Friday, February 12, 2021

TextileArtist.orgStitch Club

 Week 23 - Caroline Nixon U.K.

"Eco Print with Stitch"

Caroline says, "In this workshop you will learn how to make eco prints or botanical contact prints. Eco printed fabrics make a wonderful background for hand stitch. In this technique heat, moisture and pressure are used to permanently transfer plant pigment to cloth. You will be printing with the leaf itself".

I have eco printed before but Caroline's instructions and technique were very simple and self explanatory. It is always great to learn a new method and tweak previous ways of doing things. 

A different method was to use cling wrap as a barrier against the leaves in readiness to be steamed. Instead of string to wrap, we used old t-shirt fabric, this enables the end to be held by my foot to stretch the fabric to wind tightly. So much easier on the hands.
This method worked well and did not leave the usual indented marks that string or cord does. 
Pale pink linen dipped in a diluted iron solution and covered with strawberry, Japanese maple, gum and sage leaves.

This next piece was covered in a small amount of eucalyptus leaves spread widely apart.
Unfortunately I was called away after steaming for 25 minutes instead of the recommended 90 minutes.
I decided to re-steam for the 90 minutes with added leaves on the reverse side.

Printed on fine 100% wool cloth.
We have a species of Eucalyptus that prints orange and there is a large tree within walking distance of my home. As I was running short of cling wrap, wanted to make do with what I had and save a trip to the supermarket, I used kitchen paper towel as the barrier. I have done this before and find it works well and I can cover my books with it.
The kitchen paper towel was used to make the covers for my folded stitched book.

I stitched simple leaf outlines, seed stitch, simple branches and French knots

Printing on cardboard was a challenge as the leaves stuck in various places as I tried to peel them off.
I sliced and diced them to adhere to a piece of my handmade paper for the inserts in my Winged Book.

"Further Development"
Our 2nd week of the workshop was to experiment printing fabric in a mirror image.

I enjoyed this process and would like do a smaller piece. This is 16" square and I may make a cushion cover using the piece. The Banksia leaves did not print clearly in the centre. A stretch bandage was used to wrap the bundle.
If I come away from a workshop having learnt one new idea, then it is a success.



  1. They are beautiful pieces of work. Good to see you are having fun

  2. What a great success. Your methodical approach, along with your extensive knowledge of the processes has produced fantastic work. Love the way the printed works are incorporated into your book.
    Your final mirror work piece is gorgeous, like the depth the blurred printing creates.

  3. The print on pale pink linen makes me think of a Japanese brush and ink painting.
    ALL your work is stunning, Jenni.

  4. Beautiful results! I love that orange you get from the eucalypt. I've seen that used frequently by eco-dyers and wondered which species it is.

  5. They are all fascinating. I am so in love with leaf prints and yours are inspiring.