The Eco-Printing; title sounds romantic, doesn’t it? The craft is even more so! This technique of eco printing allows you to capture the natural inherent colours and patterns of leaves, flowers and stems on fabric. Kind of like taking a time stamp of a season or a tree! The only thing you need to keep in mind is that eco printing comes out beautifully on natural fabrics like Organic cotton, wool, linen, silk etc. As you perfect the craft you can add mordants and modifiers to tweak your prints.
India Flint, one of the popular names in natural dyeing was the one who pioneered eco printing. She was out in her garden and saw that the hen had laid some eggs and surprisingly they had leaf prints! Upon closer inspection, she found that eucalyptus leaves were releasing colours on the eggs. And this happened because of the conducive atmosphere created due to the dampness surrounding the nest and the warmth when the hen sat on her eggs.
This incident inspired her to test the leaves to see if they could do the same on fabrics. To her delight, they did!
While mass produced fabric is uniform in every aspect, eco printed fabrics have an individual character. A simple change in the arrangement of the leaves or change in pH can give a different design. Mordants and modifiers used in the eco printing process also alter the prints.
There are approximately 73000 species of trees distributed throughout the world. Which means there is a vast variety of leaves and flowers to choose from! And nature will keep surprising you with different colour palettes.
You know how mangoes and watermelons taste the best in summers! It’s the same with eco printing. Prints of a leaf taken in various seasons may vary in its colour, intensity of colour and pattern as well. The tannin and acid contents in a leaf keeps changing throughout the seasonal cycle which means that there are no two similar eco printed fabrics. It’s this individuality that makes eco printing so satisfying and distinct.
Sometimes eco printers forage leaves and flowers in a particular season because the plant matter is at its best. They then store them for using all year round.
If you want to own an eco printed fabric without having to go through the trouble of foraging leaves, you can buy it from us! Suvetah has an exquisite collection of eco- printed fabrics in different materials and designs.