I have a few pieces to show from my ecoprinting session back in January. In the same onion skin bath as these samples, I put a second roll. This one used mordanted 8 mm habotai silk as a base.
I bought the silk yardage from Dharma Trading. The quality is just right for my experiments. I chose the 55″ wide option because this makes a great scarf length should I choose to hem it. The final product is a challenge to photograph so I’ll show the results in parts.
The silk was scoured before mordanting with 25% WOF (weight of fabric) food grade alum. There are a number of opinions on mordanting with alum. The process I used was provided by a course instructor and took three days in total. Even though it is considerably longer than many recipes, I am really happy with the outcome so the length of time and amount of handling was worth it.
The dry, mordanted fabric was soaked in 100% vinegar for about an hour before wringing out and laying out plantstuff.
The plantstuff was laid out on one half of the 18″ width, the cloth folded over and then I’m pretty sure this was rolled onto a 1″ copper pipe rather than a PVC pipe. I believe it’s the copper that is helping with all the interesting colour variations! The roll was simmered for at least an hour and maybe a little more. When removed from the bath, it was unwrapped, plantstuff removed, allowed to dry and cure for one week before washing and ironing. No, it doesn’t have to cure for a week, but I’m experimenting!
Plantstuff included rehydrated maple and oak leaves, dry raspberry leaves, fresh eucalyptus (an oval-shaped leaf variety that printed yellow), grevillea (printed delicate lines), barely rehydrated sumac, dried hollyhock blossoms (purple blotches), dried rose petals and a small circular slice (beetlenut, I think) that resisted rather than printed.
I will show the plant side of the resulting cloth first. The first image is the beginning of the roll (righthand side is start) nearest the copper pipe. I can’t recall exactly but it is possible the maple leaf was dry and not rehydrated as it is printing differently from the other maple leaves. The second image is the end of the piece (lefthand side) that is tied.
These next images are of the reverse side of the fabric. At the end of the roll, half the width of this fabric would have been in direct contact with the dye bath which is why it is so dark (second photo, top left).
I’m really happy with the outcome even though it is clear I could do a better job of rolling and tying so as to avoid creases. Thanks to Lyn and Arlee for contributing the plantstuff used as well as Lyn for creating and tending the dye bath concoction!