When printing with cyanotype the default choice is to use solid colored fabrics, but patterned fabrics work too and are a great way to add multiple colors and complexity to a simple design. Here’s one of my cyanotype designs printed on a green and white patterned fabric, resulting in a very interesting effect.
The blue of the cyanotype dyes over the green of the original print, but the white dots have been screenprinted in a plastic-like ink that resists the cyanotype blue. Since the white dots aren’t dyed blue by the cyanotype they appear to be floating on top. And since they are semi-transparent, the dark blue can be seen underneath making the dots look light blue in places.
The result is a lovely, complex pattern that is surprisingly easy to achieve!
To create this kind of effect yourself, look for patterned fabric that has part of the design printed in a plastic-like ink. This type of ink sits on top of the fabric and feels different than the rest. You’ll recognize it when you see it.