Cyanotype Project

My main guild has an annual project and this year it was announced in September that it was to make something seasonal/about our favorite season.

I did the black walnut project for our study group which was seasonal but I wanted to make something else too. I hate winter so I’ve been waiting for spring.

My husband got me a flower press kit for Valentine’s Day so I pressed some crocus and snow drops in February and thought maybe I could work them in to weaving somehow.

They turned out really well! I had never pressed flowers before.

I’ve always been interested in cyanotype kept seeing them on Tiktok (one woman is doing one a day) and wondered if that would work with weavings. I didn’t find any info online at all, some people worked cyanotypes into their weaving by attaching a print but I didn’t find anyone who actually printed on the weaving itself. T-shirts and other fabric isn’t uncommon but it’s normally a lot finer fabric than handweaving would be.

I got a book from the library about printing on fabric and ordered the chemicals and some natural cotton warp and watercolor paper. I also ordered a cheap used, vintage (?) custom proofer I saw someone on Tiktok use to use instead of sheets of glass. It seemed easy, stable and easier to store than glass.

I did a tiny weaving on the mini loom I got for my birthday using the cotton for warp and weft. I washed the final weaving and let it dry.

When it was dark, I used a sponge apply the chemicals I mixed in a clean plastic takeout soup container to the weaving and some of the water color paper.

I let that dry overnight in a closed cardboard box. We do not have any really dark places in the house!

The first sunny day I used the dried flowers on the paper and weaving. I placed them in the proofer and set it outside for about 30 minutes.

I came in, rinsed them off, sprayed them with peroxide and rinsed them again.

I let them dry. The paper came out the best.

The weaving isn’t bad, it’s very small so the snow drops look huge.

I am going to try again on a larger loom (I didn’t want to make that time commitment for an experiment if it didn’t work at all) and spray the chemicals on the weaving.

If I use one of my larger looms so I can leave a lot of warp to weave in the ends rather than do tassels.

If it doesn’t work, I think I might switch gears and do a gel print. The due date is our May meeting so I need to get going!

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