This is a blog post on natural printing on paper using leaves and onion skin. Natural occurring dye plants It’s my first time printing on paper this blog post is just to document that journey and experience. I am no expert on this topic but I did use the following method that made it work.
For natural printing on paper, I use a similar method the same as what I do printing on cotton fabric. I use the usual leaves like sorrel and onion skins that would produce natural prints.
Natural printing on paper
Thick cartridge paper that is available in art shops and some wall tiles are some of the materials that are utilised in this process. I have seen some using tubes and using immersion methods for natural printing on paper. I have not tried the immersion method before. However, the principles of natural printing on paper apply the same as printing on fabric. This is due to the amount of correct moisture and heat to enable it to make prints on paper.
This method I tried works on small pieces (A4 size folded cartridge/watercolor grade) of paper. I also use my own recipe of AA and iron mordant. The paper is put in this mixture beforehand. Then the leaves are sandwiched in between the soaked paper. I use tiles as they are fairly heavy and can be pressed together. It is possible to use wood sticks or even aluminum, iron, or copper rods. Then put on a greaseproof paper or old plastic bag for steaming or microwave. I use the microwave technique for this time as it works well for small pieces of paper. Short bursts of 2-3 mins till the leaves start to wilt and start steaming. Here are tips on how to eco-print fabric using the microwave.
Recently I have also tried using the steaming method which works very well much better than the microwave technique.. I use an electric baby bottle steamer. I use about 3-4 cycles of steam and it gives nice prints. The printed colors are a bit brown and orange due to tannin and the natural print supply in winter. I will post an update once I made more print experiments.