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Ecoprinting with Laura Dell'Erba - Viscose and Voile

Ecoprinting is a wonderful technique to dye fabrics with zero impact on the environment. Whatís more, the results you can get with this dyeing method are truly astonishing. Indeed, because the leaves and the flowers are in direct contact with the fabric, the printed motives will be very crisp. If you havenít tried ecoprinting yet, now itís the time to do it!

In Italy, the ecoprinting guru is our friend Laura Dell'Erba. We asked her to work with fabrics of plant and animal origin, specifically our viscose crepe voile and our silk cotton voile. Discover the results by reading this tutorial. I love it!
TEMPORARY - 140 cm wide Crepe Voile 100% Viscose - Raw Colors
Natural White
1 m € 8,14
€ 11,63
2 m € 15,96
€ 22,80
5 m € 38,68
€ 55,25
Natural Dye Extract 75 g - Turmeric
Turmeric - gr. 75
1 pc. € 19,91
Natural Dye Extract 75 g - Logwood
Logwood - gr. 75
1 pc. € 31,17
Natural Dye Extract 75 g - Nut
Nut - gr. 75
1 pc. € 11,93

Ecoprinting on viscose crepe

For ecoprinting on fabrics of plant origin you do not need to use vinegar as you do for etamine, gauze and silk chiffon 6. Firstly, symmetrically fold the fabric into an accordion fold.

Ecoprinting - Viscose crepe

Pick the leaves you wish to use and put them inside the fold. If you want a result thatís similar to mine, you can use leaves from chestnut tree, Norway maple, liquidambar, ailanthus and blackberry bush. You can also add some onion skin and sandalwood.

Ecoprinting - Placing leaves on viscose crepe

Next, take an iron rod and wrap some cotton cloth around it, so that the fibers of the fabric you want to print will not get ruined. Start from the edge of the fabric and roll it up, carefully avoiding to create any creases.

Ecoprinting - rolling the viscose crepe

Finally, close the roll on both sides and use some doubled kitchen twine to tie it up.

After this, start mixing 3 grams of logwood extract into some cold water. Use a pot with a capacity of at least 25 liters and put the viscose crepe roll in it, with the mixture you have prepared. Keep in mind that itís always best to cook vegetable fibers for at least one hour.

Ecoprinting - logwood

This is what the viscose crepe looks like after boiling. See the details that you can achieve with ecoprinting.

Ecoprinting - leaf

Ecoprinting - unfolding the roll

Ecoprinting on viscose crepe - finished fabric

Ecoprinting on 70% cotton, 30% silk

You can use ecoprinting on voile, too. The first step is to fold your fabric into an accordion fold. Once thatís done, put your leaves into the fold. If you wish to do the same as I did, use fern, rosa rugosa, rumex, cornus and prunus leaves.

Ecoprinting - placing leaves on voile

After you have placed the leaves onto the fabric, get an iron rod, and wrap some cotton fabric around it. Be careful not to make any creases. To tie the fabric more easily, fasten both sides with a rubber band, then tie the fabric with some doubled kitchen twine.

Ecoprinting - placing leaves on voile

Prepare a mixture with 4 grams of chlorophyll extract and put it into a pot with approximately 25 liters of water.

Ecoprinting - Voile roll

Put the 70% cotton, 30% silk voile roll into the cold water, then bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Ecoprinting - Voile roll in the pot

This is what the 70% cotton, 30% silk voile looks like once you take out of the pot. Look at the amazing detail you can achieve with eocprinting.

Ecoprinting - Voile roll unfolded after cooking

Ecoprinting - Voile roll unfolded and dry

Ecoprinting on voile - Final result

This is the finished fabric. So bright and delicate.

Ecoprinting on voile dress

In this article, Laura Dell'Erba taught you all her secrets to use ecoprinting techniques on fabrics of plant origin. In this other article, Paola BarzanÚ, a natural dye expert, will teach you 10 golden rules for dyeing.