At last I seem to be getting somewhere with this colour transfer…
For this experiment I decided to try some other plants from the garden. I noticed that a hydrangea leaf when soaked in hot water even for a short time produced a lovely yellow. I collected some poplar leaves and small branches as the recent gales tore off a large branch from one of the shelter trees. We had to spend some time cutting up the large branch, and tidying up our neighbours’ paddock. So I thought to commemorate this, I would try the poplar leaves and twigs in a steamed eco-print.
I modified my steaming process by using folded chicken wire in the bottom of the pot, which meant the lid fitted properly and so prevented too much steam escaping. The bundles were cotton with rice and alum mordant enclosing a poplar twig, bark and leaf, and silk soaked in alum enclosing poplar twig, bark and leaves plus one hydrangea leaf.
Here is the dyed silk cloth unwound.
And a close up of the imprint.
The cotton bundle was a little disappointing, plenty of yellow and a pale tan colour plus some nice marks left by the (previously used) cotton thread for tying. I think the yellow must have come from the lichen on the bark. The poplar leaf is only just visible at the foot of the fabric, the green leaf point just to the left of the piece of cotton thread.