Eco Printing

What is eco-printing? I knew about eco-dying as I had purchased some beautiful handspun, eco-dyed yarns from an artisan in Ireland a few years ago. She had used indigo and other plants to dye the yarn.

Eco printing is where you lay out leaves, flowers and bark from plants on a textile. It is tightly rolled into a bundle and then submerged in a boiling pot of water that has leaves added. 

The tannins in the plants imprint onto the fabric. There is no need for chemical dyes or mordants which is why it is called eco-printing. 

A few years ago I discovered textile artist, India Flint. I purchased her book Eco Colour. I devoured it from cover to cover. I was very excited about printing on my alpaca felt. 

However, after my first few efforts produced abysmal results – just brown blobs – I gave up on the process for quite a while.

Last year I discovered Nicola Brown from Ireland and her “dirty pot” method of eco printing. After trying her techniques, I finally had success.

I realised that on our farm we have many species of eucalypt trees that produce amazing natural colours.

You don’t need a lot of vegetation in the printing process so the trees are not damaged. I often collect leaves from windfalls.

I am still in the early stages of my eco printing learning journey but I am having so much fun.  I have always loved our native trees but now I appreciate their beauty so much more.

I am so fortunate to have an amazing natural colour palette at my doorstep.

Check out my eco-printed bags and other products here.

You can check out India Flint’s work here.

Nicola Brown’s “dirty pot” method.