Natural dyeing with children

Eco-printing on paper is a fun and easy way to introduce children to the wonders of natural dyeing (or to get started with it yourself). Here’s a tutorial for one particular method, using autumn leaves. Autumn leaves print particularly well because they are high in tannins and carotenoid and anthocyanin pigments, which will all give colour. […]

Deciduous leaves eco-print

I’ve been busy testing a range of different leaves, using the eco-printing method described in my first ebook. Although that ebook focuses on eucalyptus leaves, which are still my favourite, the method works well for many other leaves. This is a sampler of mixed deciduous leaves: oak, blackberry, cotinus (smokebush) and two types of maple. […]

Eco-printing on paper with St John’s Wort

St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is an incredible little plant. It can be identified by crushing the flower buds, which will release a beautiful deep plum liquid. This colour comes from hypericin, which gives an indication of the plant’s dyeing potential and is also one of its medicinal constituents. The flowers and top few centimetres of […]

Dyeing with Australian Indigo

I’ve been wanting to try dyeing with Australian Indigo (Indigofera Australis) for a long time. I’ve got a small bush growing but it is still too young for harvesting. So I was very excited when some friends offered me clippings from their huge plant. There are a few tutorials online specifically for Australian Indigo, at […]

Eco-printing on paper tutorial

This tutorial shares a simple method of eco-printing on paper. The effects you get will depend on your local fauna, the paper you use and many other variables. Have fun experimenting! Materials Paper Mordant- iron soaked in vinegar Plastic gloves Leaves and flowers Onion skins Tin cans (rusty if possible) String Dye pot Step one […]

Combining iron and alum mordants for eco-printing

Although iron is my trusty favourite mordant- easy to make, relatively low toxicity, and easy to dispose of- I have been experimenting with alum lately. My first results of eucalyptus on alum were not very promising. Fluro yellow is not my favourite colour. But then I tried double-mordanting, combining both iron and alum. I hoped that […]

How to prevent fading of eco-print fabrics

All dyed fabric will fade eventually, from washing and sun exposure. Eco-printed cotton does fade more quickly than synthetically dyed cotton but there are a few ways you can reduce this to enjoy your fabric for longer. I find that machine washing eco-printed fabric is fine, although I recommend hand washing for very special items. More important […]

Good leaves to use for eco-printing: experiment two

I get asked a lot if the method I described in my ebook will work for non-eucalypts. These samplers are a good example of the results you can get using different types of leaves. Following on from the first experiment I documented, these leaves were left to soak for about 2 months before I used them, and it […]