Eco-Prints + Fabric Stash = Win/Win

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!


Up-cycling with Eco-printing

This hot summer and intermittent rain has given us lush foliage in Chicago, so on the order of making hay while the sun shines, I decided to do more eco-printing and up-cycling of cellulose fibers this past week.

First up, my Mom gave me her old Jones, NY 100% cotton T-top and asked if I could “do something with it.”  There were a few old food stains and some tiny blood spots, so why not try?  Generally, the items I eco-print with the intent of up-cycling tend to be light colored tops that just need a dash of color.  I had never before tried to dye a stained item.

I went ahead and scoured the top in Synthrapol, then mordanted it with alum acetate.  And after rinsing again, I proceeded to lay out some leaves, including rose leaves, milkweed and loropetalum.  After an hour or two of boiling, and an overnight rest, I was delighted with the results.  My mom is tickled pink!

Detail up-cycled Jones NY Shirt
Upcycled Jones NY T-Top for my Mom

In the same pot, I eco-printed an old Hanro long-sleeved undershirt (100% cotton) that I wear in winter. I used the same scour and mordant process as above, but layered the shirt with false indigo (the yellow), some geranium and rose leaves.  Again, very pleased!

Detail eco-printed underwear
Detail eco-printed underwear

Finally, I made myself a long skirt last week in 100% organic cotton jersey but had some leftover cloth when I trimmed the hem.  Perfect for an infinity scarf!  Scoured, mordanted and eco-printed with mostly geranium leaves.

I am having way too much fun without spending any money.   I love it!!!

Infinity Scarf up-cycled from skirt hem remnant
Infinity Scarf up-cycled from skirt hem remnant