Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sunprinting with acrylic paint

I am experimenting with using acrylic paint instead of Setacolor transparent paints for making sun prints on fabric.  I used up most my Setacolor paints in the past weeks and cannot find a store locally that carries them, so I thought I'd experiment with acrylic paints and see how they turn out.  I did use the Setacolor paint for one sample for comparison. I used dried stalks from my poppies and also included a leaf in each. I watered down the paints to be a watercolor paint consistency.

To the left is the Setacolor, to the right is Martha Stewart acrylics.

 On this board, Golden Open acrylics is on the left and Golden Fluid Acrylics is on the right:

After they dried in the sun, the Setacolor sample looked okay, but the rest barely showed the poppy stems at all.


Martha Stewart acrylic:

 Golden Fluid acrylic:

Golden Open Acrylic:

I thought there was still hope as the leaves all showed up pretty nicely. So I decided to try doing the experiment again, but with plastic doilies to act as stencils since they would be nice and flat against the fabric.

Below are the samples with paint and with the doilies on top.  Again, I watered down the paints, and I pre-wetted the fabrics (sprayed them with water from a spray bottle). I worked quickly and did them all at the same time.

The results are really good, here they are after drying in the sun and the doilies removed.  So I'd say this was a success.  I didn't like the Martha one as much as the others, the white areas were not a white as with the other paints.

Standard acrylic paints are not really meant for fabric (although the Martha Stewart paints say they can be used on fabric) and I did not add textile medium to them.  I decided to put them to another test. After a few days, I ironed all of the pieces on high (use a press cloth between your iron and the fabric, paint residue will get on your iron without it - I use a Teflon one, and put parchment under the fabric to protect my board).  Then I stuck them in the washer and dryer.  I washed them in cold on a short cycle, and dried them on low heat.  They still look pretty good. 
I still think I like the Setacolor best. It seems to sun print better. The Setacolor paint does have a peculiar smell, but not enough to stop me from using it. 

On to the next adventure, I used soy wax as a resist on some fabrics recently so I will post about those next.


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