More success with eco printing

You may remember that my last experiment with eco printing was not a huge success. Since then I’ve acquired a copy of India Flint’s book Eco Colour, so I thought I’d have another go.

I found a beautiful rusted pipe on the street – perfect for bundling up a scarf. So I soaked a silk scarf in vinegar, dipped yellow and red onion skins and eucalyptus leaves into vinegar and laid them on top. Then I rolled the whole lot around the pipe, tied it with string and left it in a plastic bag on the windowsill outside for 10 days.

I was intending to leave it for a month, but suffered from the usual problem – impatientitis. 🙂 There seemed to be a lot of dark colour developing, so this morning I could wait no longer and unwrapped it.

ecoprint pipeecoprint pipe end

Here is the whole scarf, with the pipe to one side. You can clearly see the rust patterns at the ends (these were on the inside, closest to the pipe). The pink bits were actually from the yellow onion skins rather than the red ones, which went black. The orange shapes that are not rust were the eucalyptus leaves.

eco print scarf

Here are some close up shots.

ecoprint close1 ecoprint close2 ecoprint rust1 ecoprint rust2

The scarf is now drying in the airing cupboard – I’ll leave it for a few days before washing it and keep my fingers crossed that I don’t lose too much colour!

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Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

5 thoughts on “More success with eco printing”

    1. Linda – I guess I’ll treat it the same way as my indigo scarves. I’ll rinse it in cool water till the water runs clear, then wash it in lukewarm water with a bit of shampoo, rinse again and dry.

      If anyone thinks I should be doing something else, let me know!

  1. It looks like you got some great color. I hope it stays for you. When I tried this, I lost quite a bit of color. But I rinsed right away. I wonder if heat setting with an iron would help?

    1. Ruth – India Flint recommends leaving it to dry, then pressing with a steam iron to set the colour. She says that the longer the cloth is left to cure before washing, the more substantive the pattern. Already, having ironed it, I’ve found that the pink is much less bright.

      Other sites I’ve looked at recommend soaking the cloth in salt water for half an hour to neutralise the effects of the rust. I suppose what I’ve done is a cross between rust dyeing and ecoprinting. 🙂 So I guess I’ll just have to try it and see – and take lots of notes!

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