This is a blog post on natural fabric printing using cotton. Natural printing also known as eco printing is a type of print that uses natural leaves and flowers to make a print on fabric. It is an amazing and easy technique to learn but to get sharp prints it does require certain skills and techniques.
Before getting printing success with cotton previously I was using silk. A lot of it. Simply because great success can be obtained from it. As I come to know how silk fabrics were produced I tried to change my approach and use other types of natural cellulose fibres. It wasn’t a great success initially, as the prints and colours were very dull in comparison to silk. I put it aside as I somehow lost the will to try. Then recently I gave it a try again and so far had great success not just once but a few times.
Natural fabric printing using cotton
Natural fabric printing using cotton does require the fabric to scour first. This is with some protein to make it behave like an animal/ protein fibre like silk or wool. I scoured it with soy milk and let it steep overnight then hang it to dry the next day. I then started printing it and found great success. Some printers use cow’s milk some just use heavy iron blankets and found great success.
My initial printing journey had great success just using a heavy iron blanket. The prints were amazing but only almost black print was obtained.
My printing technique also sharpens over time. I learn to recognise when a fabric needs more curing time than when it’s ready. It’s the secret to obtaining those sharp clear prints.