Further adventures in Sunprinting: on Silk

I took advantage of the wonderful weather today and did some sunprinting on silk. I had tried silk before, and my sister had made a beautiful silk scarf with sunprinting a few years ago, but most of my recent sunprinting has been with cotton. However, I was inspired after seeing Heidi Hunter’s work at her studio, which I visited during the Wave Artist Tour last Saturday. She had huge pieces of sunprinted silks drying on the line….and she had made some beautiful purple pillow covers. I don’t know what paints/dyes she uses but her colours are really intense.  Just gorgeous!! Mine pale by comparison, but no surprise there since she is an expert.

I  cut my pieces of silk to about 14 by 14 inches, enough for some pillows of my own if I add some borders(batiks?). I managed to get 3 pieces of silk printed: Christmas gifts for a few people I hope.

The first one I didn’t like because the 3 colours I used didn’t blend very well(blue,green and purple) and looked quite stripey, so I decided to re-sunprint the piece….just like is done with gelli-printing. I overprinted with red, and sometimes overlapped the first layers of leaf prints, so there is still some white that shows through. These are transparent paints so over-layering gives odd colour combos. It is a bit intense to say the least and very overwhelming, but if trimmed to smaller pieces it should work well, maybe as some small wallets or cosmetic cases. I think I have to get rid of the heavy stripes towards the right especially- but maybe some quilting with red and purple thread might work….


For the second and third pieces, I really wet the fabric, painted in circular strokes and resprayed with water to blend the colour edges. I think they are quite nice:


For the above green/blue one I unfortunately had a bit of purple carry-over which looks out of place, so maybe some trimming is in the cards for this piece too(the pillows are getting smaller and smaller!!).orange

The above orange/red/yellow one has nicely blended colours and some very finely detailed prints(especially at the bottom right). Silk really lets the details show up nicely.

I think this may be the last hot day of summer in Winnipeg , but if we are lucky with the weather I might try doing some cotton sunprints, using the same paint/spray technique that worked for the silk.


4 thoughts on “Further adventures in Sunprinting: on Silk

  1. I love the blue &green with a touch of purple, it looks like fall to me. I agree w/ the previous poster, maybe play it up w/ some purple stitching


  2. I love the blue and green print! I wouldn’t worry about the bit of purple. Instead of trimming it out you could do some quilting with purple thread in some areas to tie it in.


  3. Thank you for the “like” on one of my blog posts. I have to say that I am not a crafty person and my hands have made me give up any kind of needle work, but I was really taken with all that you do. I was reading back and back through the posts. I love the quilt idea for your Mom. Mine passed away last fall and she was an avid knitter and a long time painter. I know your Mom will love the quilt.. Michelle


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