Re: Printing on fabric

From: Galina Manikova ^lt;>
Date: 03/10/04-04:03:34 AM Z
Message-id: <>

Hi, Loris,

I have been making cyanotypes on silk for a long time, also in very big
sizes, you can see some on my site (Blue and fireproof and Being blue).

You should never use soap with silk, just soak it in water and change
the water many times. If your water is basic, add some drops of lemon

The best way to coat thin silk is by immersing it into emulsion and
rolling it together several times in different directions, that spreads
the emulsion more evenly. Hang it to dry, but mind how you do it, there
will always be marks one way or another. I usually hang it one way and
turn it the other way after a short while, in order to get the coat
more even.

As the emulsion gets through the fabric, it is important what you have
under the fabric during the exposure. It will be different with white
or black background. My exposures on very thin silk were about the
third of the normal times. The image on thin silk is typically very
weak, low contrast. But if you use a satin shiny thicker silk, it will
be dark blue, but not transparent naturally.

The reason why it is difficult to get a strong image on thin silk is
thickness of the coat and transparency of the fabric. It helps if you
build it up by coating with concentrated emulsion or coating twice,
but that is tricky.

I have made an effort to order some precoated silks from
"Blueprintables", but they have not executed my order in spite of many
mails, so I do not know if I should recommend them:

I have also ordered that mystic fabric from Whitney Museum, that has
been mentioned on this list a while ago (printing kit for children),
but it has not arrived yet. It is not cyanotype, I understand, they say
it is more healthy, but I could not find out what it is:

Regards to everybody,


On Tuesday, March 9, 2004, at 10:58 PM, Loris Medici wrote:

> --- Eric Nelson <> wrote:
>> I chose muslin for 2 reasons: I had tons of it lying
>> around for backdrops, and it is really cheap. Never
> I see. I also would like to use muslin but I'm making
> these prints for selling at a "handmade objects shop"
> and the shop owner insists on silk.
>> ...
>> So silk may be a great fabric in some respects but
>> may
>> vary by manufacturer effecting receivability to
>> cyanotype, et al. I've never tried it.
> My first tests are promising (I tried ecru crepe
> d'amour and ecru satin-organdy). I liked the
> satin-organdy version most (especially when viewed
> from the back side - the image ghostly emerges thru
> the ultra thin threads on the fabric, best to
> overexpose by 1-2 stops for adequate density on the
> back) but crepe d'amour also is nice; richer in
> texture.
> Thanks & regards,
> Loris.
Received on Wed Mar 10 04:08:11 2004

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