UPDATE: Check out the Sun Printing Tutorials for newer posts. Also, check out this blog post where I compared Dye-Na-Flow to Setacolor.
I took advantage of Thursday’s sunshine to do some more sun printing, but this time with Dye-na-Flow. Carol emailed me to say she sun prints with Dye-na-Flow. I’ve used this paint before, but not for sun printing so this was the day to try it.
If you are not familiar with Dye-na-Flow here is the description from the Dharma Trading Company:
“Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow is a free flowing, concentrated liquid color for use on any untreated fabric. Works on untreated leather or paper too. It will spread on fabric until it is thoroughly absorbed and even. Every fabric has a different flow and spread. It is magical on silk, but it works on any type of fiber, natural and synthetic. On silk it has an even luster. On velvet it is rich. On cotton the color does not alter the feel of the fabric. Dye-Na-Flow is incredibly versatile.
Dye-Na-Flow is especially good for silk painting, either the serti (resist) method using water-soluble resists, or for watercolor techniques. You can spray or airbrush with it on just about any untreated fabric. You can dilute it with water and tie-dye using squirt bottles and then set the paint in a commercial dryer or with an iron. Really nice effects and it’s fast and easy. Water based and non-toxic.”
If you are new to my blog, here are my other sun printing projects that I’ve posted in the past.
This is what I did Thursday with these paints.
Here are the supplies you need:
- Jacquard Dye-na-Flow
- Fabric -works best on natural fibers including cotton and silk, but can be used on any fabrics. For best results, wash fabric to remove any dirt and sizing.
- Sponge brush
- water and water container
- stencils, leaves, cutouts – anything you want to use as a mask
First, prepare your work area. I do this outside. Cover a surface with plastic. This is where you will be painting. I like being able to have a work area where I do the painting and then leaving it for the sun to take over. When I first started sun printing, I painted my fabric indoors and then carried the fabric on the plastic outside which also worked. This is much easier.
Then cut fabric to sizes. Here are some of the stencils and masks I used.
Next soak fabric in water.
Lay out a few pieces on the work surface. Smooth them out as much as possible. Work with just a couple pieces since they need to remain moist. If you are working out in the sun as I was, the material will dry real fast.
Add Dye-na-flow. I have the small squeeze bottles that make it easy to apply the paint. If you are using the regular containers, just dip the brush in and paint onto the fabric.
Now add more water to the brush to spread the paint around. Keep adding more paint and water until you are happy with your fabric color.
Add the masks. This could be stencils, household utensils, cardboard cutouts, leaves, etc. Make sure to pat the masks down so they have contact with the fabric which will keep the sun from those areas.
Now is the hardest part – waiting for the sun to do its thing!
I took a couple hours off, went inside and ate lunch. When I returned the fabric was dry and ready for the reveal. I love this part. I get so excited – just want to jump up and down! So I thought I’d let you come with me and see how I saw it.
On another piece of fabric I laid down fern leaves and then covered the whole piece with needlepoint plastic canvas. So I removed the masks in two stages. First the canvas.
Oh, I like that! Now to remove the ferns.
Oh, I really like that!!
To set the paint, iron for three minutes on the wrong side of the fabric. I waited 24 hours for it to “cure” and then ironed it, but I think since the sun really dries it good, you probably don’t have to wait that long.
And here are the results:
You will notice on the left one the edge of the stencil did not mask the sun. That is because I warped the stencil in this project! I have learned not to use my heat gun on stencils!
And a closeup:
Closeup of fern fabric:
That was fun! I really like this paint for sun printing. I need to do some more before the sun is gone!
If you’d like the instructions for using Dye-na-Flow, you can download my Dyenaflow pdf.
If this is your first time here, and interested in sun printing, check out this link with all of my sun printing posts.
Linda, that’s awesome! I don’t know why I haven’t thought of sun printing with the stencils. I love the dynaflow paint and sunprinting! Your results look beautiful!
Lisa, Thanks. They do work well. I’ve used them with setacolors but I really like this dye-na-flow. Such vibrant colors. Thanks for the designs!
Lynda recently posted..Sun Printing Fabric with Dye-na-Flow
Lynda… These are SO beautiful. Reminds me of the batiks I’ve seen for sale in the Caribbean and Tahiti. I love the fern ones… You are very talented and creative! If I ever have enough time when I am visiting in Evansville I would love to come out and see you and all your creations!
Deb, Thank you so much for the compliment. I’d love to see you again and of course, I love to show my stuff! Thanks.
I am so impressed! Do the masks need to be dark or do plastic stencils work?
Jeannie recently posted..Doily pumpkin
Jeannie, Those are plastic stencils that I’m using. You just need to block the sun. If you look in the picture, I even used a potato masher. You could use doilies, paper cutouts – whatever you like to mask the sun from the fabric after you have painted it. That’s what is so amazing! It’s so much fun to do and easy! Thanks for dropping by.
Nice! That will have to go on my dye bucket list. Yes, I know the jump up and down feeling too. Love the ferns!
Wow! That is gorgeous! Love your ideas!
Beth, I’d love to see your results!
I haven’t seen this before, and was blown away! Beautiful. I was instantly dreaming up projects that could use this beautiful and personal touch!
Jenn recently posted..What’s Happening this Month? September 2012
Jenn, Thank you! This process really makes beautiful fabric. Would love to see any projects you make. Thanks for dropping by.
I’ve never heard of this before, but it sounds like a fun project. We have lots of sunny days in Texas, so I need to find Dynaflow. I’m guessing they sell it at Hobby Lobby?
Bonny @ thedomesticatedprincess.blogspot.com recently posted..Chicken & Rice Dinner with Flat Bread
Wow, the ferns turned out spectacular!
Kristina recently posted..at home
Oh I love the fern fabric so much!! Such a pretty color and design!!
Halle G recently posted..It’s school time….
Bonny, I doubt you can get it at Hobby Lobby. You would need to pick it up at an art store like Blicks or order online through Dharma Trading. Thanks for dropping by.
Kristina, Yes, the ferns always seem to turn out well. So glad we decided to grow some of them although I bet I could find artificial ones that would work as well.
Halle, Thanks. I love it too!
What a cool idea, Linda! I’ve never heard of sun printing before! Love it!!! 🙂 Thanks for the great tutorial today!
Really beautiful Lynda–thank you! I feel inspired to try it.
Lori, Thank you!
Laurie, Thank you for stopping by.
Some great ideas here. I’ve done lots of sun prints, but I love the idea of layering as you’ve done with the ferns and embroidery plastic.
Linda, Thanks for your comments. I really liked how layering in the sun really worked. Thanks for dropping by and for your wonderful blog.
That is fantastic! I love the one with the ferns! So pretty! Thanks for linking up to the CHQ blog hop! Hope to see you back next week!
Thanks so much for joining in with this week’s Say G’day Linky Party! I’ve shared this on Google+
Hope to see you again this Saturday.
Natasha in Oz
This was very exciting… I have just painted my sons bedroom and I was going to make him new bedding because I can not seem to find anything pre-made – then I’m challenged finding fabrics with the right colors, etc. This could be a neat thing to do and sew him new bedding. A thought…. I don’t suppose there is any reason there the process couldnt be “layered”… meaning do the process giving it a “background” color then setting the color – and then doing another approach over the first layer…. might be tricky but worth a try. Thanks for sharing ! I enjoyed the wonderful step by step you provided.
I don’t see that there would be any problem layering although I’ve not done that. Of course, depending on what your background color would probably change the colors you are putting down. I used white material. If it is a different color background, you will get different results. Good luck and I’d love to see pictures of your dyeing. Thanks for dropping by.
I just love this idea. Where do I get the dyes. In what quantity can I get them and how much are they?
I am trying to find a way to make alcohol inks without buying so much dye. Are these paints or dyes?
Cheryl, Dye-na-flow is a paint. Here is the description on Dharma Trading: Dye-Na-Flow is a free flowing, concentrated liquid color for use on any untreated fabric. Flows like a dye! Dye-Na-Flow is especially good for silk painting, either the serti (resist) method using water-soluble resists, or for watercolor techniques. Hope that helps. Lynda
Great tutorial, and beautiful prints! I’m looking forward to finding some dyeing time in the new year!
Gina, Thank you! I’ll be watching for your dyeing in the new year! Thanks for dropping by.
Wow, I’ve never heard of this. This is beautiful.
These are terrific! I especially like the ferns and needlepoint canvas.
Norma, Thanks! Now that the sun is back out and it’s warm I need to do some more of this. Thanks for stopping by.
Félicitations, c’est super beau. Un tel résultat permet de faire des choses magnifiques. Bonne journée
Mamie Chris 57 recently posted..Petit classeur ouvert non paru avec l’article
Mamie, Thank you!
Have you tried this on a t-shirt?
Phyllis@grandparentsplus.com recently posted..Tequillaberry Salad
Phyllis, I haven’t but it could be done. You’d have to do one side at a time and put something inside the shirt so the paint wouldn’t bleed through. I’ve been thinking about trying that, so stay tuned. Thanks for dropping by.
Thank you for sharing! I’m planning to do this to my DIY baby wrap, i’m planning to do stars stencils =) yours is very inspiring!
Hi Angelie, Baby wrap huh? Sounds like a great idea! Thanks for your kind words and stopping by. Lynda
great post. we seem to have rain everyday at the moment but as soon as the sun shines I know what to do. there will be 3 of us trying this and I have the feeling this could become addictive! thank you for giving us a starting point. x
Gaelle, Thanks. Have fun! Let me know how it turns out. Also check back in June when I’ll be doing a series on sun printing.
love the fern print, thanks cannot wait to start mine.
Rebekah, Thanks. Yes, the ferns make such lovely prints.
I need to help my 12 year old son to make a fern cushion for his home work and this would be perfect. Just need to locate the dye and go foraging for the ferns.
Louise, You can buy this dye at Blick or other art stores or online at Dharma Trading. Sounds like a great project for you two. Thanks for dropping by.
Love this but I have had no luck. I found a lesson plan on dickblick art and they listed liquid watercolor as the dye. I tried this on an unprimed cotton canvas using cut out shapes from black construction paper and the only thing that happens after putting in sun is a slightly darker imprint. Not sure if I am using the wrong ink or if the black construction paper is the problem. Would love your thoughts!!! Need to teach to my art class this week and am loving how yours turned out!
Joanne, My favorite paints for sun printing are Setacolor Transparent and Dye-na-flow, and both can be purchased at Blicks. I’ve never tried liquid watercolor. However, I don’t think you’d get a very dark design with that. The masks need to be heavy enough that they sit on the fabric and block out the sun. The construction paper might not be heavy enough. Also, if they are too light weight they’ll blow off. I use ferns and leaves, but stencils, lace, or even chipboard will work. Did you see my sun printed apron that I made from canvas and then sun printed? If you didn’t, here is the link: https://lyndaheines.blog/2012/06/sun-printed-apron/ Also under tutorials I have several posts about sun printing. I’ve used a variety of paints, even regular craft paint and they work but don’t get the results for me that I get from my two favorites. Would love to hear your progress on this. Thanks for asking.
Do you have to seal the fabric to prevent it from fading after this? What is best?
Robert, With Dye-Na-Flow, as long as you wash your fabric and then heat set when you are done, it should be fine. That said, I would not put it out in the sun or it might fade. This is a paint – not a dye. As for Setacolor, I sun printed this apron back in 2012 https://lyndaheines.blog/2012/06/sun-printed-apron/ and after many washings it has faded, but still has color. Since this post, I have experimented with several different paints and these two are my favorites for sun printing. For more sun printing posts, especially most recent ones, check out my sun printing link: https://lyndaheines.blog/craft-tutorials/sun-printing/ My latest one was in March of 2015 https://lyndaheines.blog/2015/03/march-sun-printing/ If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me.
This is so beautiful! Do you need to use this specific paint or can I use regular dye?
Hi Taylor, There are several types of paints you can use – dye-na-flow, Setacolor Transparents, Screen printing inks, and even craft paint. If you don’t care that the hand (feel) of the fabric is changed, then use craft paint. Screenprinting ink for fabrics does a great job but the fabric is a bit rubbery. I like the fabric to stay soft so I prefer dye-na-flow or Setacolors. Dye won’t work or at least it hasn’t worked for me. I have several sun printing posts besides this one where I talk about the individual paints. You can check them out at this link: https://lyndaheines.blog/craft-tutorials/sun-printing/ Thanks for dropping by. If you have any other questions, please feel free and ask. I love sun printing!
They are looking good. sun painting lovr this look…….I do have quite a few paints to use up so could I use them for sun painting….. ..They are fabic paints….Thank you Christine
Christine, Thanks. Yes, try them. It’s so much fun.
Bom dia Lynda, muito bonito seus trabalhos, sou Lidia-Brasil. Qual seu e-mail for contato(desculpe o inglês).
Meu WhatsApp: (12)992366543
Lidia, Thank you for your kind words. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lynda, can I lay a sheet of clear glass over the leaves or stencils to hold them down on the fabric while they’re in the sun? As long as the glass doesn’t have uv protection , it should still work, right? Or does it need to dry in order to work? What if the fabric was stretched on a frame and raised off of the table surface to allow air flow?
Kim, No, don’t cover with glass. It will not work – been there, done that! It needs to dry. Even if you raise it off the table, you’d still have the glass contact with the fabric. However, I’ve never tried that, but don’t think it would work because you’re not allowing air flow on the top of the fabric. To make the leaves or stencils stay down, put some small pebbles or better yet, don’t sun print on windy days. Did you see all of my other sun printing articles? Here is a link to all of them: https://lyndaheines.blog/craft-tutorials/sun-printing/ Thanks for dropping by. Hope that helps.
Your sunprinting is so beautiful! Thank you for the tutorials.
I was hoping you could help. I have been trying this process but having a difficult time getting the imprints to come through, not only from the ferns but I’ve also tried eucalyptus leaves, maple leaves also. Please help! Can you please tell me what I’m doing wrong? I’ve gone through the tutorial step by step
to see what I’m doing wrong. So I thought I’d read through the reviews to see if anyone else has had similar problems. I am using the Jacquard Solar Fast. And the fabric (silk gauze and silk chiffon), colors well from the paint but the leaves do not print.. I do let the fabric soak first, then squeeze out the water and paint the fabric with a sponge brush. Then place my leaves (ferns and eucalyptus) on the fabric. Do you always cut the leaves off the branches before laying them on the fabric? I also had to lay a few rocks on the leaves to keep them flat and from blowing away, it was kinda windy. My first try I thought the leaves were not laying flat enough on the fabric so my next attempt I placed some acrylic squares on top the leaves to mash them down. Thinking that would work, which it did not. I also wet the leaves and pressed them down with my hands to get them to lay flat, which did not work either. I just read one of your answers to a post that said it needs to dry in order to work. So maybe the acrylic boards are too heavy to allow the leaves to dry? I am so determined to figure this out because they are very pretty! I’d really appreciate it If you could help! I’d also like to know if you can paint the fabric one day then wet it down and place the leaves the next day? Lastly, how many hours does it take for the sun print to work?
Thank you in advance. Gail
Gail, You said you are using Solarfast. That is different than dye-na-flow. Did you check out my review and tutorial on Solarfast? Check it out here: https://lyndaheines.blog/2016/06/17/review-jacquard-solarfast/ Scroll down to the bottom where I printed with ferns. Notice with Solarfast you put glass over the ferns. Also you don’t want the fabric very wet at all. As I said Solarfast is all together different than using Dye-na–flow. Also, at the beginning of the post is a link to posts on Solarfast from another artist. Hope that helps.
Thanks, Lynda, for your response! This helps a lot so I can make these awesome scarves! I really appreciate your quick response!
Gail, You are welcome!
Question..do you add dyna flow to the paint?
Can’t wait to experiment.
Susan, Dye-na-flow is the paint. Did you mean water to the dye na flow?? You can water it down for sure. That’s up to you, but will make the colors more pastel. Have fun! Also, check out my other newer blog posts on Sun printing at this link: https://lyndaheines.blog/craft-tutorials/sun-printing/
Beautiful,just loved all the prints Thanks 🙏