Eco Printed Wool Blanket Jacket

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!

The Design:

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.

Coming Together:

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.

Finishing up:

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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Is there nothing u cant do Barb?😊
    Its just lovely. How gorgeous would a cape or poncho be. Like u picked up a swag of leaves from the forrest floor and draped it over your shoulders. Beautiful 😊

    1. I would have washed the jacket first, only the leaves dipped in rusty water. That is why you see some darker ones and edges. I actually had the wool printed a year ago and it did not change at all.

    1. That means a lot to me!!! It’s my motherland! ‘Wish I was there! Happy to see there are great ‘makers’ there too! Yes, the jacket has a certain german-sweater look. I just realized that! No wonder…

  2. I so love this! I have a wool blanket I would like to try this, but I’m not experienced enough with eco-printing to try it just yet. One day!

  3. Once again you’ve wowed me.🤩
    Your work and talent is amazing, thanks for sharing with us all.
    Debbie 😀👌

    1. I believe the world would be a better place if more people made things with their hands… I do hope to inspire everyone to make something and get the ‘bug’. If up-cycling, so much the better…

  4. I love the results you get! Mine aren’t quite there yet. I agree with the commenter above, a nice poncho would also be lovely. Well done on the jacket! So beautiful and unique.

    1. Oh yes, I remember well how some of my first prints looked, as if I rolled down the dirt hill… But so much more determination came from that. There wasn’t much sharing either. You WILL get there, keep printing. Sometimes it all clicks without even knowing why!

  5. Hi Barb,
    I emailed you last summer when I was trying out Ecodying and your suggestions were super helpful. Thanks again!
    Anyway, in your tutorial you mention you have a way to test your iron water to see how strong it was. That was an issue I ran into as I never took the rusty bits out of the water bucket and as expected (now) the dyes got darker and darker. Still looked amazing over indigo and cochineal so I will use that again for a nice subtle leaf on dark.
    What’s your test, if you would share that info?
    I’m not dying again til summer and fresh leaves are abundant. Tho the eucalypt never loses all its leaves.

    1. So far the only way I have figured it out is to do a test print. I know that some eco-printers only use the iron sulphate as then they can mix exact solutions. Just yesterday I was again a bit heavy on the iron… so I may use a dip/soak in a citric acid solution to lighten it. When my fingers get nasty iron stains I use lemon juice on them… I’m using my stock pile from last summer/fall.

  6. Hi Barb….I am getting started on the leaf dying. I am loving your wool blanket leaf print jacket. Do you sell a pattern for it? I have a bunch of wool blankets I have been waiting to use and this looks like an awesome project. You have a great imagination and I will be trying your dying techniques this winter…starting today. Thank you so much!
    Nancy Peterson