What is Eco-printing?
Eco-printing is a technique where plants, leaves and flowers leave their shapes, color, and marks on fabric. Plant material bundled inside of cloth is steamed or boiled to release the dye found naturally inside the plant, creating a contact print in the shape of the leaf or flower used. These contact prints are referred to as “eco-prints.”
Each piece is unique and one-of-a-kind. I place every leaf by hand (or, sometimes, tweezer), creating a pleasing pattern and color palette. Then, the fabric, with the plant material inside, is tightly rolled around a pipe or stick. The 'bundles' are tossed into a steamer or a pot of water. Heat releases the dye out of the plant, coloring the fabric next to the leaf. The colors are revealed as the plant material is lifted off the unwrapped fabric.
I like to combine eco-printing with traditional natural dye methods, which I employ to dye the background. Sometimes I print the leaves first and then dye the background. Other times, I dye the background and then print the leaves. I like to create variations in color by changing water source, adjusting pH, or switching the kind of pipe I use.
Colors change as seasons change. If you see a color palette you like, it's best to purchase it right away, as I work in small batches and a certain color combination may not become available again until the next growing season.
My wearable art is color and light fast and able to be laundered. With plant dye, it's important to use a pH neutral soap, otherwise colors might change. A simple internet search will tell you which soap brands are pH neutral.
One of my favorite things to design are pieces to hang on the wall. I layer fabric and color, attaching elements by hand to create a finished design. Attention is paid to detail and everything is naturally dyed. Down to the silk and wool thread. Each piece is wrapped around a wooden frame and ready to hang.
Thank you so much for your support and interest! If you are interested in learning how to do this yourself, I offer workshops out of my home studio as well.