Eco Prints on Silk-Wool Panels: Dyeing from the Stash

Once having printed successfully on paper with frozen plant material, I tried  it on textiles, a set of six silk-wool panels.

Panel 1: Forest Floor

Immersion dyed first in Red Cabbage (lavender-grey; fresh);  then eco printed with Blackberry leaves (dry), Rose leaves and Rose hips (from the garden, still fresh (three bundlings); iron dip for greys and greens; ammonia dip for greens. On the dark side, with not much variety in the range of colour values: so a fine candidate for “Jane-ing It Up”, as in Jane Dunnewold’s signature Art Cloth. BTW, a lot of shrinkage in the length and width with all those steamings – but not much felting, just a bit of rather nice “crepeing”.  A detail pic:

Panel 2: “November Eucalyptus”

Seeded Eucalyptus (previously used for another print, then soaked again) This gave the “seedy” orange dot-look; Cotinus Coggygria (frozen); bundled over cherrywood with bark attached. The blue is really quite greyish from  the  bundling stick. (Does it look like pepperoni pizza?…) Detail:

Panel 3: November Smokebush

Eco printed first with Japanese Maple; “Baby Blue” eucalyptus; steamed over Red Cabbage dye leftovers; then eco printed again with Cotinus for strong design elements; over iron rebar, for the lavender-greys and stripes.  Details:

Panel 4: Tiger Pink

“Baby Blue” Eucalyptus (dried) bundled over catalpa pods (dried) and copper pipe; long pre-soak for the eucalytus (four weeks in a sealed jar); long steaming (four hours) gave coral oranges as compared to the previous yellows from a two or three hour steam-bath. Another view of “Tiger Pink”:

And a detail:

Panel 5: November Rose 1

Like Panel 1 “Forest Floor”, this panel was pre-dyed in Red Cabbage, but the first bath so the colour was  deeper, pinkish as compared to blues (acid – alkali things going on…) A gentle background colour to receive the last of the green rose leaf prints. Standing in worthily for rose blossoms are red onion skins, and for floating  petals, teas: black tea and nettle tea (no greens though). An ammonia dip to call out the greens and three bundlings to build up the layers of colour. Goodbye, Rose. See you in June. Detail:

Panel 6: November Rose 2

Blackberry leaf and Rosa Canina (Dog Rose)

R. Canina was rootstock to another rose that died – and now she is all over the garden, with her apple scented leaves and sweet, flat, fragrant single whorl of pale pink petals and thick golden stamens. I cut the last of her leaves for “November Rose”. Bundled over copper and steamed an hour or so.

Of course, I do not know if the next time I pull plants out of the freezer that they will print nicely, but at least I have a stash to try during the long Ottawa winter; some dried and some fresh (from the florist or even under the snow) will find their way into the work, too.

Next post:  Kinder Chemistry with Red Cabbage. I have not seen the inside of a chem lab since O Levels…Not promising much, alors. Just a little magic with vinegar,  ammonia, Red Cabbage and some skeins of cotton embroidery thread.

Last pics of the collection:

..and again:



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
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6 Responses to Eco Prints on Silk-Wool Panels: Dyeing from the Stash

  1. Jennifer says:

    You’re a wizard with the eco bundles. Superb results … maybe I’ll put a few bags of leaves in the freezer, too.


  2. wendyfe says:

    Thanks Deanna,

    Nature is magnificent in what it can reveal by means of some simple processes that open us up to the invisible…which is what art does, no?


  3. much to look at and to take in..will take me a while. beautiful results and thanks for sharing.x

  4. Gwen Martinuk says:

    It all makes me want to cry with happiness it is so beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing.

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