Soy Milk Binder eco-printing module


Last year I created my eco-printing ecourse, Living Colour. It is a comprehensive guide to eco-printing on natural and semi-synthetic fabrics, using alum, iron and soy milk, and a whole range of techniques. But for those of you who are interested in just one topic, rather than the whole course, I have begun breaking up the ecourse into four modules: ‘Intro to Cotton’, ‘Advanced Cotton’, ‘Soy Milk Binders’ and ‘Wool and Shibori’.

I released the Soy Milk Binder module in November, and will make the rest of the modules available through 2020. Here are some samples of work by my students:

This lovely piece was eco-printed by Debbie Lucas. She prepared the cotton with soy milk binder, then used geranium and herb Robert leaves which have created a bright, layered pattern.

These soft, harmonious prints were created by Bobbi Stowers, using rose, passion vine and eucalyptus leaves. Again, the cotton was prepared with soy milk binder.

It is also possible to prepare fabric with cow’s milk, which creates a similar effect to soy milk because both are protein rich. Kathy Little has used this to great effect in this sample of eucalyptus leaves eco-printed on cotton. You can see how the cow’s milk makes the cotton take the dyes very similarly to wool, creating vivid orange prints.

You can view more samples of my student’s work in the Student Gallery on my ecourse website. There you can also browse the ecourse curriculums and some sample lessons.

9 thoughts on “Soy Milk Binder eco-printing module”

  1. Hello from Israel. Did you or your students use any mordants besides the soya milk binder? I love the darker outline of the leaves . I took one of your E classes and I enjoyed it and I’m thinking of taking another one.
    Thanks. R

    1. Hi Reut, for some of the lessons we combined the soy milk binder with iron, which helped create those dark outlines you like. For others, we used just the soy milk which gave brighter, flatter results including the orange eucalyptus leaf prints.

  2. I’ve created some Eco prints using watercolor paper, some are good, most are not. I want to try the Soy milk, are you soaking the material in the milk or after you make the bundles? Do you boil in iron water after the soak? Thank you, Rhonda

    1. Hi Rhonda, I soak paper or cotton in soy milk and then let it dry before making the bundles. I have a bit more info about this in my eco-printing on paper ebook too. Sometimes I cook in plain water, sometimes I add natural dyes and iron, depending on the effects I want to get.

      1. i soaked watercolor paper in soy milk then boiled and all the plants stuck to the pages and ripped when trying to take the plants off….is this because of the soymilk?

        1. Hello, yes that sounds like the likely cause. You could try with a more watered down soy milk, as strong soy milk can be quite sticky on the paper. It can also help to put the paper under water and gently rub the plants to get them off. Sometimes that is enough to stop them from tearing.

    1. Sorry for my slow reply. I actually leave the fabric dry. I find it easier to place leaves on and roll up dry fabric, and because I boil my bundles the fabric will get wet anyway. But you can dampen the fabric if you prefer.

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