Blueprints on Fabric – A Quick How To

Blueprints on Fabric – A Quick How To

My local surface design group met a week ago and we tried a new technique that none of us had tried before. Blueprints on Fabric which we ordered from Dharma Trading. We got the 8 1/2″ squares. You can also purchase the fabric by the yard if you want to make something larger such as clothing.


We decided that we wanted to use Bunny’s Yudu for exposing the fabric. The Yudu is designed to make screen prints but works well as an alternative light source if you want to do sun printing on a rainy day. We also did some of them outside even though it wasn’t particularly sunny. It is simple to do them in the sun and this is an easy project even for children.

blueprints on fabric

All you have to do is have something flat to put over the fabric and then expose it to light.  We got a mixed packet of fabrics so there was more than one color and more than just blue and white.

Transparency on Yudu

In the Yudu, you place the transparency first. This is a lovely floral piece of fabric that we scanned into the computer and then printed on to a transparency. They make transparencies that are meant to be printed on and you just have to follow the directions and get the right side up in your printer.

Readying Yudu for Printing

Then you put the blue print fabric on top of the transparency, close the Yudu and turn it on for 15 minutes of light.


Once the 15 minutes is up, take the fabric out of the Yudu and rinse it thoroughly.

Ironing after Rinsing

Roll it in a towel to get most of the water out and then iron it.

Floral Design

This is one of the pieces of fabric that was done using the floral transparency.

Here is how you do it outside. Place the fabric on something flat, cover with a transparency or something flat and then cover with a piece of glass or clear plastic. Leave outside for 20 minutes or so depending on the sunshine. Even with clouds, it only took about 20 minutes to work. Then do the rinsing, drying and ironing as above.

Batik Transparency

Here’s an example of another transparency we used. You just need a black and white photo to make these transparencies and gray-scale photos will work too.

And here’s more of the results. Most used transparencies but there is one that I used budding twigs, actual pieces of bark and one that Paula used two felt birds and some lace. Then we decided we wanted to try to take a photo, change it to black and white and see how that would work.


We found a poppy photo, erased the background and turned it to black and white in Photoshop. We printed it on a transparency and this is the result. It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? I love how the softer edges disappear into the background.

I’m not sure what I am going to do with my 6 pieces of fabric but I will come up with something! You can get the chemicals to make your own blueprint fabrics but you have to be able to do the process without much light as you don’t want to expose the fabric in advance. I think buying the pieces all ready to go is definitely a more simple process.



22 thoughts on “Blueprints on Fabric – A Quick How To

  1. That’s really cool! It reminds me of doing Photograms with photography equipment and paper, but less chemicals 🙂

    1. Thanks Zed – it was cool and worked great. You can do your own chemicals but this was so easy I’m not sure why you would unless you were trying to save money when doing large yardage.

  2. Wonderful results Ruth! I have a sun printing kit for paper but haven’t tried it yet. Now that we have a little sun I’ll have to give it a try.

    1. What I have is just paper probably like the blueprint paper. I’ve never heard of sun printing with paint.

    2. If you have a fabric paint, Dye-na-Flow works, you just paint the fabric, lay your flat stuff or transparency on top and put it in the sun. There are other fabric paints that are specifically made for sun printing. Ours was all blueprint fabric, I haven’t tried the paper. I will be interested to see your results.

    3. Thanks Ruth. I do have some unopened Dyna Flow paints. I will give it a try. I really liked all the pretty patterns you got. Any idea of what you’ll use the fabric for?

  3. Fascinating stuff! Won’t even pretend that I understand the whole process, but the results are terrific!

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