Eco printing silk

how to print silk with natural articles in a very humble non scientific amateur way, which may lead to some

lovely discoveries of colour and experience…

learnt from my lovely creative mother in law (illegal) in the style of India Flint

i gathered  these simple materials for my bush camp dyeing experience…

some silk, leaves, flowers, onion skin, a rusty bottle top, string and a rusty old camp oven (the iron reacts with the ingredients to enhance darker colors and give you a bit of extra magic, saying which, any big non food pot will do) with a stick which fits inside it…20120725-195818.jpg

lay out your natural gatherings (being mindful of what and where you gather) along your silk, fold to the width of your stick20120725-195831.jpg

roll it all up and wrap as tight as you can with some strong string…

fill your pot with water enough to cover your bundle… I was lucky to get pure mountain water…


heat your goodies now. i generally go to boiling temp but not actually bubbling for about an hour, then remove from heat and let sit overnight or longer..


when you can no longer wait the next day, open it up!20120725-195930.jpg

mm looks suspicious

enjoy the surprise of opening your bundle20120725-200003.jpg

yay something happened!!20120725-200021.jpg


give it a quick and gentle rinse20120725-200030.jpg

hang in the shade to dry20120725-200042.jpg

where does the silk end and the tree begin20120725-200055.jpg

the colors are perfectly matched to our environment!20120725-200103.jpg


a bush pixie got squished in20120725-200120.jpg




i did another bundle the following night, using the same water, and yielded much darker shades20120725-200223.jpg


and some beautiful leaf prints20120725-200238.jpg


i also cleverly have printed leaves onto our awning!

place on leaves, make damp with night dew, roll it up tight and leave in the sun for days and days!20120725-200301.jpg



7 thoughts on “Eco printing silk

  1. so inspirational …to run away and live outdoors….campfires , crafting
    and babies(to late for the babies bit) !! Mine is almost leaving home:( These are precious memories in the making xxx

  2. Hi Rose,
    i’m exciting about your way of working! i’ve tried to do the same but it doesn’t work !I’ve question if you do not mind ! How long it takes boiling in the water and when should I remove the roll ?
    Thank you in advance,

    • Hi Nada
      Sorry for such a long wait. I’ve been bush again!
      So, the silk roll I usually simmer for about an hour, then leave with the lid on overnight and as long as I can wait the next day.
      Good luck.
      Consider your first attempt as a pre dye preparation!
      If you add some rusty metal to the pot it will help enhance the darker colors. Or a cup of vinegar is another option.
      My first success was with common garden plants.
      Rose leaves, mint, citrus leaves, bracken and fish bone fern.
      Place the leaves shiny side onto fabric.
      Let me know how it goes and happy experimenting.

  3. Wow Rose – those sillks look gorgeous, wish I was there to do some with you! What did you put in the pot to make the dye? No more access to Jess’s didge scrapings!! Must get back to doing mine again . . . . love your outlaw Mumma x

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