Eco Printing with Lichen, Perennial Geranium, Purple Sandcherry and Saskatoon Berry

My first eco printed Art Cloth, a completed silk panel,  ready to hang, is “Forest Floor 1”.

  This panel was ec0 printed several times: first dyed bronze with lichen (forest floor refuse, lobaria pulmonaria most likely; photo below), then over printed with dried safflower petals (carthamus tinctorius, sold cheaply at mid East groceries as a saffron substitute). Most curiously , the safflower bleached out the bronze lichen dye to give pinkish-gold speckles wherever the dried safflower petals were in good, close contact with the textile. Following those two layers of colour and print were  Perennial Geranium (G. sanguineum) leaves,  Purple Sandscherry (Prunus Cistena) leaves and Saskatoon Berry (Amelanchier Alnifolia) leaves,  applied in succession to give a range of greens and even turquoises.  Detail 1:

and another detail shot of “Forest Floor”:

The colours of the leaves (above) applied in late summer/early fall and on top of lichen and safflower were quite different from colours printed by the same plants earlier in the summer and on cotton and linen: see images below.

Geranium in June on linen:

Purple Sandcherry (prunus cistena) in July on silk:

..and below: the Saskatoon Berry bush (amelanchier alnifolia) in July. The berries are in my freezer for dyeing or maybe jam and the leaves are turning flame-red-orange now that it’s October.

 The Saskatoon Berry bush in fall, sans berries. A green oval leaf shape is clearly printed on the Forest Floor panel. Wonder what colour the fall leaves will give?

 And here is perennial geranium on crochet-lace-trimmed cotton that was tannin dyed-mordanted and twice mordanted with alum. The lighter yellow-green comes from sumac leaves, my source of tannin in the alum-tannin-alum mordanting sequence required  pre-dye-bath for cottons and linens. The darker yellow print is the geranium leaf. 

 Finally, the lichen that started it all in this silk Art Cloth panel:  I am not sure of the name so am guessing lobaria pulmonaria.

…and the safflower petals that removed the bronze lichen dye to create little pink-yellow spots:

In the Mid East grocery where I buy the dried safflower petals, the label reads “American Saffron”. Jenny Dean’s book “Wild Colour” describes interesting dyes that come from safflower – both yellow and red-pink. http://www.jennydean.co.uk/wordpress/ Jenny’s description there partly  explains the pink and yellow dots that arrived on the bronze lichen silk but not why the lichen was bleached out by the safflower. That kind of dye chemistry that is beyond me.

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About wendyfe

I am a fibre artist working in mixed media textiles with a focus on vintage cloth reworked with stitching, natural dyeing, eco printing and rust printing . My work can be seen at www.wendyfeldberg.ca.
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One Response to Eco Printing with Lichen, Perennial Geranium, Purple Sandcherry and Saskatoon Berry

  1. Pingback: Bush Exams Blog

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