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(Mis)Adventures in Eucalyptus Eco Printing (2)

18 January, 2013

Testing eucalyptus on silk and cotton again.

Eucalyptus leaves

Last week I collected some more dried, fallen, eucalyptus leaves from the same tree as before.  You can see what beautiful colours these dried leaves have.  The green leaf on the left by the twig was a fresh leaf blown down by the recent north-west gales.  These leaves were placed on dampened, un-mordanted silk and rolled up in close contact with the cloth.  The eucalyptus twig formed the core of the bundle which was bound with cotton knitting yarn.

I made three more silk bundles with eucalyptus leaves, the smallest one was rolled up on itself with no eucalyptus twig in the centre. Two cotton bundles were also steamed.  I used some more of the cotton fabric as in the first tests, but this time it was mordanted with soy milk.  One of these cotton bundles contained only a small stem of daphne leaves and pink-red flower buds.

eco  bundles

I used the colander as a steamer basket with the pot lid to cover.  I steamed the bundles for one hour as this basket arrangement was not very air tight.  At one point the water nearly dried up, and I think the temperature in the pot became too hot as the silk fabric on the outer layer along one side of the largest bundle is stiff and ‘fused’ together.  One cotton bundle also showed signs of heat damage as well.

I finally managed to get more colour on the fabric pieces!  Still not what I would have expected, as is shown by the large silk bundle pictured below (left).

Lge silk bundle

This is the small silk bundle. Colour from the leaves and bark has been taken up by the silk quite well.

Silk e eucalyptus

This is the soy mordanted cotton fabric.  The bundle contents were daphne leaves and flower buds, and an eucalyptus twig core.  The cotton has absorbed quite a lot of colour.

Daphne on cotton

The following day I had another go… A post to come soon.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 26 April, 2013 12:45 pm

    The result from eucalypt leaves is very much affected by the species you use (and not the colour of the leaf–though yours are gorgeous). I find a fresh and flexible leaf gives a better print if you can access one. Dried leaves contain plenty of colour but they are harder to get into good contact with your textile.Excellent for use in an immersion bath of fibre or yarn though.

    • 10 May, 2013 12:41 pm

      Thanks for your comments – have only just read them! I’ve still not had much luck with eucalypts, but there are only a couple of varieties around here. I have had some excellent results with steaming autumn deciduous leaves on paper – when I get the time I will put some photos up… I THINK I good extra good results from those leaves that I put in the freezer.

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