This is a blog post on fabric printing with St John’s wort. St John’s wort is a perennial plant/ weed that grows easily in Mediterranean and temperate climates. Another name for this plant is Hypericum Perforatum. The flowers in particular from this plant produces an amazing variety of colors. The leaves also do produce a variety of prints when printed onto fabric. I tend to print with fresh flowers rather than dried ones. Fresh flowers produce amazing prints.
This is a natural fabric printing that uses natural dyes on fabric. Like in natural dyeing process there wil be some metal mordants are use like alum or iron this is so to adjust the print to be brighter or darker.
Fabric printing with St John’s wort
To get going with printing St John’s wort one will need to get hold of flowers. They are dead easy to grow if you have outdoor space and once established they grow like weeds. I have mainly printed a lot of silk as it’s a lovely fabric to print on. Other types of fibers have been used when printing like cotton. Only freshly harvested flowers have been used on fabric that has got a based color from other dyes like logwood and brazilwood.
I use a bundle method which is commonly used in natural fabric printing. Here is an old blog post on printing with Logwood more details about the process. Other types of leaves and flowers are use as well. That includes walnut, oxalis, cotinus and staghorn sumac. Like the picture above the flowers and leaves of St John wort are printed on logwood dyes fabric with iron blanket and there is some oxalis leaves visible.
As a result of the process is rather about compressing the flowers onto the fabric then tied tightly with string. the technique itself can be tweaked so that the lines can be less prominent. That’s my only critque about using bundle dyeing. St John Wort flowers do produce sometimes a blur prints due it’s bulky shape of flowers.