It’s all about leaves – eco printing and ikebana bowls.

It’s been all about leaves this week, partly because it’s the time of year when you better hurry and pick some before they are gone, and secondly I got the hosta leaf ikebana bowls glazed. You might have seen them on social media but here they are if you missed them.
ikebana vase from Kiln Fired Art

ikebana bowlsI had to go out and pick some plant material to get my photos done, there wasn’t much about but it only shows you can make a beautiful ikebana arrangement with a few twigs and sprigs.

ceramic leaf ikebana containerWhile I was out picking I realised if I wanted to do some eco printing then I would have to do it now, my cotinus had very few leaves left on it.

I wanted to explore printing on wool, the fabric I have was fairly expensive so I’ve been saving it, but I’m not going to progress if I don’t jump in and have a go, so I did.

My fabric was soaked in alum mordant, then the cotinus and dried Acer leaves laid on half the fabric, the other half was folded over smoothed flat then rolled on a plastic pipe and tied with string. Then put in my tin with vinegar , water and a bit of rusty water and boiled for 45 min, turned and boiled again. When I say boiled it was a very very gentle simmer.

After cooling I opened up the bundle and picked off the leaves and washed and dried the fabric. You have to leave it until it’s dry before you can really see how the leaves printed.

I like the way the design looks graded from the outside of the roll to the inside of the roll.

Eco dyeing on wool

The right side was the outside, it takes on more colour and you can see the string marks, which look quite interesting.

UntitledThe background is cleaner in the inside of the roll. What I noticed was the cotinus leaves have printed differently.Untitled

The fresher looking red purple ones printed purple, as they did in summer.


The more Autumnal ones printed an ochre colour


I decided to have another go with some geranium leaves, this time I put some turmeric powder in the water bath.


This is how it looked after 2 hours.


This one doesn’t really grab me, but there’s another challenge. I intend making 2 cushion covers with these. I’m thinking of having the string design on the bottom edge on one side and the lighter fabric to the top and on the reverse.

I think I’m going to have to do some more work on the fabric, maybe some stitching, leaf outlines possibly, or just running stitch, or stitched mark making. Or maybe something else, only I don’t know what, so if you have any ideas please shout up 🙂

UntitledThe other side of the cloth is an even darker mustard from the turmeric, I was surprised how deep the colour turned out. I will certainly use it again.

The postman has brought me some wood chips and roots for dyeing so I think I better grab more leaves before they are gone. Lots to do.

3 thoughts on “It’s all about leaves – eco printing and ikebana bowls.

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.