I came upon a realization lately - there seems to be a common thread to…
When things don’t quite turn out great; don’t ever despair and give up! Try to be even more creative, take it up a notch. Eco printing is not limited to one print; so many amazing effects are possible. I’ll show you how to take drab prints to ‘Fab’ prints!
The basic Eco Print:
It probably starts somewhat like this; damp dyed fabric (madder dyed in this case), leaves placed and then layered with an iron blanket, barrier layer (upcycled reused plastic). Tightly rolled, tied and processed (my favourite in microwave) and waiting with anticipation for an amazing result! It’s so exciting!
Oh wow! Unroll and see all the details and tones. When the prints are wet they tend to be darker and brighter. Washing will also sometimes take some of the contrasts away.
Everyone has their own taste and preferences. This would be totally acceptable and beautiful, but I like more defined details. That’s just how I am, even how I paint. I also tend to think there is always a way to improve designs… the curse of being a designer.
Eco Print Round #2:
So after washing and some contemplation I decided I did not have much to lose by trying another round of Eco printing. Out came the leaves and a simple use of and iron blanket again.
Tada!!! Well, much to my surprise many things seemed to happen inside that mysterious bundle! Can you see it!? The layering of shapes is interesting, since you can the silhouettes through the leaf shapes.
Even though the fabric was washed and dried and even sat for a while, it still possessed the ability to react with the ‘new’ tannins and ‘new’ iron blanket. Yes, I know it now has a lot of darks meaning there is quite a bit of iron which can degrade the fabric over time. I’d like to think I am making heirlooms but I’m much more in the ‘now’ than the +75 years!
Once I realized that multiple printing gives such new opportunities, out came some so-so prints for round #2!
Such amazing layering! And that does not even explore some additional options of dyes and tannin use. You just need to be aware that the iron and tannins in the first round are still able to take part in the reactions! For that reason I would avoid an entire dip in iron solution.
This print was an accidental shocker! See the wonderful fern prints?! These just happened to transfer from the prior use of the iron blanket. It only managed to transfer where the tannins of the maple leaves were. How novel?!
Once I figure out something new… I’m off and running! And Rolling! Some drapery silk (cochineal printed months earlier) was a bit too predictable!
So much better in my opinion! Look carefully and you will see the first maple leaf prints in this multiple eco print!
Can I say it again?! This is so much fun; even though it IS unpredictable!
So, do not just stash your dull prints! Give them new life! Try Multiple Eco Print effects! Let know what magic you make!