Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Flower Prints

I am playing around with Eco-Dying/Printmaking techniques this week! The watercolory prints above are actually from real flowers right out of the pots on my deck/porch! 
One of the techniques that India Flint describes in her book, Eco Colour-Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles, is one she has named, " Hapa-Zome" which is japanese for " leaf-dye ".

Simply, you choose some blooms and see what happens! 
I used 100% cotton muslin but this would work just as well on paper...
I grabbed a couple of test pieces of fabric, two ziploc bags, a small tack hammer and a handful of assorted flowers and leaves...

1. You put the larger ziploc or piece of plastic wrap under the fabric. ( this way the color stays in the fabric better, I used paper towel to start and a lot of color was being absorbed by the paper towel)

2. Place your piece of fabric/paper on top, laying it out flat. 
3. Pick a flower that you want to print, lay it on top of the fabric/paper.
4. Place the second ziploc bag ( a smaller one) over top of the flower/leaf you are going to print. ( plastic wrap will not work for this as you are going to beating the flower with the hammer gently and the wrap will rip)

5. Using your tack hammer/rubber mallet gently beat all over the flower/leaf. The color from the flower/leaf will print into the fabric! 

Now, India Flint recommends doing this gently, as not to beat the flower/leaf into the fabric but, through much experimenting I found that it was difficult not to have smushed flowers in your fabric! The pieces that were not easily removed I let dry and I could very easily rub them off.
Some flowers/leaves worked better than others so it was important to practice different ones first!
Darker colors print the best, blues, purples, oranges... petunias, marigolds, geraniums and begonias printed really well. 
Some flowers I thought would look great either didn't really print or instead of the flower color I got brown!   

                                These are geranium flowers ( two colors ) and begonia leaves.                           

As the prints dried the colors continued to spread resulting in a watercolor effect... 

                  I started this one but my daughter finished it up choosing and printing the flowers...
begonia leaves, geranium flowers, begonia flowers and marigolds...     

This was my first test the other day, I quilted it after it was dry...
              The purple African Daisies turned brownish after the color dried... the rest is marigold, petunia, begonia and a coleus leaf.  I'm taking some of the stitching out of the leaf because it is lost in the marigolds and daisy.

Once the pieces dried I heat set the colors with an iron... curious to see how the color stays...
Since it is natural color it will fade over time ( how much time remains to be seen...) and if left in the sun or washed harshly...  supposed to leave color to set for a long time before hand washing gently if it's a piece of clothing. 

Still working on Eco-Print experiments... prints getting better... waiting for a couple of supplies I ordered... hopefully they are the ticket to the prints I am trying to achieve! :)


  1. Wow, it is so beautiful. I love that you got the flowers right from your own pots.

  2. Wow, I am so impressed some beautiful creations on your blog. I look forward to seeing what you do next.

  3. This is a very neat project. I think finishing it off with some needle work is brilliant. Hope the color stays well and long.

    Im off to check out your older posts :)

    Have a great weekend.

  4. Thanks for sharing, nice post! Post really provice useful information!

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