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Blueprinting feedback?

sanderson | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

I loved Helen Saunders’ article on blueprinting.  Has anyone tried it and how did it go?  I need to reread the directions;  do you have to be very careful about light in the workroom or is it just bright sunlight that will cause the changes?  How toxic are the chemicals and how long does the solution last?  Can you stencil with the mixture or do you need to add methyl cellulose to make it stay?  Heavy duty ammonia is used in fixing paper blueprints;    what effect will ammonia have on fabric that’s been blueprinted?  Oh, for a free weekend or several….


  1. User avater
    stitchhappy | | #1

    Blue Printing on fabric doesn't require a fix because you rinse all of the chemicals out. I've checked several sources and the chemicals are not toxic if you don't breathe the powder. The fabric is not so light sensitive (post chemical saturation prior to sun exposure) that you need dark-room conditions, but if you are going to be storing your treated fabric for a while, before exposure, put it in a drawer or bag or wrap it so you don't end up being surprized.  Your major concern is to keep the treated fabric out of direct sunlight during your set-up and until you have everything placed and arranged just the way you want it to be exposed (and then you want to rinse it immediately to halt the exposure).  You definately don't want to dilly-dally in the sun or you'll loose your design and just have solid blue.

    If you want more information try:

    Blueprints-Printables at 800-356-0445 (This is a number correction from what was printed in the magazine.) http://www.blueprintables.com


    1. sanderson | | #2

      Should  I wear a mask when I mix the powders into the water?  Is a mask like a dental hygenist wears protection enough or do you recommend one that filters even more?  Does the mixture "smell"?  I plan to try it during the off hours at work but the building will be open for other things and I don't want to be a nuisance.   I plan on making squares to put together as a comforter.  thanks  (sorry if the answers are already in the article;  my copy is at my studio.)

      1. User avater
        stitchhappy | | #3

        To be extra safe a mask is a good idea, but just until the powder is desolved into the water.  I didn't notice any smell at all and I don't think you would cause a problem for other people.  Once you've mixed the solution and dunked your fabric you have to decide how you want to dry the fabric (hang or into electric dryer) and how you're going to do all of this in the dark.  The author dries her fabric in her closit.  Depending on the size of fabric I'd protect the floor.  (This might be difficult for you to do at work.)

        1. sanderson | | #4

          Actually "work" is a commercial kitchen with stainless work tables and a very tough floor.  The light source is overhead florescent fixtures and I think with the overheads off the red exit lights will give enough glow to get  most of the work done and there's a back storage room that I'll set up with a drying rack.  Thanks for the info extras. 

          1. User avater
            stitchhappy | | #5

            RED LIGHT!

            Even though these chemicals are not toxic as mixed, they should not (nor should anything that involves dying) be allowed to contaminate equipment or surfaces involving food preparation. Don't share pans, bowls, utensils, measuring cups or counter tops.  The author prepares her solution and dips her fabric in the kitchen but she completely wraps all surfaces with plastic and never mixes containers.

          2. Barbaran8 | | #6

            Has anyone tried those Blueprinting dyes that are available in other colors (besides blue) from the fabric store? I saw them at Pacific Farics in Seattle, but was a bit leary...

          3. User avater
            stitchhappy | | #7

            Dharma Trading Company has some sun activated paints that look interesting for achieving similar results in multi-color versions.  They recommend using only the transparent variety.  Check out their web site for more info.

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