Botanical Printing with Acid Dyes – Method 3

Method 3 consists of using iron, tannin and acid dyes.  That is all I can tell you as I am currently taking a course with Lena Archbold.  However, there are FB groups out there where one can get a host of information on botanical print dyeing and eco-dyeing.  The internet is also chocka block with info.

Patricia Spark has been involved with textiles and feltmaking for many years and is very knowledgeable.  If you are lucky to belong to a group she is in, you will learn many good things.  She put out a suggestion to try using the Margilan Silk Gauze Sparse on top of the silk gauze when printing.  The suggestion came about because I tried printing on just the sparse and you couldn’t see the print.

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As you can see, the sparse is so thin!  If it wasn’t on top of paper, you wouldn’t be able to see the print at all.  This is just using a dye blanket.

So, I took up Pat’s suggestion and this is what I got with method 3.  I found a chestnut tree on my way back from the seafront with the dogs the other day and picked a few leaves.  The sparse was not pre-dyed, but the gauze was pre-dyed with a pale orange.  I sprayed magenta acid dye onto the tannin blanket and got the prints below.  The sparse came out really well.

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Obviously, the thicker the silk, the better the prints will be.  So I shall have to source somewhere in the UK where I can get some nice white silk scarves with rolled edges.  All of the prints I have been making are samples 1 meter long and about 35-45cm wide.  The next class in my bundle is meant to take things to another level, so I will be waiting with anticipation for that.

In the meantime, I tried to re-print the sparse that didn’t take on top of a piece of gauze print that I was not happy with, but I did not get a good result with that.  I don’t know if it has anything to do with both pieces having been pre-dyed or my carrier.  I am going to try something different and see what happens.