At the beginning of January I launched a range of new scrap bags to try to clear out some of my stash of indigo shibori and ecoprinted fabrics. I’m pleased to report that they have been very popular – I’ve already had to restock the indigo bags.
However, some scraps were too small to include in the bags (I wanted the minimum size to be 15 x 15cm (6 x 6 inches)). So I thought I would use them to make some cards. I ordered some card blanks with windows and stuck in some of the smaller pieces of fabric.
The card below was made from a cotton/silk upcycled top that I dyed with indigo but didn’t like the result. Most of the garment I tore up to put in the scrap bags but I thought this stitched detail from the neck area worked well in a card.
However, there was a problem with the iron on some of the ecoprinted fabrics leaching out through the wet glue. You can see this in the top left-hand corner of this card:
And also below the bottom left-hand corner of the panel on this card:
The glue I used was slightly diluted PVA, and I pressed the cards between baking parchment while they were drying to avoid them crinkling up.
Does anyone have any thoughts on how to avoid this problem, eg by using a different glue?
Otherwise I might have to stick to just making indigo cards.
I’ve now got a good crop of flowers on my Japanese indigo, but before they all started developing I did another harvest of the leaves – almost 200g in all.
Unlike last time, I didn’t do any aqualeaf indigo, as I wanted to see if I could get a stronger colour with the reduced indigo, so I needed every leaf I could get! 🙂
This time I overdyed a linen top that I had previously ecoprinted with peony leaves. It felt a little too minimal, so I thought that a pale indigo background might lift it a bit.
I dipped the top three times, leaving it to oxidise in between. The result was slightly darker than last time, but still quite pale and delicate.
I’m drying the flowers to get seed for next year’s crop, but I’m also going to see if any of the plants survive the winter in my London garden. They are still growing – but it has been a very mild autumn so far. I’ll have to see what happens when the frosts arrive!
I’m very excited to be one of the exhibitors at Thread…A Festival of Textiles at Farnham Maltings on Saturday 24 September. I’ll be selling my latest indigo shibori and ecoprinted scarves, along with a selection of upcycled hand dyed indigo and ecoprinted garments. And the infamous bargain bucket of samples and seconds may also be putting in an appearance as I get ready to clear the decks before Christmas!
With around 45 exhibitors alongside a programme of talks, workshops and demonstrations, it promises to be a great day out for textile lovers.
I’m currently working on a very special ecoprinting project, the details of which I can’t reveal yet.
But it’s meant I’ve been spending time experimenting and sampling, and I can’t resist showing you some of the results. I’m particularly pleased with some of the prints given by garden weeds, most of which I never knew the name of. I now have to stop ESP from weeding the garden! 😉
The photos below include rose and cotinus leaves as unifying elements, each combined with a different plant.
The sampling has led to some other new discoveries, like this vibrant green print from Robinia pseudoacacia.
The colour didn’t really fit in with the project, but I’ve used the leaves with sycamore seeds and dock flowers on a scarf now in my Etsy shop.
And here are some other samples that I won’t be using in this project but may use in future.
A few months ago I mused about whether I should learn how to use Photoshop so that I could get some of my designs digitally printed rather than making everything by hand. This would enable me to make larger pieces at more acceptable prices.
This week I finally got round to doing a two-day class on Photoshop for beginners at Morley College. It was a very popular class, with most of the participants wanting to learn Photoshop to improve their photos or restore old prints. And it turned out that I already knew the tutor, Estelle Vincent, as we had been located next to each other at Lambeth Open at the Portico Gallery a few years ago. Small world! 🙂
We covered a lot in two days, but what was most useful for me was learning about layers, filters and flipping/rotating to produce repeat patterns. Here are some of the patterns I created.
The first was a section of an ecoprint of eucalyptus on silk.
After changing the colour with a filter and flipping and rotating:
A similar process starting with a section of sycamore ecoprint:
Then I experimented with some indigo shibori. I didn’t bother changing the colours with filters this time.
It’s fascinating to see how different the patterns look when repeated on a larger scale, which is something I could never achieve by hand. And using different filters to create different colourways adds even more potential.