Fabric printing wth eucalyptus

This is a blog post on fabric printing with eucalyptus. Eucalyptus is a fantastic plant for eco or natural printing. It leaves both sides to yield color when printing. On protein fibers like wool and silk, it can give red to orangey red when printed. When I mean printed it simply means printing using bundle printing as described here in one of my old blog posts.

Here is a link to a blog post on how to grow eucalyptus at home. Otherwise, just use florist-bought ones and they work just the same. The leaves can be dried and stored away easily.

Habotai silk fabric printed with eucalyptus and sumac leaves

Fabric printing with eucalyptus

It is possible to make a print using eucalyptus leaves on natural fibers. On cellulose fibers like cotton and viscose and on protein fibers like silk and wool. I do tend to pre-treat the cellulose fibers with soy milk beforehand. This is so to increase the uptake of dyes on them. To get a nice red color is to steam the bundle in high heat. It is certainly much easier to get red color on silk rather than cotton fabric. I have been using the Eucalyptus Gunni variety which is commonly found in the UK.

Cotton jersey fabric printed with eucalyptus and maple leaves

The heat, moisture, and type of mordant can also affect the brightness of the print when printed. Nowadays, I tend to use homemade AA (alum acetic) and iron mordant the same for all types of fibers. Some fibers like cotton jersey tend to take dyes better than cotton poplin. So do an experiment and try it out for yourself.

There are many different varieties of eucalyptus and they yield different colors. Here is a database done by Sally Blake that is very helpful.

Thank you for reading and dropping by. Do have a look at my other blog posts like fabric printing using the microwave. This blog is written on my own experiences and opinions.

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