Make your own fabric prints using the sun

The folks who make Inkodye sent over a sample the other day. Inkodye is light-sensitive dye for textiles or any natural fibers, including wood and raw leather. It acts like the Sunprint paper you might have used as a kid, only you can brush this dye on anything you want and it comes in lots of colors. Like orange, of course.

For my first test of this magical stuff, I planned to make a safety pin print on fabric. Something quick and easy in case it was a flop.

I wrapped cardboard with a piece of old plastic tablecloth to make a waterproof surface. I laid white cotton fabric on top and taped down the edges to make brushing easier.

Then I poured a little Inkodye onto a paper plate, and with a foam brush, I painted it onto the fabric. It has a little color in its unexposed state, so it was easy to see where I'd already applied it.

As soon as I was done brushing on the dye, I scrambled to arrange some safety pins on top of the fabric. I was a little paranoid that the dye would start to develop before I brought it out into the sun, so in my haste I forgot to take a photo. (Turns out it's not quite that tricky, so I didn't need to hyperventilate as much.)

Outside the back door, I placed the board in direct sunlight. Immediately the orange color started to deepen. After 5 or 6 minutes it was super orange so I brought it back inside, removed the pins, and took the fabric off the board.

To keep the dye under the pins from developing, I immediately rinsed the fabric under the faucet and then washed it out with laundry detergent. (You can use a washing machine and dryer for this step if you like.)

Here's what the fabric looks like when it's dry. The color is really vibrant, and I was quite pleased. I sewed it into a zipper pouch.

I gave the Inkodye a test drive on a couple other projects, too, so I'll post those in the next few days. It's fun to play with!

Update: more projects are here and here.
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