Sun Printing Botanicals on Fabric with Dye

We offer two options for sun printing with dye on fabric and creating gorgeous pieces using easily-found botanicals and other whimsical materials.

Fabric Painting: Sun printing with dye!



Make beautiful ghost-like images on fabric with simple found objects, leaves or paper cutouts. An easy, fun, and educational technique for kids and adults! Students will learn a dramatic, rewarding technique for painting on fabric. Any age or experience level can make sun prints: the sun does all the work! Sun printing can be used to create fabric for fashion design, scarves, table runners, scarves, t-shirts and more.


Watch the video Sun Printing with Jacquard Dye Na Flow.

Procedure: Basic sun printing

1. Using a brush, thoroughly wet down the silk hoop fabric with clean water.

2. Apply Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow or Pebeo Setacolor Transparent onto the wet fabric.

3. While the fabric and paints are wet, arrange the paper cutouts, leaves and other items on the surface of the fabric. The closer contact the object has with the fabric, the sharper your image will be. You may have to weigh down some objects so that they don’t blow away. However, do not place plastic or glass on top as it will trap moisture and interrupt the solar reaction.

4. Set the fabric in the sun. (Depending upon the size of your fabric you may want to lay the fabric out in the sun before placing your objects on it. Just be careful not to let the fabric dry.)

5. Leave the fabric out in the sun with the objects on it for an hour or more. Remove the objects. You will see a lighter image in the shape of the object.

6. Heat set the fabric according to the instructions.

7. Wash in cool water with Synthrapol and rinse.

More to try… SolarFast Photo Printing with the Sun.


Kim Fjordbotten: As the owner of The Paint Spot, Kim Fjordbotten is passionate about helping artists use materials and make art. She is available as a speaker and educator for teachers and art associations. The Paint Spot offers exhibitions, classes, and beautiful art materials to inspire your creativity.

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