As the new eco-print and natural dyeing season approaches in Chicago, I have begun to focus on incorporating last season’s eco-printed fabric to my current wardrobe. One special piece continues to attract my attention. This was a scrap of silk which I eco-dyed with eucalyptus and rose leaves.
I gave serious thought about how I might use this piece to its best advantage. In the meantime, I remembered I had purchased organic cotton jersey, which I had used to make a few scarves.
This silk scrap seemed to go better with my purchased fabric. I am thinking of a tunic. The fabric needs to be washed first. I also found some naturally-dyed lace from last season, and if I decide to go ultra-feminine, there might be some lace added as well. Stay tuned!
I finally took the opportunity to eco-print with my fresh eucalyptus over the weekend. Whole Foods surprised me last week with a small selection of eucalyptus branches. I recognized the shape immediately, and I was told by the manager of the floral department that they would be stocking eucalyptus through the Thanksgiving holidays.
Gathering my previously mordanted fabric scraps (wool and silk), I got a pot boiling and steamed the wool and silk, after laying out the eucalyptus leaves, along with a few wild rose leaves. I was pleased with the results, particularly the small scrap of dupioni silk (below, right). The wool was not as clearly printed (right), but I noted that my handmade white pre-felt was uneven in texture.
Not willing to quit while I was ahead, I decided to print two camisoles that I had previously mordanted and stored in the refrigerator this summer.
Both the silk camisole and sweet gathered cotton top printed well. They included eucalyptus, rose and geranium leaves.
The fact is, I am not all that pleased with my SunMoonStars cloth. It doesn’t look like I wanted it to be, like I had imagined it to be. Perhaps I was imagining cloth similar to Spirit Cloth’s many lovely versions by Jude Hill. Or perhaps like the ones I have seen within her Circle of friends.
I may need to begin again. Start over. With new/old cloth.
But in the meantime, I hauled in two big scores this week: black walnut hulls and florist’s eucalyptus. Thank you, my son, Matt–for the walnuts. Thank you, Whole Foods, for finally stocking fresh eucalyptus.
I will be dyeing, boiling and eco-printing tomorrow. And thinking about a new constellation for SunMoonStars.