Thursday, June 22, 2017

A new obsession; wet cyanotype

A few days ago I stumbled upon a youtube video on wet cyanotype (blueprint) and thought it was very interesting even though it was done on paper. Then yesterday Sue Reno posted on her blog about her experiments with it on fabric and I knew I had to try it. While you check out her blog be sure to look at all the wonderful regular cyanotypes she does, she is a real master. So I got out some of my leaves, some treated fabric, a spray bottle of water and started to play. Both the youtube video and Sue said to leave the prints out for 24 hours rather than the usual 10 minutes, my first two were out for about 18 hours, the third one this morning was only out for 6 hours. I now have three more out and I'm going to do my best to be patient and wait for 24 hours.  The basic process is to take the treated fabric, put an image (the leaf) on it, cover with glass and let it sit in the sun. In wet cyanotype the treated fabric gets wet. I sprayed water on both the plastic under the fabric and on the glass before I covered the fabric. My fabric dried out so instead of waiting 24 hours I went ahead and rinsed and dried it.

Under the glass, out in the sun.

 finished print after rinsing and drying
This one was done on treated magenta fabric

This mornings experiment was done the same way, except I wanted to see what it would look like with even shorter time. I forgot to take a picture of it under glass, but here's how it looks now. It was cooler this morning than yesterday afternoon so it didn't dry out as fast.

The three that I've got out in the sun are looking pretty good, but I'm going to be patient and wait. I may add more water if they dry out. It's hot, breezy and low humidity so it's hard to keep things damp.
This one is on green pretreated fabric.

This one I sprayed the water directly on the fabric.

This one is on turquoise pretreated fabric.
I'll show you what happens in the next post. You can see more on Instagram at #wetcyan.

I've sewn together the hand dyed fabrics that were over dyed with indigo and am trying to decide how to quilt it.

Weekly Stitching
Signs of Life: The five universal shapes
week #25

the first 25 weeks of the year

2017 Daily Stitching #2 days 10-16

I'll be linking up to "Off the Wall Friday" and "Slow Sunday Stitching"


  1. I saw that same posting about the wet cyanotype, but I didn't have any treated fabric to try it out. Yours turned out great!

  2. Your leaves look interesting...I can see why it would be hard to wait 24 hours. The daily stitching projects are amazing!

  3. I love the leaf that was done on the magenta fabric although all of them are just wonderful.

  4. Your cyanotype pieces are fabulous! I have to try this method one day and I know it will be hard to wait for so many hours. Your stitching projects looks beautiful too.

  5. You always come up with interesting things to try! The leaves look amazing!

  6. Hi Linda,
    We had a lady give a talk at our group. Even here in the UK, she said she had to leave the work out at the most 1/2 day. and in the summer much less.
    We had a go and had very good results in about 10 min. However...the thing that surprised us was that the fabric/paper was grey when we brought it in. It was only after we rinsed out the chemicals that the blue appeared.
    And so, our results were much more like cyan blue, rather than the dark almost indigo you are showing. Lovely colour.
    Ruth Brown, here in the UK is well known for her work with cyanotype chemicals on fabric. You can get different colours, even, if you overdye it with tea (tannin) and other things. Ruth Brown - also has a book. Cyanotypes on Fabric