2nd Eco print workshop

Just a few pictures from the second workshop I ran on eco printing. I know at least two participants have gone on to do more at home which is so satisfying for me, to inspire people to make and experiment is what it’s all about.



There are far fewer photos this time because all I had with me was my phone, you think I’d have learnt by now! Not only that but I seemed to take a few out of focus and some with my finger in the way. Obviously a bad photo day!



Still, they looked stunning didn’t they?

Eco printing workshop

I ran this workshop yesterday and spent some time preparing for this last week. Imagine my horror when I learnt that I had no idea what had happened to the samples I made last year!  I’ve had a busy few days making samples, mordanting cloth and generally preparing. One of the biggest headaches of course was that I had only one steamer and there’s no way that would have taken 8 bundles. Fortunately Hubby is very understanding and spent some time constructing a steamer platform for inside my old jam pan – problem solved.

People brought leaves ready pressed and we set to laying the plant material out between a layer of cotton muslin and one of silk gauze.




They look like very beautiful works of art. We tried to use as wide a range of leaves as possible to give a greater variety in the finished printing. Whilst we were waiting for the bundles to steam we made flowers.


As you can see, I restricted the number of wool colours we had to work with to just black, white, olive green and old gold, all chosen to enhance the finished printing. You can not believe how exciting it is when the bundles are opened.





Once people had chance to look at the results it was time to decide whether or not to apply ferrous sulphate to the print. This will darken the print and in some cases bring out areas which look blank and can be done by spraying or painting on the solution.


I’d made up two solution; one weak, one strong. Most people started with the weak solution but in the interests of experimentation, couldn’t help themselves and ended up trying both.


It’s amazing how much of the detail is retained in the plant print and sometimes, unexpected bonuses like outlines.






After much oohing and aahing we started the business of nuno felting. Most felted the silk but a couple of people chose to use the cotton muslin. From left to right: muslin on a white wool base, silk bordered, silk on a white wool base.


The next three are all on silk, the first two on white wool bases and the far right on a green wool base.



A dramatic border on the next, framing the print beautifully.


A white ruffled border. Although I like the white I’m not sure if the ruffling doesn’t detract from the printing a little but it is very pretty.



We didn’t know exactly what plant prints and shades of dye we would achieve but you can see now, why I restricted the Merino colour choices. Don’t the brooches look well with the finished scarves?


If I can fit another workshop in in the next couple of months I will but it’ll be a mid week workshop. Anyone interested?


Eco Printing – Part two

After the initial experiments on paper we moved onto cotton and silk chiffon. We laid out lining paper then the damp mordanted cotton, followed by the vegetation.


As you can see, I went for more is more on the basis that I’d cram as many leaves as possible on to gauge how well they worked. On top of the leaves we put the damp silk chiffon and on top of that, simple copier paper.

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Above is the copier paper after steaming, you can see I got a lovely print from it. Below is the print onto cotton, came out well didn’t it?


The section below shows prints from 3 different types of roses.


Geranium leaves worked well and if you’re wondering what the darker spots are, that’s onion skins.


Silk chiffon is a more open weave fabric so it’s harder to see the design but it’s definitely there.


Close up from the silk chiffon.


The remainder of the photos are of other people’s work but there are some great prints so I really wanted to show them.


Blackberry leaves worked well in the one above.





The pink comes from pieces of beetroot – we all know how difficult that is to remove when spilled on clothes! Once I’ve felted up the silk chiffon I’ll show you what it looks like.

Eco printing – part one

I attended a workshop on Saturday run by Sheila Smith for the regional members of IFA. We were asked to press a small amount of plant material the night before and come armed with paper and cardboard cut to the correct size for the steamers.

After soaking the papers we laid out our plant material in paper sandwiches.


Put it between the cardboard and trussed it up ready for steaming.


Obviously the best bit is cutting it open to see what’s been achieved. The wild poppy leaf (top right) didn’t give such a strong print but the others worked well.



Bottom left is from a geranium and bottom right is from beech leaves. I have both the green and copper beech trees and you can see I got different colours from each leaf. I’ll definitely use both of these again. The following papers are from the other workshop participants.








Aren’t they all wonderful. This could be the end of the process or you could go on to do more with the papers, I already have an idea for mine so perhaps you’ll see that in another post.