New Eco Dyeing Experiment

I couldn't resist some of the Japanese Maple Leaves on the lawn last week. I felt like I wanted to gather them all up and save them for the winter. An unpractical idea of course! I wanted some prints that actually showed the images of the leaves. I used some silk charmeuse for the bottom layer and then placed the leaves down and topped it with a layer of bleached harem cloth - something that I was pretty sure wouldn't take the leaves dye. I used hot processing/ hot immersion technique and was tickled with the results!

The big surprise was the fabulous leaf prints that showed up on the harem cloth. I had used some alum on it and was quite certain that it would not act like the more normal soda that one would normally use for cottons.
The silk charmeuse came out rather lovely although I did make a mistake and printed on the wrong side of the charmeuse. The right side is pretty but the leaves are not as distinct.

Another surprise was the lovely silk chiffon below. I had wanted some small sized leaf prints for a project and figured that, since I had had some nice results with the two swatches above, that I could so the same process. I places leaves on the chiffon and layered it with cheesecloth, bundled and wrapped it carefully and then hot processed/hot immersion-ed it. Surprise !! I got NO leaf prints but a lovely solid, vibrant yellow green. I think I had not soaked the chiffon in the mordant (alum) long enough. At least that's my best guess. I didn't get the leaf prints I had wanted but I did get a lovely piece of fabric that I know I will use for something nice!

I have to admit to finding the endless magic of the process to be invigorating, mysterious and utterly addictive!


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