Cyanotype is the original sun-printing process and one of the earliest photographic techniques ever developed. Discovered in 1842 and distinctive for producing rich, Prussian blue monochromatic prints, Cyanotype was used well into the 20th century as an inexpensive method for reproducing photographs, documents, maps and plans (hence the enduring architectural term “blueprint”), as well as for making impressions of biological specimens in the field (“photograms”).
Cyanotype may be used to create detailed prints from virtually any object that casts a shadow: tools, toys, plants, leaves, stones, sand, string, lace, etc. Simply place the object on the sensitised surface and expose to sunlight (UV). By using a digitally-printed photographic negative (an inverted black and white photo inkjet-printed onto a transparency*) instead of an object, cyanotype may also be used to create full-resolution photographs on paper or fabric. Great for photographers, mixed media artists, printmakers, quilters, kids and more, the cyanotype process is easy, forgiving, quick, magical and fun. Harness the power of the sun—a great group activity for any age!
Jacquard’s high-quality cotton sateen fabric sheets come pre-sensitized for cyanotype and ready to use, making sun printing easier than ever before. Just pull a sheet out of the package, place objects or film on top, expose to light, rinse and dry and you’ll have a rich, detailed print.
21.59 cm x 27.94 cm Cotton Sateen Sheets pack of 10 or 30 fabric sheets
Here’s how it works: when the cyanotype fabric is exposed to sunlight, a chemical reaction occurs. It won’t reveal itself, though, until you put the fabric in water. Then it will instantly turn blue!
So how do you make a print? Place objects on the fabric to block the light: anywhere the sunlight doesn’t touch will remain white and leave a photographic impression on the fabric (this is called a “photogram”).To make prints of photographs, just print the photo onto a transparency* and place that on top of the fabric instead of an object. You can even make prints from drawings by first drawing on a transparency—the possibilities are endless! Exposure time depends on conditions, but is generally 3-10 minutes.
*Photos must first be inverted into negative, just like with other traditional photographic processes. To easily transform any image into a negative,
Negatives may be printed on SolarFast Film
or any other film media.