Adventures in Botanical Printing

The last half of May, I spent an extended time in North Carolina and I am finally home. A lot of the time, I was without cell or internet service and it was very restful!

I had such a great time in NC! We were at a retreat in Pisgah National Forest. It was beautiful, the weather was perfect and we had a gorgeous view while we were working. 

As a very novice botanical printer, the retreat I attended was marvelous and I learned a lot. We had so much fun finding foliage in the forest to use for printing on our pre-mordanted fabrics. We also spent a little time exploring botanical printing on paper. My friend Mary made the fabric below. It is even more beautiful in person.

Mordanting is a specific way of pre-treating fabric. The mordant is what enables the fabric to retain the print from the leaves and flowers.

We used potassium aluminum sulfate or alum acetate depending on the fabric we were printing.

We used natural dyes to add background color to our fabrics or to add colors to the leaves.

Each dye type produced a different effect and it was exciting to see the results. 

Iron or ferrous sulfate was used to darken colors or add shadows around the leaves.

As a natural Indigo Shibori dyer, I really loved learning about using natural materials and dyes in a different way than usual. My head is full of ideas now and every leaf or flower I see makes me wonder what result it would produce. These beautiful flowers are from my friend Diane's yard. I wonder if they could be used for botanical printing?!

A bonus of my visit was making a new friend! This is Little Bear.

If you're looking for fabrics for natural dyeing or botanical printing, I have just what you need on my web site in a wide variety! These fabrics are PFD (prepared for dyeing), so will only need to be mordanted if you are doing botanical printing or eco dyeing. Since PFD fabrics are produced without any chemicals or commercial finishes, they make the very best start for any of your dyeing projects! Click here to shop and order.


Use the links below to follow me every day!




Please note, comments must be approved before they are published