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Eco Printing

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Quick and basic Eco Printing in preparation for our Fab Friday class tomorrow!

We gathered a selection of leaves and berries. (Dyes from leaves will usually be more permanent than dyes from berries. It is such a shame you can get some lovely colours from berries but often they will wash completely out of fabric - unless you want them to of course!).

We pre-soaked our fabric - Ponge Silk and Prima Cotton in Soy Milk for a few minutes. The longer you can pre-soak the better the dyes will take.

We also tried pre-soaking with other solutions

  • White Vinegar (1/3 vinegar 2/3 water), 
  • Just Water
  • Alum solution (1/4 Alum diluted in 3/4 warm water)

The results were varied but the Soy Milk created much stronger colours working on both the cotton (cellulose) and silk (protein) fibres. The vinegar was also good, the alum so-so and the water on its own very pale.

Wring out the fabric a little and lay out flat. Arrange your leaves on top of one half of the fabric - we also tried some pennies and some wire wool - the wire wool works really well.

 

Fold over the fabric to encase the leaves

 

 

Roll tightly around a short length of pipe. We used copper pipe as this will help the colour. You can also use a short branch - some wood will affect the colour especially if they still have their bark. You can use anything that will withstand hot temperatures and will fit in your pan.

 

Tie up tightly with string. You need to steam the wraps for at least 2 hours. The pan you choose must not be used for cooking afterwards. We put a couple of inches of water in the bottom of the pan and bent some chicken wire to stop the wraps from reaching the water. You will need to keep a close eye on the pan that it doesn't boil dry and top up as required.

 

After a while you will see the colour appearing through the fabric.

 

After a couple of hours remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool. When the wraps are cool unwrap and leave for a couple of days, you can then wash with a gentle wash such as Metapex - the colour may alter a little at this stage.  

 

If you like to know more about our Fab Fridays or any of our other classes please click here

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