Monthly Archives: September 2015

You know I’ve been enamored with eco-prints for quite awhile now. In the summer of 2011, I gave it a first try and I was encouraged by the results but a long way off from what I wanted:   DSCN0336 DSCN0332

Last winter I tried a brief experiment that was encouraging.  I had discovered Elena  and her “optimization method” of contact printing and posted about it on the “And Then We Set It On Fire” blog last April.

So this year I made another attempt in  July and that was a dismal failure!  I won’t bother with the photos because there’s hardly anything to see.  So then, after I accomplished my goals around deconstructive screen printing, and other procion dye experiments, I set myself back to the what has turned out to be the most challenging task of the year!


This is where I started with some leaves I expected to print well and some I had no clue about.



All wrapped up around a birch log and tied tight. Boiled for about an hour and a half, maybe 2.


The result was this…great black print of only two of the leaves! Sheesh!








No matter how much I read I seemed to be going backwards.  I have India Flint’s Eco Dyeing and Jenny Dean’s The Craft Of Natural Dyeing.  They are packed with info but both of them are more focused on Dyeing than printing.  I need to get both of their newer books!  And now that I have a little more experience at this, I’m getting more out of India’s book now. Online, there’s a lot of contradictory information out there on the subject and quite a bit that’s outright wrong.  Yet some of these folks are getting fabulous prints while I’ve been underwhelmed with my results and it’s not from not trying!  I am a persistent beetch – out there every day this month!

And finally, I’m just beginning to make some progress.  Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how because I’ve been like a madwoman in a frenzy, completely unable to record and/or remember what I did in each case and because I can’t afford to keep buying and ruining fabric, I keep overdyeing while I learn!  Well, actually I kind of love some of it so it’s not really ruined but not really what I was after.  I will, however, find some perfect places to use them.


This is a piece of silk organza that has taken the color so nicely.


Finally, something I actually like.








However, I can tell you a couple of important things about this process. There are many , many factors that play at your results from your local water quality and environmental factors that affect the plants as well as the water to what equipment you use and what kind of fabric you’re printing on…whether it’s wet or dry, cotton, silk or wool and so on and on.  More on this subject in an upcoming post!

Linking up with Nina Marie’s Off The Wall Friday once again.

I pulled a new trick out of the box recently – a technique I would never have imagined myself – thanks to Maggi Birchenough on the And Then We Set It On Fire Blog.  You can find explicit directions over there.

Pellon, or in the UK, Vilene, Emulsion Screens actually begin with a soy wax resist on a piece of medium weight interfacing.  That gets painted over with a couple of coats of latex paint.  After that’s thoroughly dried you rub the soy wax out with your fingers under hot water.   Tape that to the back of a silk screen and you have yourself a positive, reusable screen. More endless possibilities!

Soy Wax Emulsion Screen

Soy Wax Emulsion Screen, this has 2 of them printed, one over another.

Soy Wax Emulsion Screen 2. I used this screen to overprint on a previously printed piece of fabric.

Although Maggi warns that you probably want to use this for fairly crisp images,  I thought I’d try out one screen that has a blurred line look and it turns out I like this for some applications. If I wanted a crisper print of the leafy image, I could go back in and paint out all but the leaf itself.

Pellon Screen

Soy wax emulsion screen 3

Linking up with Nina Marie!

This has been a week of shibori.  It takes a lot of time and patience  to do some of the more intricate techniques, but this pole wrapping is not as fussy as stitching or tying beans or beads for pattern making and the results are so satisfying!  This is a 5 inch piece of PVC pipe and these are some pics of 3 of the ones on this pole.  Water, water, everywhere! And they’ve already been cut into and are part of a WIP (work in progress), that you’ll eventually get to see.Shibori Wrapped on PVC pipe



DSCN2898 copy


DSCN2900 copy  DSCN2913 copy

Check out what’s going on today over at Nina Marie’s blog, Off The Wall Friday.