Printing indigo leaves on cotton cloth.

I picked some leaves from my indigoplants and arranged them on a piece of cotton. The fabric was not pretreated, only washed after it was bought to preshrink it and take away some of the stuff producers put on it.

I sandwiched the leaves between double pieces of cloth, in plastic and onto a towel. Then I took a nice flat rock that I keep in the garden and some frustration and combined them:

Sneak peek. The leaf desintegrates and leaves behind some colour:

Colour is seeping through through all layers. I have to pound very precise to work the shape of the leaf. And I have to pound many many times. This is tiresome, I can see why people do this for a hobby or an experiment, not for production.

Outer fabric:

Inner fabrics, with leaves stuck onto them:

The other outer fabrics. This is actually the fabric that was on top during the pounding. The one at the bottom received more colour.

Peeled off the leaves from the inner fabric, this clearly will be the main fabric:

Then I waited to see if it might grow more blur in the light and oxygen, the indigo magic. It did do so! But not as blue as you’d think when thinking “indigo”.
It went from bright sap green to a darker, blueish green.

I heard that an afterbath with hand soap brings out a bit more blue so I painted the leaf on the left with soapy water (green soap, soft soap, Driehoek). There’s a little difference in colour there:

Leaving it out to dry. I did not give any other leaf a soapy treatment:

Hey, a little friend:

A few days later it looks like this:

They’ve grown more blue.

The leaf in the bottom left is the soapy leaf, as is the left leaf on the paper. They are distinctively more blue than the others.
The fabric in direct contact with the leaves gives the best prints. The other fabrics I’ll reuse, perhaps dye with plants.
I have not rinsed these yet. I did put the iron on the paper leaves, they changed a bit colour then. The soap paper leaf grew even greyish.

I want to pound some more leaves! Fill the whole piece of cloth with it and then sew with it. I have other pieces mordanting in alum, for dyeing. I’d like to combine the two. In a little project bag. Or a skirt.
As soon as I finish a sleeve on a cardigan.


One thought on “Printing indigo leaves on cotton cloth.

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