Eco printing is one of the natural dyeing techniques that I quite enjoy. You never quite know what the outcome will be, it is beyond unpredictable, and that is what makes it so fun.
I usually eco print on silk or cotton, creating scarves or stitched pieces. Generally it is a summer activity as I prefer to work with leaves and flowers gathered in my garden.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that eco printing also worked on eggs. As I had to boil eggs for a school project anyways (and I have a HUGE stash of onion skins saved), so I thought it would be fun to try.
We started with a plain old, white, uncooked egg. Wrapped it in onion skins. Secured it with elastic bands. Then hard boiled the egg just as normal.
Once the egg was cooled we carefully unwrapped the egg and ended up with a beautiful surprise.
Quite a beautiful and safe way to dye an Easter egg.
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I expect the occasional reader is going to look at this post and say “Huh?”, shake their head, and move on, but I am pretty excited about the outcome of this latest eco print.
I have been toying with mixing naturally dyed cloth with eco-printing. There have been some disasters and disappointments along the way. Sometimes an idea on paper doesn’t exactly work in the dye pot. This time I finally achieved a useable result. The fabric is dyed with marigold grown in my garden and madder, plus eco-printed with rose leaves from my front garden. The fabric is 100% cotton and measures 22 inches by 45 inches, so a decent sized piece of fabric to work with.
Interestingly, when I unbundled the piece there were tons of little spots that seemed to resist the dyeing and eco-printing in the very centre of the dots. I have no idea what created the dots, but I guess that is the joy of eco-printing, never knowing exactly what the final result will be.
This should be an interesting piece to turn into “something” in the coming winter months.
I have been thinking about eco-printing a shirt for some time. I like the concept of wearing naturally dyed clothing and I love the earthy look and colors. The one thing that was holding me back was how to deal with eco-printing the two sides of pre-made clothing at the same time and still create a visually pleasing item. In the end I decided to stop thinking about it and just try it, after all how hard can it be?
I laid out the shirt, wet it down, and sprinkled on the leaves. then it was time for bundling and steaming.
This shirt sat bundled for longer than I usually do as life just simply got busy. I am pretty happy with the end results.
Okay, to be honest I am very happy with the results and for that reason I am keeping the shirt for myself. Olive green is one of my favorite colors and the shirt is so earthy that I just must keep it.
I think the leaf placement worked, and I like how the bundle marks ended up on the back.
The details printed beautifully, possibly because the item stayed bundled for so long.
I am still amazed at how well rose leaves print.
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The race is on. The last days of summer are coming to an end and I am busy eco printing and bundling fabrics to be used through the winter months. One hard frost and all the eco printing plants in my front garden will be done, what a sad thought.
I have been super happy with my rose leaf eco prints recently. Not only am I achieving some lovely fabrics, but I am also slowly pruning a very large rose bush.
I start by laying out the prepped fabric and laying out the leaves.
Then I bundle up the fabric, add some heat, add some time, and a dip.
Isn’t it lovely!?
And all printed from nature.
Now to plot what I will create from the piece. A pillow, a table runner, an art piece….we will have to see!
Finished pieces can be seen at www.debrahunter.wordpress.com and at www.thehuntergroup.ca .
This time of year the garden is growing. It is lovely to have the flowers and leaves to look at, but it is also great to have dyeing material almost literally on your doorstep. Rose leaves are great for eco-printing which is also called contact printing (and I am sure there are many other terms as well).
The leaves I chose to work with come from my rose bush that grows in our front garden. It is a huge rose bush that easily grows over 6 feet high if I don’t keep up on my pruning. In June and July we are treated to lovely pink flowers with a wonderful smell, and in the fall we have huge rosehips dotting the bush.
I collected a handful of leaves from the rosebush and assembled the other items I needed: silk scarf, stick, leaves, and elastic bands.
I laid the scarf out, dotted it with leaves, folded, rolled, and wrapped the bundle tight.
Then it was time for a little bit of steam, a little bit of time and a post mordant dip.
A wash, a dry, an iron, and the scarf was complete.To view another scarf using this same technique please visit www.debrahunter.wordpress.com and view the post “Rose Leaf Eco-print Scarf – #2”.