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In preparation for my workshop at The New England School Of Photography, I’ve been writing and reading about the cyanotype process. While using Jill Enfield’s book as my primary reference, I decided to goof off a little while making an old shirt into a sassy and modern work of wearable art.

Enter the Brooks Brothers White Oxford cloth polo shirt. This style shirt has been gracing country clubs and prep schools since time immemorial and it was time to use it to answer the age old question “What happens when you put cyanotype on clothing?

Here are the steps I took.

Take one shirt.

Take one white Oxford cloth polo shirt

Take one white Oxford cloth polo shirt

Boil it in water to remove all the detergent and other stuff

Boil it to remove all sizing and whatnot from normal cleaning.

Boil it to remove all sizing and whatnot from normal cleaning.

Let it dry a little bit then place it in a dish.

Shirt Casserole never looked so good

Shirt Casserole never looked so good

Pour in equal amounts of Part’s A and B of the cyanotype mix


Equal parts (500ml each) of the cyanotype solution

Soak the shirt to make sure every part is covered in the solution. Do this in a well ventilated room.



Let it dry. Be sure to put some paper underneath the shirt to catch drips.



Expose the shirt when it is dry to your favorite light source (I choose sunlight)


Move the sort around to get even exposure




Move it around.

After a while, you will see it start to change

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Develop or clear the shirt in a mixture of water and vinegar


Vinegar and water

After a good rinse, put it in a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide. This intensifies the blues.


The blue on the inside is different than the outside.


And that is all she wrote.

Hang it up to dry. You can reapply a sensitizer if you want to add another layer of color. In any case, it isn’t that tough. I would hand wash this since any laundry detergent is going to bleach the shirt.