Thursday, May 19, 2016

Eco Print T-shirt - Part I

I have been interested in trying to eco print on a finished garment . . . I see this as a challenge because of the finished seams and construction details (sleeves!) but also as a way of achieving a design on a specific part of the garment.

I purchased a plain inexpensive cotton t-shirt for this first attempt and I scoured it to remove impurities from the manufacturing process and then pre-mordanted it with alum and soda ash.

I chose leaves from which I could be sure of getting some imprint (raspberry, rose, Japanese maple and smoke bush) but I also added some unknown grasses along the lower edge.
In between the front and back of the shirt I inserted fabric that had been soaked in an iron-rich solution.

The shirt was rolled between layers of plastic onto a thick wooden branch and the outer edge was covered with plastic before being wrapped tightly. I then simmered the bundle in water with iron and onion skins for two hours.

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