We Made Cyanotypes!

Part of our Fall Collection this year features a very special fabric treatment; Cyanotyping, or "sun printing," an early form of photography that's now popular amongst children and art nerds. (I fall into the latter category.) The multi-step process results in vivid, highly detailed blue prints, which we've used in a trio of garments. 

Although the results are easy and breezy, the cyanotype process is.... involved, to say the least, especially when it comes to fabric. (Normally, cyanotyping is done on paper, although it can be applied to any porous surface, from wood to clay to my bathroom tiles).

All of these blue garments started out with just pure white silk, and fresh flowers. The floral designs you see on these pieces are exposed from negatives, which were scanned from real wildflowers I found in my neighborhood in Austin, Texas. (#wildflowergameonpoint.) 

The magic happens through many stages of scanning, printing transparencies, mixing and applying photo solutions, and exposing in sunlight (through a process of trial and error).  

A lot can go wrong during cyanotyping! Humidity can spoil the blue color. A cloudy day can result in underexposure. A leaf can fall on your print and ruin everything. But there's nothing more satisfying than dunking your exposed fabric in water and revealing a perfect, rich blue and a crisp, white flower arrangement. 

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larkspur dress plante

We hope you love these garments and appreciate the magic of cyanotyping as much as we do. 

xo,

Becky

Rebecca Plante1 Comment