flowers.
Printing on Denim:
Since we love our denim and it’s blues, Cyanotypes are perfect for them! The sections of the clothing make great options for placement of leaves and flowers. My eBook explains how to overcome the challenge of printing on things that are not that flat.
To open up even more possibilities to design on denim bleaching sections is also a great option. That allows the prints to have more contrast in certain sections as well as remain the traditional denim blue.
The Challenges of Printing on Clothes:
After printing on paper and flat fabric I realized that clothing is more complicated and it becomes a problem. After much testing and innovation I have devised a method that works with less frustration. Using binder clips and sheets of glass is difficult when working with buttons, zippers etc.
The items are still exposed with direct sunlight using predetermined exposures. Natural fibers like cotton and silk do work best but some blends also do.
The 2 Cyanotype chemicals are readily available, (ferric ammonium citrate & potassium ferricyanide) and easy to apply. There are some things to consider when working with clothes though. There may also be some mistakes and I address how to fix and prevent mistakes in the eBook.
I know; I always get so immersed in my current project that I’ve been making countless items… If you would love some of mine, I am happy to share.
Such Pretty crisp Prints:
The intricacy of the negative space from tiny leaves in this photography method is magical. No drawing or painting skills are needed! You do not need a dark room, just some low light area like a basement or garage and a protected work surface.
My tutorial eBook also covers how to lighten areas to compliment the darker denim blue. Other things like Hydrogen peroxide help to create the strong blues and rejuvenate older prints.
I share tricks to keeping things in place and allowing easier exposure.
These are permanent prints on this jacket but it is suggested to keep washing to a minimum. Do not use detergents with Phosphates, sodium or bleach as it will affect the prints. Gentle hand-washing is best.
I never really tire of what nature gives me. What do you think? Does it not give just a small bit of relaxation?!
How crisp the prints that this method makes! ‘And such a lovely blue!
Perhaps you want one of your own, before they all disappear.
Whether you are young or old, denim is a favourite. I have fond memories of my kiddos in overalls.
I’ll admit, I will probably never tire of my jean jackets, whether painted or printed, such a canvas for expression.
This How to Print Cyanotype on Jackets, Jeans & Clothes eBook can be handy reference; in digital form or printed at your local print shop or printer.
Soon, your laundry line may look like mine…
Another positive outcome is that it gives items a new life! After some preparations those old jeans can have new life.
Take a walk, look around… Let nature inspire you! Happy making!