Skip to content

Eco Print Silk Bundles – Montbretia flowers

20 June, 2013

Another misadventure?  But with a happy outcome.


In February, I used my last large piece of silk, to enclose montbretia flowers, hydrangea leaves, hypericum leaves, dock seeds on a stem x 4, and pink dahlia buds (broken up), and put on to steam for 30 minutes on a low heat (No 2 setting). Accompanying this bundle was a smaller one, containing the same material except without the dock seeds.  Put the lid on the pot and made sure the steam was not too fierce.

After a while, because of a strong blast of wind as the southerly front arrived, I had to concentrate on quickly picking up the cabbage tree leaves (Cordyline australis) off the back lawn.  I thought of the possible steam damage, and finding a new cabbage leaf (it’s supple) I had the idea of using that for an outer cover – which you can see above in the photo.  Wondered if it would transfer any colour as well.  A piece of bark, possibly Acacia melynoxilon, was also added on top.  The water seemed to have stopped steaming so I upped the temperature to 2.5 for the last ten minutes.

At this point the small bundle was taken out.  At both ends of the bundle I dropped on some red cabbage dye (turned blue by the action of some ash mordant) and then some wineberry dye in the middle.  It was left to dry on a piece of paper, but as a lot of the dye came out of the bundle, I put it back in the steam pot once that was turned off.


The large bundle was next subjected to 30 more minutes of steaming as some of the pink colour inside was not transferring to the silk.  The montbretia petals dyed the silk a lovely golden yellow.  When that was done, I left both bundles on the rack overnight.  I decided to keep both bundles to mature for one month, which I did by leaving them in separate open snap lock bags, and untying them on 11 March.


This was the result!  A rather sorry looking object, mouldy and still damp in the middle.

Here is the opened large bundle!


The large leaf here is hypericum, leaving a red stain.  Lots of decayed plant material.


And this is the cleaned, ironed bundle:



The smaller silk bundle:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Words for the Year

"drink from the well of your self and begin again" ~charles bukowski

Lili's Bookbinding Blog

Where I can share Bookbinding, Printmaking, Art, and Visually Pleasing Things

Feel Free

An Experiment in Gift Giving

robyn webster, artist


- A mixture of hand papermaking -

Exploring The Invisible

Works from a Liberal Scientist that reveal the hidden machinations of the natural world: the third way

The Botanist in the Kitchen

where botany meets the cutting board

The Roaming Ecologist

Searching for a healthy land ethic and learning from nature

Welcome to the Artists Alliance blog!

We're here because without artists there is no art.

Art is a Way

Art blog by Elsa Mora


subject to change

the CEHG blog

Computational, evolutionary and human genomics at Stanford

Natural anarchist

Lisa Hudson's Blog

Alpenglow Yarn

curlie's rovings

envirohistory NZ

People and the environment through history

Discoverylover's Blog

Snippets of my life...

%d bloggers like this: