Monday, June 29, 2015

Eco Printing - Day 1

Last week, myself and 2 girlfriends headed off to Folly Beach to have several days of playing with Eco printing. Mary had sent us many articles and blogs to read in order to get a handle on this process but all had such different information. I had done a lot of natural dyeing years ago and had a little awareness about mordants etc., but this was a whole new world.
The first thing to do was soak our fabric in a mordant - some suggestions were soy milk and alum. We had several buckets going..
and filled them with all sorts of natural fiber fabrics.
We knew we needed some foliage for printing so while our fabric was soaking, we went on a hunt for plants and flowers. Pine needles were suggested and we found a tree with branches fairly easy to reach standing on a golf cart and using a rake which our youngest and most fearless pal Kate did with gusto!
All our treasures were placed in a community wheelbarrow.
As soon as our fabrics were dry which was very quickly in 90+ degree weather..
we laid them down flat and began placing greens and flowers on top.
I had brought lots of silks including China, noil. shantung, crepe du Chine, broadcloth and organza.
Mary brought some light green noil which ultimately turned out to be one of the most successful pieces.
This is flowers and some small palms.
A lot of greens didn't print, but these little ferns did very well.
We rolled our fabric very tightly onto dowels and secured them in place with string or rubber bands. We found using 2 sets of hands really helped make tight bundles, allowing a good contact between plant and fabric.
It was suggested we steam or boil in water for several hours. We found the steamer not as effective as the boiling water. In went our wrapped fabric - our excitement was mounting.
We could hardly wait to open our beautiful fabric and see all the wonderful prints...well gulp...that beautiful orange is all we got and that was a petal that hadn't been brushed off yet.
A little disappointed for the moment but we also had a good laugh and vowed to figure it out the next day. So not to keep you in suspense, we all wound up doing happy dances at the end of Day 2 and will report on our results tomorrow.
Til then...

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