Eco Prints Late September 2011

LichGerRosSsk_ecoprint6LichGerRosSsk_ecoprint5Euc.ecoprint1Euc_BSoda_ecoprint2Eucalyptus, purple basil and marigold, alum mordant. Sumac leaves and berries with ammonia modifier, alum mordant.
Golden Rod, whole plant, alum mordant

Eco Prints Late September 2011, a set on Flickr – member of the Botanical Alchemy Group

The first two pics show my latest eco prints on lichen dyed silk, followed by  some faves of the summer.

The lichen (forest floor refuse) is probably lobaria pulmonaria and gave a bronze colour after immersion dyeing a silk panel. Layers of other steamed eco prints followed: perennial geranium leaf, rose leaf, purple sandcherry leaf and Saskatoon berry leaf (a relative of the Serviceberry, amelanchier family), I am intrigued by the various and dark greens that emerged, as if an iron modifier had been applied. Early in the season, say June or July, geranium, for example, gives bright yellow-green. There are pale turquoise leaf resist patterns as well as both light and dark prints of the Saskatoon berry leaf.

The three eco prints following show eucalyptus – from the florist, alas – printing yellow greens (with alum), dark browns, blue-blacks (with alum and iron) and pinks (with alum, sandcherry, purple basil and marigold) …then in the last two we have a vintage linen printed with sumac berries for dark reddish pinks, mordanted with alum and sumac leaves (giving an incidental greenish yellow) and modified to turquoise here and there with splashes of ammonia. Vinateg linen takes eco printing and dyeing well because of much laundering in its history, thus the fibres are well scoured and prepared to receive colours.

The last print shown comes from a whole plant of Golden Rod bundled in alum mordanted silk and steamed. I love the long pointy green leaf prints.

I am now a member of the Botanical Alchemy group on Flickr. Members there report on their eco dyeing and printing  first learned from India Flint (see side bar links), an Australian artist and writer.


September eco printing: marigolds, sumac, golden rod and associates

Detail pics of textiles eco dyed and printed this month and late last month. Dye stuffs from tagetes marigolds were plentiful so there are lots of yellows and oranges. Red cabbage, eucalyptus, red sumac berries, fresh bay leaves and golden rod offered interesting  variations to marigold colours. Note that eucalyptus gave a yellow overall (immersion) dye but pinks and reds as contact prints in an eco bundle. See Image # 4, below for the contact print.

1. Orange-yellows from marigold petals, greens from the marigold calix and violet from red cabbage.

2. Mixed yellow bloom eco prints  (anthemis, coreopsis, marigold)  modified with iron liquor (rusty nails in vinegar) by splashing areas. 

 3. Detail: Coreopsis verticillata, dried and fresh, bundled in alum-mordanted silk habotai (8 mm) and steamed for an hour.

4. Detail: Eco bundles with eucalyptus  (pinks), tagetes (oranges) , purple sandcherry (blues), purple basil (blues, purples) and fresh bay leaf eco print on silk.  The burned area? I cooked this bundle in the microwave but failed to wet the plants and the textile sufficiently…the bay leaves dried up fast (they are not very absorbant) and caught fire…NOT a recommended practice at 3 a.m. in the morning…But the series of burn marks all through the bundle looks great.

 5. Detail: Tagetes marigold (oranges ), eucalyptus (pinks) eco print on silk

6. Detail: Fig leaf (blue!) and mixed yellow blooms (coreopsis, anthemis, Black Eyed Susans) for yellow dyes on eco bundled vintage linen. Blue fig eco print? A nice surprise. I do not know the laundry history of this textile-and this is a principal allure of eco printing on vintage textiles

7. Detail: Golden Rod (whole plant) eco print on silk: greens from the leaves; yellows from the blooms.

8. Detail: Eco bundled tagetes marigold (orange from petals and green from calix) and coreopsis verticillata (red-orange) on silk .

 9. Detail: Silk, first dyed all over (immersion dye bath) with tagetes mari for a lighter yellow; then eco bundled and steamed with marigold blossoms to give darker orange areas. 

10. Detail: Eco bundled tagetes mari (deep orange) and purple sandcherry (blue) on vintage linen-cotton mix.

Notes: This vintage linen is well scoured and conditioned for dyeing by its history of much use!  I soaked it in alum and tannin (from sumac leaves) for good measure. Vintage linens take natural dyes better than newer linens because they are well scoured. Linen’s reputation for being hard to dye is perhaps more applicable to linens not previously laundered or prepared for dyeing. Vintage linens with a unknown laundry history will dye in unexpected ways: that is their allure! 

11. This (well scoured, new) silk noil panel was eco bundled with tagetes mari (orange) and purple basil (blue-violet). 

12. Detail: Tagetes mari (orange-yellow), dried rose petals (grey-brown mottling); rose leaf (green) eco bundled in vintage handwoven refectory linen (from a monastery).  The start of some handstitching – more of  that after the garden season is over in  Zone 4, Ottawa, Ontario!

13. Detail: Lost my notes on this textile!  But the greys are likely the result of an iron modifier on a yellow dye – from lichen, maybe,  or even from one of the fruit tree (prunus) barks I tried in the early summer. Sometimes I get too excited to and forget to write stuff down. A lovely print, I think, though.

14. Detail: Silk eco bundled with pear leaf (some leaves turned red early) , tagetes mari and purple sandcherry leaf: Brown-green, yellow-orange and blue-violet prints,  respectively. I like the dotty-mottles on the pear leaf contact print.

 15. Detail: Mixed eucalyptus leaves (from the florist – this is one plant I did not grow myself!) with tagetes marigold, giving shades of yellow then modified with iron to give shades of browns, greys and blue-greys . This is one of my favourites! Thank you, India Flint, for sharing your knowledge about eucalyptus dyes – and everything else. India’s work  (see link in my Blogroll at left) inspired my 2011 summer’s work.


16. Detail: An eye-popping combo from red sumac berries (pinks and reds) on BlackEyed Susan eco print and dye (greens),  in a lumpy eco bundle with silk habotai (8mm). The tiny red berries print little dots and circles and blobs.

More Eco Printing in September

More September eco printed and dyed textiles:

 Collection 1:

Starting at the top: 

1. Purple basil (blue), tagetes marigolds (yellows)  and Black Eyed Susans (greens); 2. Sumac berries (pinks) 3. Eucalyptus (pinks) , tagetes marigolds (yellows) and darker blues(purple sandcherry leaves). Burned,  by accident in the microwave at 3 a.m on a sleepless night. A serendipitous row of marks. 4. Red Cabbage (blue-violets) and marigold (oranges and greens) 5. Red cabbage (violet), purple sandcherry (blue) and light marigold yellow.6. Marigold, dyed,then ecoprinted for varied yellows/oranges.  7. Red Cabbage (violets – and check that fuschia!)   8. Golden Rod (yellows; greens from the eco printed leaf)  9. Pear leaf (greenish-khaki brown) and bay leaf (I have a small bay tree in the kitchen – light green) eco print.  

Collection 2:From the top: First is silk noil, ecoprinted with purple sandcherry and geranium leaves, modified with iron to give greys, browns, etc. Second textile is from the same  large panel of  silk noil ecoprinted as above without the iron modifier. Third is  wonderful dark olive-green -grey on silk habotai (8mm); chartreuse green from carrot tops modified with iron. Fourth is tan-brown  silk obtained from all-over-dyeing with lichen to give rich dark yellow, then modified with iron and baking soda to give tan; then eco bundled with dried safflower petals which I hope would dye red. The safflower petals had a curious effect: they did not give red (or even yellow). Instead they bleached out the tan-brown dye and left hundreds of tiny peach-yellow-pink-green mottled marks like rice scattered all over the tan silk.  (Detail shot later.) Fifth are silk scraps dyed red with deadheaded coreopsis verticillata blossoms. The last silk panel was dyed overall first with lichen (nameless, sorry – I cannot identify it) to give yellow, then eco bundled with eucalyptus leaves for a leaf print (brownish-yellow) ; then modified with iron and baking soda to produce an enticing range of browns and greys.  


Eco printing in September

So many richly coloured dye plants at the end of August and start of September! These few weeks, I have eco-printedsilk with some familiar dyes  like purple sandcherry, purple basil, tagetes and coreopsis. These I combined  with seasonal dye plants new to me : carrot tops ;  red sumac berries;  Canada golden rod blossoms and leaves; Korean pear leaves (now turning fall red); plus a few plants obtained locally but not grown in my garden: purple cabbage for blues and purples; and eucalyptus for reds and pinks. A final dye experiment was with lichen collected from a fallen log.

Some images:

1. Coreopsis verticillata (red-orange) with tagetes (orange and green):

2. Red Amaranth in an eco bundle.

In the dye pot at 180 degrees, the purple dye makes the fibres yellow-green not purple, but in the steamed eco-bundle, the pink-purple colour is retained. It starts to stain the fibres as soon as the steam begins to penetrate the bundle.

3. The whole plant, Red Amaranth :

4.  Purple sandcherry makes a lovely blue purple eco print. With iron liquor( 50-50, white vinegar 5% acid and water plus some rusty nails) the blues turn to lovely greys and browns:

5. Blue-green lichen simmered at 180 gave this tan colour. (I do not know the lichen name, though: see image below. )

6. Lichen

 7. Purple cabbage is a revelation in an eco bundle! Though it smells no where near as lovely as the other plants while simmering, the range of blues and lavenders and purples that is releases is amazing. Plus the shape of the cabbage slice prints in interesting ways and with splashes of fuschia. Wow!  Purple cabbage print:

8. Purple cabbage with tagetes (green and orange):

 9. Eucalyptus and tagetes: the pinks and reds are eucalyptus.

I got the eucalyptus from my local florist. That plants and the cabbage are the only dye plants I have not grown myself for these experiments

(image coming)

10. The red candles on the sumac are very plentiful now- enough for my dye pot and for the birds’ winter food.

I bundled the sumac berries into a silk panel that I had previously dyed yellow with coreopsis:

11. And a whole collection of dyed silk panels came out of this batch -next post!