March 19, 2016

eco-printing with blackberry leaves (again...)

It's been a while since my last post. I wish I could say it's because I've been so busy creating, but to be honest life wasn't treating me very well the last couple of weeks. I've been tired and lazy. I know a professional blog is supposed to use positive writing, and personal problems shouldn't necessarily be mentioned.
I made this blog to document things I create. So writing about not being able to create is not completely off topic, right? Anyway I'm doing this blog mostly for myself, it's some sort of diary, nothing professional and I want it to be honest without any fake attitude. So let me tell you, that I'm going through tough times. I lack motivation, inspiration, force and creativity. Is it called depression? Last saturday was really bad. I was spending my day on the couch crying. Fortunately my husband could motivate me for a walk along the danube. It was such a good idea! When I saw all those blackberry bushes I felt this familiar tingeling in my chest. Passion! We collected some a lot of leaves for a new eco printing experiment.

I was scouring two different kinds of cotton fabrics (a heavy one and a light one), a piece of bourette silk, and a cotton pillow cover for one hour in hot and sopy water.
I just rinsed the fabrics with clear water before covering them with plant material. First I wanted to pre-mordant them but I was too impatient. So I just dipped the leaves into iron mordant, before laying them onto the fabric.

I used blackberry leaves and one piece of fern that we also collected on our walk.

Here they are, my three bundles. I also found a little piece of felt that I rolled up with the cotton fabric and the bourette silk.

I steamed the bundles for about 2 hours, turning them about every 30 minutes and letting them cool down during the night.

Opening the bundles is always so exciting! It's like unpacking presents!

Looks promising!

Remember that the only plant I used were blackberry leaves! The color range of those on bourette silk is amazing!

Unbundeling the piece of light cotton fabric. 

This is the heavy cotton fabric before removing the leaves. On the left side, the bottom side of the leaves is touching the fabric. So the print you see on the right side is made from the upper surface.

Here's a close up of the print. 
Left side: bottom side of the leaves touching the fabric. 
Right side: upper side of the leaves touching the fabric. 

I dipped some fabrics into iron mordant, some into alum mordant. Dark liquid was dripping down after the iron bath and neon yellow liquid after the alum bath.

This is the dried heavy cotton fabric. It took an alum bath by the way.

The bourette silk was dipped into iron mordant. I really regret this choice! All the beautiful colors are gone.

A negative imprint from the fern.

The piece of felt turned out really weird. No imprints at all, just different shades of brown.
I don't really know what I did wrong.

Here you have a collection of some fabrics - machine washed and dried. Upper right is the bourette silk, upper left the heavy cotton fabric. The pillow cover is also made out of heavy cotton fabric and dipped into iron mordant.

The other side of the pillow. Even though it took an iron bath, it shows some green and purple shades.

If you're intereseted in my other eco-printing experiments you can check out this post where I used blackberry leaves and privet berries or my experiment with different kinds of mordants on onion skin prints.

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