This is another series of my experiences in natural fabric printing on madder this time. Madder is a quite an old dye plant that can be grown in the UK or colder climates. It yields a lovely pink hue red. I have just recently acquired a madder plant and don’t really want to start using the roots till it established. therefore a powder form of madder is used instead. The madder powder I use is from George Weil craft supplies online. I just didn’t want to use dye fabrics but wanted to create prints on fabric. In my journey, I have tried all sorts of techniques. From synthetic procion dyes to digital printing.
Natural fabric printing on madder
I use crepe de chine silk fabric for this experiment. As I found that in my previous fabric printing with logwood using habotai silk that the silk is rather thin and flimsy although its uptake on dyes is very good. As much as I love to be eco friendly, organic, and vegan silk fabric is still around the best fabric to print with. I get my silk fabrics from Pongees silk online. The minimum sale is 1 meter. There are silk alternatives like bamboo silk but it is uptake is less strong than silk. It is more pastel in shades. Maybe it just needs a longer and strong fiber to dye ratio than silk. Or I just need to experiment more.
I mix the madder powder in water and off the I dip the silk fabric in the dye. Alum was soaked on one side and none on the other. alum tends to brighten the colour. I then use my usual recipe of tannin and iron blanket. The results are great as ever. This time the ivy leaves I use is bigger in shape therefore it prints big on the fabric. I also stuck to only one dye meaning just using madder and not other dyes. However, the iron blanket had leftover log wood residue therefore maybe it yields a bit of pule colour outside the ivy leaves. Iron tends the darken shades of dye.