Eco prints with Fall leaves on dupioni silk

Fall leaves, starting with alder at 12 o’clock: Alder, Blackberry, Chokecherry, Cotinus Coggygria, Ginkgo, Japanese Maple, Sweet Gum. This is my principal print material this month.

Cotinus coggyria, Japanese maple, Sweet Gum, blackberry, green carrot tops on silk dupioni, mordanted with alum and modified with iron liquor (rusty nails in vinegar). Lovely broken colour purple-brown from the Smokebush (cotinus c.) and sage greens from iron-modified carrot tops.

Detail of the panel:

Red cabbage as a background blue-violet dye colour to mix with the yellows from the blackberry leaves for greens. The panel evokes a blue sky with white clouds and fall leaves swirling by. A close-up:

The layered colours and forms are reminiscent of a windy, cool  fall day. I love the near-transparent colours and shapes of the blackberry leaves against the “sky”.

The back of  Sweet Gum leaf

And preparing for the next batch of eucalyptus prints: Silver Dollar (E. Cinerea) is soaking in a Moshe’s Kosher Pickle jar:

Now waiting for my shipment of silk and wool panels to arrive!



Published by


I am an artist working in mixed media textiles and Artists' Books with a focus on vintage cloth reworked with stitching, natural dyeing, eco printing and rust printing . My work can be seen at

7 thoughts on “Eco prints with Fall leaves on dupioni silk”

  1. Very impressed with your wonderful success with eco printing / dyeing. I have done some experimenting with my own west coast garden … I’m going to definitely try out your red cabbage idea, beautiful.

    I tend to just add a couple of tsp of alum to the simmering bundle’s bathwater … have you found it more successful to premordant the cloth, then simmer?


    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement, Jennifer! The red cabbage idea came from Sasha Duerr, google her, great book; must add that to my list of refs. Keep me updated on your experiments – I will check your blog for sure.


  2. I realize I have not responded to your q’s about alum and simmering. I am following the advice of Jenny Dean and Karen Leigh Casselman, in duo and separately, on the use of alum – ie, to premordant with alum for best results, 25% of the fibres’ weight. This is Best Practice, as far as I can tell at the moment…but Best Practice always depends on your goals…. So for now, I stick to the Dye Godess rules, time later to ignore the manual. I am a newbie at this eco dyeing so I want to go through one complete seasonal cycle of growing seasons before I vary the basic “best practice”. Godesses Dean and Casselman do use a Quick method in which alum is put in with the dye stuff but I have yet to try that. Re simmering: so far I have steamed (with water only) all but one of my eco print bundles. When next I simmer the bundles, I will use a dye as the liquid, not plain water. In my posts about dyeing with walnuts, I tell how I used both methods on the same wool bundle to obtain different results with each process.

  3. Excellent results! I have trouble with this, being most impatient. MIne tend to look stained rather than mark made. Will try again when NH winter is over.
    May I ask where you obtain your silk and wool panels?

    1. May I say your own results are pretty darn excellent, Wen.
      Re silk and wool panels: I have ordered them from Dharma Trading – yet to arrive – they said U.S. Thanksgiving would slow deliveries down…I ordered the (finished) largest size which I am planning to cut in half thus leaving only one side to hem…36 by 90 I think….The silk and wool used for the panels in my blog posts I got in Toronto at G&S Dyes but as yardage, so the hemming is yet to be done, it being a pain. BTW Dharma says that goods with hand rolled hems are getting harder to source…In fact I have been “hemming” some of them “rough” – will post a pic of the finished textures.
      Finally , re patience: I have none, must confess I cannot wait even until the hot steamed bundle cools before I practically rip it open…so think of the process like baking a cake you intend to devour the minute it gets out of the oven…but one of these experiments, I shall leave the bundle for a while in the pot and see if it makes a difference I can appreciate – will do two the same, but take one out quick.
      Thanks for your interest!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.