Tag Archives: ecoprinting on paper

Ecoprinting with blankets and barriers.

There are several reasons why you would use blankets and barriers when ecoprinting.

  • A blanket provides good contact between paper and plant material.
  • When using thick plant material that could damage the paper a felt or wool blanket acts like a cushion levelling things up and allowing good contact with the paper.
  • A blanket can be dipped in a solution such as iron water to change/ enhance the print. There are other solutions that you can use too but I want to keep things simple as I hope to encourage beginners to try ecoprinting.
  • A blanket can be used as a carrier for dye to impart colour to the ecoprint. This can be a natural plant based dye or it can be a manmade dye, I use Procion dyes or natural dyes.
  • Fabric, paper or plastic can be used as a barrier to prevent the colour from one plant bleeding through onto the other prints.
  • Textured material like lace , hessian or log bags can give texture or pattern to the print.

How to ecoprint with dye blankets or plastic barriers

The method for ecoprinting with dye blankets or barrier is basically the same as my usual ecoprinting method only the blanket/ barrier is layered in between the papers when making the bundle.

Dye blankets.

I like to use acrylic or wool felt, or old wool blanket, old cotton sheets or even kitchen paper. These are not treated with any mordant as you want the dye to transfer to the paper. I find that often the foliage does leave a print on the blanket, especially on old cotton sheets, I like the added bonus of being able to use these in other projects. The poor ones get used again as blankets.

I soak the blankets in dye solution while I pick my plants, it’s then wrung out and ready to use.

Plastic barriers.

A lot of ecoprinters don’t use plastic but if I have some plastic bags that something came in I use those cut to size.

Texture barriers.

I also use the bags that logs come in, or lace fabric or trim which leave an interesting texture or pattern on the print.

In these photos the turquoise dye is Procion dye and the pink is Lac, a natural dye. I made two bundles, one with each colour and boiled them separately so the colours didn’t mix.

A reused felt blanket and a cotton sheet blanket
A plastic barrier

A couple of layers of kitchen paper.
Log bag and a cotton blanket, then leaves and paper were laid on top.

The bundles were tied and boiled in the usual way.

Here’s a video of me opening the bundles, it’s a bit shaky with only one hand.

The prints.

Left print has some fabric texture if you look closely where the leaves meet. Right print has log bag texture.

Procion dye leaf prints
ecoprinting with dye blankets
Lac prints

Here are the blankets washed and ironed, I will use these in some textile art.

Old cotton sheet
Old cotton sheet on the left, acrylic felt on the right.

Ecoprinting throughout the year – March

March is here, it’s time for more ecoprinting / botanical printing experiments.

If you want to see the rest of the year type “Ecoprinting throughout the year” into the search box.

In the future there will be posts comparing plants for example, and a beginners step by step guide to printing on paper my way.

March.

Pot – Rusty roasting tin

Water – Tap water with vinegar.

Paper – Windsor & Newton cartridge paper, watercolour paper

Mordant – alum acetate

Leaf dip – rust water, the cranesbill leaves were soaked for about 5 minutes rather than just dipped in rust water.

Plants – dried acer leaves, dried wild cranesbill , aquilegia, new rose leaves, hellebore, gerbera from a bouquet of flowers.

Cooking time – 40 minutes, turned, 40 minutes.

Blanket – hellebore and gerbera being thick flowers benefit from a thick blanket like felt or old blanket.

Images

The gerbera flower in this photo is just the stain coming through from the flower on the other side of the paper.

Conclusion – Aquilegia leaf printed rust , which was unexpected so was the print from the new rose leaf. The dried acer and cranesbill were as good as I expected. The cranesbill prints were dark due to the longer soak in iron water. The bright pink gerbera printed yellow.

As the leaf buds are starting to open next month I will be trying out ecoprinting on paper with new foliage.

Ecoprinting throughout the year – January, part 2.

This is the second post about my ecoprinting / botanical printing journey throughout the year. During my journey I will share photos of my prints in order for you to see what works best at what time of year. Even in the depths of winter we can still achieve good results.

I will try different papers and mordants, dye blankets etc along the way.

If you want to see the results for the rest of the year ( I will post each month) then sign up to my blog to get email notification of new posts or type “Ecoprinting throughout the year” into the search box. There will be other posts comparing plants at different times of the year for example, and a beginners step by step guide to ecoprinting on paper, my way.

January – Boil 1. The Control – no mordant or leaf dip.

Pot – Rusty roasting tin

Water – Tap with vinegar, about 2 tablespoons to 2 litres of water.

Paper – Seawhites and Windsor & Newton cartridge paper, printer paper.

Mordant – none

Leaf dip – none

Plants – cranesbill geranium, rose, strawberry, bramble, fern, herb robert, spleenwort.

Cooking time – submerged and boiled 45 minutes , turned and boiled 45 minutes.

Observations -This is my control reference with no mordant or leaf dip.

Images

Boil 2 – as boil 1 except:-

Leaf dip– copper sulphate 2%

Images

Boil 3 – as boil 1 except :-

Mordant – Alum Acetate 2.5%

Leaf dip – copper sulphate 2%

Images

Conclusion – Copper leaf dip gives brighter colours, more gold/ yellow/ brown prints. The fern that printed a light blue green and was totally unexpected. Spleenwort printed rust.

Comparison photo

Top left no mordant or leaf dip, top right no mordant and copper leaf dip. Bottom AA mordant and copper leaf dip.

It’s Time To Ecoprint

It’s that time of year when I have a little flurry of ecoprinting activity before the leaves fall.  As you will have read in my last post, like a squirrel building a dray I’m collecting leaves when I’m out and about, I’m also using what’s in my garden.

Ecoprints on paper just need framing upI do love this time of year, foraging gives me great pleasure and the fact I can capture the emotions I’ve had when I’m out somewhere (also memories) gives me a lasting connection to a place.

I’m saving the leaves from my walk last week to print some linen when it arrives, meanwhile  I’ve gathered leaves in the garden to print on paper.

The first batch of ecoprints were ok but not as good as I hoped for.

The next batch were made on a different paper, I didn’t use a mordant, just a rusty pan and some vinegar in my water. I love the results.

As I printed on both sides of the paper it’s difficult to decide which one I like best. Which do you like, A or B ?

Ecoprints on paper just need framing up

Ecoprints on paper just need framing upMy cotinus did a great job, this plant never ceases to amaze me, I’ve never had blue prints before, or yellow green. Most of the time it prints a dark colour, often purple. So far this year it hasn’t printed with much colour so I was delighted when I got this pretty blue.

Ecoprints on paper just need framing up
I shall be printing using mordants this week so watch this space 🙂

Ecoprints on paper just need framing up

Ecoprints on paper just need framing up
Here’s just a few of this weeks prints, they are gradually making their way into my shop.
Ecoprints on paper just need framing up

Ecoprints on paper just need framing up

Ecoprints on paper just need framing up