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A Try at Eco Leaf Printing

A Try at Eco Leaf Printing

I have had one previous try at eco printing which didn’t turn out very well. But after Terriea’s recent post, I thought I would give it another go. You can see the process I followed on this post on my personal blog. I did some prints on paper as well, which you can see here. We used a variety of leaves. We did not have the correct kind of eucalyptus so the kind we used is the dried kind that must be artificially dyed. Where you see the bright blue green color on the fabric, it is from that kind of eucalyptus.

bundlesHere are the bundles that I rolled up with the leaves and cooked in the dye pot. I did one piece of silk, two felted scarves and one scarf that is a wool and silk blend. I also dyed several pieces of cotton too.

just opened fabricThese are the scarves after I opened them up and pulled off the leaves. So I did get some color but the leaf prints were still very vague. I was disappointed that you couldn’t see a leaf impression. The paper did much better than the fabric.

leaf impressionHere is a print that almost looks like a leaf. This is silk habotai.

The gallery above shows different portions of the silk. The silk seemed to work best with the leaf prints and took in the most color. I am planning on using this piece of silk for a nuno scarf.

These are photos of the cotton pieces. I didn’t do any leaf prints with these, just threw them into the different dye baths. I have to say that Zed made a comment a while back about some of the natural dye processes just leaving the fabric looking dirty and I agree that some of these fabrics look like dirty dish rags. But perhaps I will find that they will be the perfect background for a project.

And these last photos are of the wool items. The wool did get some color but again, I wasn’t really happy with the “prints”. My plan now is to add free motion machine stitching to the felted scarves in patterns of leaves with fall colored thread. Hopefully, that will make them a bit more attractive. 🙂

Eco Printing Onto a Silk Chiffon Scarf by Terriea Kwong

Eco Printing Onto a Silk Chiffon Scarf by Terriea Kwong

Our guest writer today is Terriea Kwong who has very kindly written a tutorial for us about eco printing onto silk.


This is the basic and simple way to do prints on silk chiffon.

a1. Materials used : eucalyptus cinerea leaves (silver dollar), 100% silk chiffon, vinegar, paper core roll, string and rubber bands. Well wash the fabric before use. Can be used when it’s wet or after it’s dried.

b2. Before putting leaves over the chiffon, dip in vinegar water.

cc3. Put the leaves over chiffon, 2-3 folds diagonally, put a little more leaves over it.

dd4. Then half fold it.

ee5. Roll up with the paper core roll tightly.

ff6. Bundle with rubber band, then tie with string.

gg7. Boil with some eucalyptus barks and the same sort of euc leaves (silver dollar) with 1/4 cup of vinegar.

hh8. After 1.5-2 hours boiling, unbundle it. The dye pot can be re-used.

ii9. Dark when it’s still wet.

jj10. Remove all leaves.

kk11. Dry in shade, then rinse and dry in air.

ll12. A scarf is made.

mm Tie lines and shades of eucalyptus leaves prints:

nn Soft and airy scarf:

oo This is silk chiffon, so color is a bit soft:

ppI’m pleased to share with like-minded and workshops can be arranged individually. Contacts via below:

My blog :

My email :

My page :


Thanks a lot to Terriea for this excellent guide to eco-printing and dyeing 🙂 Terrie gets great results printing and dyeing, here is a gallery of some of her other work:

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