What you need:
- Pebeo Setasilk Paints or any Sun Printing Paints
- Wide Brush or Foam Brush
- Water Spray Bottle
- Wooden Silk Frame or Plastic Sheet
- Pins or Tacks
- Fabric i.e. Silk, Linen or Cotton
- Leaves from the Garden
- A Sunny Day! Not Windy!
|Setasilk paints, water spray, leaves and brushes|
Ok, hopefully you have a sunny day but not a windy one or it will blow your leaves off! First gather your equipment together and get out on the back yard. If using a frame like mine set it up and stretch out your fabric pinning it at all four corners and the sides pulling the fabric tight. Spray the fabric with water. You don't want it to be absolutely soaking wet, but wet enough for the paints to bleed into each other and make a nice effect! The fabric I used was a white linen and this seemed to work really well as you will see in Step 4.
|White linen fabric on silk stretching frame|
Next paint the wet fabric with the silk paints. You need to work quickly as the sun will start to dry the fabric and set the paints, you need it to be still wet when you put down your leaves. The Setasilk paints come in squirty bottles and can be used straight from the bottle so I just squirted brown, yellow and green onto the wet fabric and let it soak in and bleed into each other. I then used a wide brush to spread it around a bit to cover the whole surface. (I forgot to take a pic of just the painted fabric as I didn't want it to dry!)
Once you are happy with your painted fabric add you leaves etc. I used blackcurrant leaves as they are nice and flat and this is really what you are looking for, as you want them to make as much contact with the fabric as possible. Lay out your leaves in a pattern or just randomly as I have done in the photo below. I used different sizes of leaves to make a pleasing design. Press each of the leaves face down to get as much contact with the fabric as you can. Work quickly as the sun will set the paints! Once you are happy with your design leave it for 15 to 20 mins for the sun to work it's magic!
|Blackcurrant leaves lay on the painted linen fabric|
If you can't wait anymore check the paint has been removed from under the leaves by lifting a corner of a leaf! If it has worked and hopefully it has, you should be left with the leaf silhouettes on your fabric! Take off all the leaves and let the fabric dry. Once dry remove the pins and set the paints by ironing with a dry iron for 5 mins. I covered the piece with a cloth before ironing. Be careful if using silk fabric not to have your iron too hot!
|Sun printed fabric!|
That's it once your finished sun print is ready you can leave it as is or embellish with embroidery stitches. I have decided to outline all the leaves with white stranded cotton and I'm going to work into the background with various other stitches to add texture and interest in greens, browns and yellows. You don't just have to use leaves for sun printing you could use any flat object that will make a silhouette or cut some out of paper!
|Adding back stitches around each leaf in white embroidery cotton.|
|Completed hand embroidered leaves.|