textiles · exploration · misadventure



mordanted cottons resting and developing color after steaming for ecoprinting
huge dictionary with a rock on topMatthew originally called this post “Forty-seven pictures of a rock on a dictionary*.” Then he found me in the kitchen cackling with glee, and agreed things were better than they first seemed.

While waiting (and waiting) for my cotton and yarn to mordant, I’ve been experimenting with what India Flint calls hot bundling. Hmm… hadn’t noticed it sounds like what I do with Matt on cold nights….

But anyways.

3 cottons with slightly different shades of cream from three different mordantsA few months ago, I mordanted some cotton muslin in milk, soy, and oh yes, pee, left it to cure, and spent some time collecting various leaves, flowers, and seeds that I then pressed in above said dictionary, under a rock.

Left: pressed Asian pear and gingko leaves; right, flora laid out on mordantd fabricOnce cured, I soaked the cottons thoroughly in water and laid them out on my countertop along with the (mostly—I found some last minute additions) pressed flora.

mordanted cottons covered in flora, ready for ecoprinting

Top picture: Flora laid out on soy-mordanted cotton. Bottom picture: From bottom left, clockwise: some kind of eucalyptus leaves and seeds, ginko, Asian pear, blue smoke (cotinus), another eucalyptus variety, toyon berries and red bottlebrush flowers, maple leaves. Center is yet a third type of eucalyptus, rosea, possibly, and related seed pods.

four springroll-shaped bundles of cotton and flora, ready for steamingI laid the flora directly on the cottons, rolled them up, secured them with yarn or rubber bands, popped them into a steamer for an hour, and left them on the porch to cool. Here’s what developed overnight:
four springroll-shaped bundles of cotton and flora, exhibiting beginnings of orange and purple colors, one day after steaming

Here’s day two, where I got tired of looking at rubber bands amongst all the glory, and replaced it with yarn:
four springroll-shaped bundles of cotton and flora, exhibiting more coloring, two days after steaming

And day three:
four springroll-shaped bundles of cotton and flora, exhibiting more coloring, three days after steaming

Pant. Drool.

Bundles must sit two or three weeks to develop colors. That’s the hardest part of this process. Unless you count weeding out forty-six pictures of a rock and a dictionary.

*One of the best Christmas presents I ever received, way back in 1985. Although much enjoyed for its hugeness and comprehensiveness, it was sadly obsolete—until now. Ha!