This is a blog post on how to do hapa zome print (leave hammering) at home. First of all, before I go any further I just would like to highlight that one needs to use fresh indigo leaves for this technique. Fresh indigo leaves will part away with indigo dye when hammered. Any variety or type of indigo will work. Here is how to grow Japanese indigo and woad. Using different types of indigo leaves it will give different types of patterns. This method also works with flowers but I would like to focus on indigo leaves. This print is not as last as prints that have been steamed.
This method doesn’t use any energy so it is quite environmental friendly. Minimal foot print except for fabrics delivery as the leaves as most likely to be harvested fresh nearby.
How to do hapa zome print (leave hammering).
To get started with hapa zome one will require a hammer, a surface that can withstand being hammered, and some protective cloth for the surfaces being hammered on. As you won’t want the indigo dye to stain the surfaces.
Do scour the fabrics with synthrapol and soda ash before printing. This is to remove any chemicals that stayed on the fabric during manufacturing. A soy milk pre-soak and then dried would help with the uptake of indigo as well.
Either fold over the fabric or use another white piece of fabric during hammering. I do add a bit of water but not much so that the leaves are moist and the dye come away easily wihen hammered. When hammered do small even taps so as to create an even imprint. For well define leave pattern make sure yo hammer around the edges of the leave. Once there an imprint and the hammered leaves become paper transparent paper thin. The print is ready. Leave it out for the print to oxidize it will turn to greenish blue. After washing in mild ph neutral detergent it will become blue.