Look closely; can you see it?! This endeavour was close to the heart for me…
Canada in January and February can be ridiculously cold, -20C! You can’t walk around in a blanket or can you?! Well, yes; a perfect reason to make an Eco Printed Wool Blanket Jacket!
Since Eco Printing usually involves strips of fabric for simple rolling onto dowels I am using pieces that will be able to cut from them. I also like this design as it allows some customization after initial try-on for shaping.
This wool is a fairly heavy-weight woven vintage virgin wool blanket. It was printed only using the high tannin leaves and some soaking in an iron water solution as with this method.
The Eco Printing Process:
The bundling was wrapped in a ‘sushi’ style to make sure the wool did not get too crushed from the heat of the steaming. The width of the strips/dowel will determine the size of the steaming vessel. As of late I have had good results also using an Alternative Method.
Maple leaves, Red Weigela and Rose leaves print wonderfully. The amount of iron in the water is something I do tests to determine. If there is too much it will be more black and lose some vibrancy of the colour.
Until you have tried many fabrics and methods you will not really know what to expect. Different absorbencies, wetness, rolling, tightness all play some factor in the clarity of the prints.
For more tips on getting good prints with wool check out this post of mine
These Maples printed a combination of purples and golds. I never tire of the suspense of opening a bundle!
My Custom Pattern:
Being an impatient person I will trace an article of clothing much quicker than dealing with commercial patterns. It’s how I roll… I would not call myself a seamstress but I have been crafting my simple clothes for over 40 years.
Here are the eco printed wool pieces placed for a quick look. The Sleeves did need a bit of extra pieces to get the full width needed.
I was unsure about the collar but did decide to abandon it. The seams are adequate to be about 1/4″ and finished with a serging or a zigzag. This jacket will not be lined.
Thick wool is more difficult to finish the edge so I decided to sew a bias band over the edges. Cut Bias bands about 1.25″-1.5″ wide (I used ultra suede) First sew it to the wrong at about 1/4 of the width of the bias.
It is then double folded over to the outside and topstitched carefully, as you can see the stitch line for reference. The outside will also be seen more than the inside. Corners will need some mitering to be neat.
This gives a neat and tidy finish without adding bulk. The Bias will allow curving around the neck.
As a unique closure I made some buttons from some thick leather for a loop and toggle. Double thickness helped make them sturdier, hole punching the centre holes.
The softness of the colours and shapes is somewhat subtle but pleasing. A simple neck is great for layering and a silk scarf; eco printed of course!
The loops were sewn of some vinyl I had ‘kicking around’… Don’t even ask me how much variety of ‘stuff’ I have! ‘All the better to keep making; is my excuse.
You must agree; it’s a very nice way to thank Mother Nature for her endless gifts. Don’t you have a wool blanket in the cupboard?! I wore it to work and it was well received in a subtle ‘wow, is that printed?’ way… Happy printing and making!