Doily-print fabric made with photosensitive dye

It's spring in Chicago, which means wet things no longer freeze outside and the sun actually shines. So I tried another project with Inkodye, the photosensitive dye tested in a few projects last year. I'd received samples from the manufacturer to play with, and I've been curious about using paper doilies as stencils.

I taped a piece of white cotton canvas to cardboard wrapped in plastic. With a sponge brush, I applied red-orange dye. (Fabric really soaks this stuff up, so this required over half a bottle.) Update: I've learned that using a 1:1 ratio of dye to water works just as well!

Next I arranged paper doilies on top. As I suspected, the doilies started to curl when they absorbed a little moisture from the wet dye, so I quickly poked some straight pins into them to hold down the edges. Then I placed the board in direct sunlight on our back landing and hoped our neighbors wouldn't step on it as they came down the stairs.

Ten minutes later, I removed the doiles and scrubbed the fabric in soapy water.

The white blotches are where the dye soaked into the doilies and they stuck to the fabric. A little bit unfortunate.

On the other hand, I suppose you could argue this looks like some sort of faded, distressed antique — a tea towel discovered in a French flea market, maybe. And since my decorating style is supposedly "Country French," along with 89% of you, we should appreciate this, right? I give it a B-. But it was fun.

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