A DIY fabric project using light-sensitive dye | How About Orange

August 26, 2011

A DIY fabric project using light-sensitive dye

Another project in the Inkodye series. This time I tried to get fancy with the light-sensitive dye and see if a drawing could be transferred onto fabric. (Click the image above to view a little larger.) Mixed results this time.

To make this fabric, I stretched out a piece of Saran wrap and taped down the corners to keep it taut. Then I drew on it with a black DecoColor paint pen. I needed something very opaque that would write on plastic, and this was perfect.

I thought the fine lines would be a good test to see how crisp the final print would turn out.

Then I removed the drawing and taped a piece of white cotton to my waterproof surface (i.e. cardboard wrapped with plastic). I applied red-orange Inkodye with a foam brush. Next I blotted off as much dye as I could. This was recommended in what I'd read on the manufacturer's site. Apparently if you plan to cover your damp surface with plastic or a piece of glass, water will tend to condense on the underside of the glass. And that will produce pale spots on your print. The idea is to get your surface as dry as possible, so let's see if the blotting method solves the problem.

I stretched the Saran wrap drawing over the treated fabric and taped it down, then placed the fabric in direct sunlight for 5 minutes. I was bummed to see some condensation start to appear between the plastic and the fabric, sure enough.

When the color looked fully developed, I immediately brought the fabric inside, untaped it, and rinsed it under a faucet. Then I washed it thoroughly by hand in water with laundry detergent. Overall the design is cute, but you can see light areas where water from the condensation diluted the dye. They're noticeable when you click the first photo in this post to view it larger. And some of the lines aren't as perfectly crisp as this stickler would like. The upshot: if you want a perfect print, this probably isn't the method to use. But it was fun!

Someone wondered in the comments on a previous post what the back side of the dyed fabric looks like. Here it is. And I haven't washed this in the machine yet, but I'll give you a report when I do. I don't expect the color will fade much, if at all.

Update: After machine washing, I'd say the color faded a little bit. But not too badly.

You can check out previous projects using Inkodye here and here.

43 comments:

Trish said...

To get crisper edges, I wonder if you use a resist to draw right on the fabric first, then paint the inkodye on, sunprint, then wash it all out?

Jessica Jones said...

Probably so. If I had some. :) The lines would be crisp, but probably also vary in thickness more than I want, since that stuff is generally a liquid that you brush on or squeeze out of a bottle, right? I like the smooth, uniform lines made with pens. Is there a resist pen, I wonder?

Grandma G said...

That was bad. :( It wasn't PERFECT. Very uncrisp lines and even some other smudges. I'm soooo not proud of you today.

Mum/bummed

(And if anyone wants to see why I said that, they need to read yesterday's comments.) ;)

Jessica Jones said...

HA HA! Well done. There. Now I know you tell the truth instead of always saying nice things because you're my mom.

Meg said...

You might want to try drawing on clear contact paper, since it could adhere to the fabric (possibly).

Celia said...

Could you maybe somehow keep the back open, so that the moisture can escape without condensing under the plastic? Maybe by putting it over a screen or something? hmm.. Cool nonetheless!

Jessica Jones said...

Oooo, ideas.... You two might have just solved it.

Grandma G said...

It wasn't all the truth, though. I AM still proud of you. :)

And I still love you even though you "failed". :)

Mum

Katie said...

How about using school glue as a resist that will wash out? Here is a link to such a project using batik:

http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/Colors/gluebatik/gluebatik.html

Jessica Jones said...

Whew, that's a relief, Mum.

Katie, that might work. Somebody should try it. I just hate blobby lines, though. Probably why I don't like batik prints, tie dye, etc. I like crisp graphics with smooth lines. Glue is just too unpredictable for me. :)

Creative in Chicago said...

Have you thought about cutting out vinyl and sticking it to the fabric?

Jessica Jones said...

Yes I have! It's on my list to try!

Paige Beckett said...

Three things. First, I'm wondering how your hand prints showed up on this, since you weren't standing with them over the fabric in the sun! Second, would weighting the stencil (paper, saran wrap, vinyl, etc) with glass, for example, help to make the lines more exact? Third, I'm looking for this stuff to try and make personalized napkins for my wedding. A twist on the name card?!

Jessica Jones said...

Hi Paige. They're not hand prints; just a coincidence in how the saran wrap was very slightly wavy and water condensed there, I think. Probably yes to the glass, and have fun!

SewTara said...

What about printing onto an overhead transparency sheet? That's how I do my screen printing with emulsion and burning with a halogen.

Carrie said...

You can draw right onto a sheet of glass (like from a picture frame). Put the glass on the fabric, drawing side down. The edge of the glass will leave an unexposed line, so if you don't like that, make the glass bigger than the fabric. You can see all the instructions for this on the inkodye website (under 'how to' and the dry erase pillow). No, I don't work for Inkodye. In fact I haven't even tried it, or bought it yet, but I'm IN LOVE with this stuff!! I LOVE what you are doing!!

Lisa said...

The only thing about using glass is that you have to make sure that it doesn't have UV protection -- if it does, it won't work well at all. (And as far as I know, you can't tell by looking). I've had really great results with a piece of acetate... though I know acetate isn't as readily available as saran wrap.

Thanks so much for this series! I've had a wonderful time reading your experiences so far. The only thing that's stopping me from ordering some for myself is that I can't decide what color I'll want. =D

Jesse said...

Jessica! This is Jesse from Inkodye - to answer your question about resist - you can get crisp nice lines by using 'fine line applicators' (they sell them at Dharma Trading). It will give you similar results to a 'pen'.

We used Inkodye resist and fine line applicators in our batik scarf project with great results.

With the condensation, you can really wipe off all excess moisture with a paper towel before you lay on your transparency. Even if it seems like you've wiped it all off you'll still get a bright color! :)

2 & Thru said...

I love this project. I remember doing something similar in a high school art class, but it was w/ a photo onto paper.

But...that made me remember college & printmaking. We always used transparency sheets (you know, that they use for overhead projectors....if anyone even still uses those?) You can draw right on them w/ a sharpie or can run them through your inkjet printer.

That may work too.

Can't wait to try this project! :-)

natalie said...

Flat sheets of acetate or transparency paper sound like a good idea (similar to burning an image for silk screening etc).

Why not apply the ink, then let it dry in a light-tight box? There would (most likely) be no issues with moisture or condensation.[I have never used this product before though.]

Just a thought - great pictures and project ideas. The range of colors is amazing!

tiffanyharvey said...

I would recommend using a pieces of glass over it, even if you want to draw on the seran wrap, this will keep the drawing flat so that light can't get in from the sides & distort your lines.

As far as the condensation, could you let the fabric dry overnight in a light-free spot? (cover it with something, stick it in a box or dark closet) These ideas are all based on screen printing work I've done.

Bek said...

I have just been obsessed with Inkodye since seeing a project somewhere else. I've been lusting after it.

These posts haven't been helping. Everything is so amazing (and simple - making it more amazing!)

100%HEPPIE said...

♥ it ! Thanx for sharing !

April said...

Could it be? No one has thought to suggest using your silhouette machine?

Cut out your finely detailed images and lay them on your fabric. Seems like that'd get you the results you want.

Jessica Jones said...

April, you read my mind. I have vinyl I can cut, so then I don't have to worry about any paper getting wet and curling up, either. I didn't want to "cheat" and use the Silhouette in the first couple posts about this stuff, since not that many people have one so it might not be relevant to everybody. But I'm definitely going to try it!

amy grace said...

I think it looks really cute! But, I can see how you would want to make it more crisp, but the design is cute :)

Alex said...

really cute - I actually like it the way it is (I like batik effects :)

amber said...

You could always try what screen printers do with photo emulsion... Paint your fabric, then stick the whole thing in a closet to dry a bit more. Just be sure you won't have to open the closet until you're ready to print. Or alternately, once dry, place your fabric (or any other surface or object) in a black plastic garbage bag for a bit until you are ready to use it.

Subhadra said...

What does the ink look like when it is put on fabric with color? How does it change the color? Like a red on yellow? How about a yellow on red, going light on dark?

Periwinkle Paisley said...

This looks SO cool! I want to try this product. I wonder if you can mix the colors and if they'd act like traditional pigments or if you'd get some other unexpected color?

ScrappyStuff said...

oh my gosh - how cool is this! I'm going to dig out my 'LSD' ! ... that is really amazing! I hadn't used them because i haven't found the perfect 'plants' ... yay!

min said...

This is perfect timing. I have to make a little zipper pouch (never have done that before...) for my son's epipens at school. I want to make a red pouch with his name on it and probably a medical cross or something so they can find it if they need it.

It's either this or red fabric with a Sharpie, which isn't off my list either. We'll see.

min said...

Also, I sent you this product link awhile ago, and I swear I don't work for them...but http://ezscreenprint.com/ is another super cool way to get a VERY crisp print onto fabric using fabric paint. Won't work for this project, but I've used it for many personalized and decorative things. I can't believe it's not out in the world of crafts very much.

Just something you'd like to mess with I'm sure. Kinda like the YUDU that's out there, only without all the cost. I used the starter kit and now just get the refill sheets.

Cara said...

These Inkodye projects are so neat, definitely going to give it a try this fall!

Natalia said...

wow, very interesting. Maby one day I'll try it:) Actually I preffer felt and wire- wrapping:)
Take care!:)

Fanny and Malou said...

wow, I would love to try that.. but 50$ for shipping to Germany is way to much :(

But really cool blog you have there !! I love reading you!

Bisous

Fanny

Cathy said...

Such a cool project, I'm going to have to look for that type of dye.
Do you know if the dye is non-toxic? Seems like a cool craft for older children. Not that they would be eating the dye (hopefully not anyways!)

Jessica Jones said...

Yeah, let's hope not! I don't know the answer, but maybe it's in the FAQs on the company's website. You could hunt around there.

Rickard said...

Woohoo! So great! I´m a textile designer and a new mum and don´t have that much time for timeconsuming craft-projects. This is it! I bought my first start kit right after reading your post. Thank you for this wonderful idea,. I hope to have a lot of fun with this.

Thanks from Susann in Sweden!

Susann said...

Oh and to get the crisp lines- use a sheet of glass to put on top the plastic sheet. Thats the method used when screenprinting to ensure that the uv-light doesn´t creep in under the lines...btw :)

Pradeep said...

Lovely prints,These are the prints from Oslo?keep up the good work. do tell me how can we make purchase?

dannelle said...

Yours is one of the loveliest blogs I have found. Thank you for the beautiful inspiration.
happiness...
dannelle@nestenterprises

Skinny laMinx said...

You're a marvel and a wonder. Love these projects! x

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