From Drawing to Fabric

| Techniques, Tutorial

My son is a little artist.  He loves to draw and paint and build sculpture out of everyday objects.  I like to try to incorporate some of his work with things that I do and make.  I picked up this fun kit from Dharma Trading Co. a couple of months back and I finally got a chance to use it.  I wanted to take one of my son’s drawings and put in on some fabric in a fun – different way.  This looked like the perfect way.

drawing to fabric

OK, the next part is a bit nerdy, but I couldn’t help it.  I’m a chemist.

The kit comes with 20 pieces of fabric (roughly 8.5″ by 8.5″ in size) pre-treated with potassium ferricyanide (K3[Fe(CN)6]) and an iron (also referred to as ferric) salt, ferric (III) ammonium citrate.  When exposed to ultraviolet (or UV) light (like sunlight), the iron [Fe(III)] reduces (gains an electron) to Fe(II).  The Fe(II) then reacts with the ferricyanide to form ferric ferrocyanide which is a blue dye known as Prussian blue.

So if you put something between the fabric and light source (a leaf, a puzzle piece, whatever) the portion of the fabric that is covered does not react so you’re left with a white image on a dark blue piece of fabric.

OK, are you still reading?? 

Having never used something like this before, I did a few tests with stuff from the yard and from the kids toys.  (I got a little carried away – it was so much fun.)

drawing to fabric
A fern.
drawing to fabric
Pussy Willows.
drawing to fabric
Rubber frogs.
drawing to fabric
Puzzle pieces.

So now onto the artwork.

drawing to fabric

I took my son’s original drawing and made a photocopy of it to shrink it since the original was larger than the fabric size.  Using a transparency and a dark, permanent marker I copied the image to the transparency.  (You can also put your image directly onto the transparency using a copier or printer.) Sorry the image in the photos isn’t consistent.

drawing to fabric

Then you place a piece of cardboard down, with the fabric on top.  Next place the transparency and finally a piece of non-UV filtering glass.  (Do this inside – out of direct light, then take it outside.)  Leave it outside for 10 minutes in the sun.  And this is what it will look like.

drawing to fabric

Take it back inside and rinse it with water until the water runs clear.

drawing to fabric

Lay it flat to dry.

drawing to fabric

Now, what to do with the fabric?????

drawing to fabric



4 Comments on From Drawing to Fabric

  1. MessyMissy
    July 29, 2010 at 12:03 AM (7 years ago)

    Whoa, what a COOL idea. What to do with those pieces…..hmmm, there are so many possibilities!!!! You’ve totally inspired me. I’ve never seen anything like that.

  2. Vicki W
    July 29, 2010 at 8:47 AM (7 years ago)

    That’s very cool! Maybe you can make him a pillow for his room with his art as the center panel.

  3. Ashley
    August 11, 2010 at 6:27 PM (7 years ago)

    So cute! I love the drawing idea!

  4. Anonymous
    February 21, 2012 at 4:54 AM (6 years ago)

    so cool!
    maybe you could show us how to do it without the kit! get your chemist juices flowing… : )
    cheers, Mariana


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