Eco prints with Black Walnuts on linen

A bucketful of green Black Walnuts was left soaking in water to cover …but the squirrels got the top off the bucket and generously shared half the walnuts all around the neighbourhood…After that, I got smart and weighed the bucket lid down with a heavy bucket of Golden Rod dye. Into the pail of walnuts in water I dropped a tie-dye linen bundle: another length of that vintage damask tablecloth I have been using this month for maple leaf eco prints. I tied the walnuts into the linen with elastic bands and left them for five days. This is what they looked like after that long, cook soak in clear water:

2. ..Then I took off the elastic bands from each bundled walnut…

3. …to reveal the walnut starbursts:

4. …rinsed off the excess dye in cool water (the darkest areas came from walnuts that had started to decompose)…

5. ..washed the linen with a squirt of Ivory Liquid dish soap, then rinsed and ironed it:

 The damask linen had been pre-mordanted with alum though I understand walnuts need no mordant. The colours range through sand, beige, grey, tan and yellow and the marks are beautifully layered. All that from a long cool soak in the pail of water and walnut under the October trees:

Next eco dye session, I will try out my “new”  pot – a vintage aluminum steamer I found in the sallyann:

The flat steam tray will allow me to lay bundles flat for steaming, and to stack papers as well as fabric for eco printing.

Until next time,


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
This entry was posted in dye plants, Eco Prints, Natural Dyeing, Vintage Textiles and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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