Eco-printing is “printing” done with botanicals - leaves, berries, stems, flowers etc… For these necklaces I have been using eucalyptus which almost always results in an orange or red print. On one of the recent necklaces (Read Between the Lines) I also included dandelion blossoms and English ivy leaves which did “print”, but not as well as the eucalyptus.
Eco-printing is often done on wool, cotton, and silk. There are different methods for the printing process some of which include simmering or steaming overnight (preferably outside) in a pot after having been bound around a stick or a copper pipe or iron rod. I know of one woman who uses her microwave for her eco-printing rather than a long simmer or steam. She has to wrap her to be printed packages in plastic and very tightly so the heating process isn’t causing air to expand and possible burst through the plastic (plus is has to be a plastic that will not melt with the extreme heat). I’ve not tried that approach primarily because my pieces are irregular in shape and it might be very difficult to avoid heat expansion of trapped air. I may give it a go at some point.
I soak my necklaces in a solution of water, vinegar and either alum or cream of tartar. I’ve steamed some over night, simmered a couple for over 4 hours, currently steaming for about 4 hours.
Different plants have different effects, some very beautiful and lasting, some interesting but fugitive. This is a good source for information: https://wendyfe.wordpress.com/plants-for-eco-dyeing-and-eco-printing/