Thursday, 3 April 2014

Eco Dyeing on card and paper

As promised Eco Dyeing part 2

You will need:

Selection of plant material
Card or Watercolor Paper I used 140lb Acid Fee
Old Ceramic wall tiles
Rubber bands or string
Steamer, mine came from charity shop
White do not have to use this, experiment and see which you prefer. 

First of all I gathered my blossom

Offering from the Spring Garden

Gather Card, paper and cut to size required

I use two ceramic tiles 6 x 6 inch

as you can see these are old used ones

I dip my card or watercolor paper into white vinegar as I layer up

Begin layering up

Place first card onto tile

Laying out on card

Layout on paper

Side view of layers

Once I have all my layers on I place the other tile on top and secure with bands or you could use string

Then you are ready to steam

I use an old stainless steel steamer

The steamer lid will not fit over the tiles so I improvise by using an old Aluminum saucepan, just be careful when removing as steam escapes quickly ......I always turn off my cooker first and leave to cool.

Once your prints have cooled untie and wash any stubborn foliage off in water.... leave to dry.

A selection of prints on card that were steamed for 1 and a half hours

Daffodil, Grape Hyacinth and forget me not, you can see in this photo that some of the plant stuck fast! it has removed a little of the surface....but I like this as I feel it looks like an old plastered wall

This card was only steamed for 1 hour

I love the touch of Pink here from the Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom, Camellia petal and Rose shoot from a shop bouquet

Wild Geranium Herb Robert, Grape Hyacinth, Cherry Blossom and Poppy leaf

Wild Geranium Herb Robert and Spruce the dots of Blue are from the Grape Hyacinth

A few prints on Paper

I love the painterly quality of these prints

Cherry Blossom and Grape Hyacinth that has run.....gorgeous

Grape Hyacinth bells lose, touches of wild Geranium

I would like to say that I am only a beginner.....who is learning everyday, I have taught myself with the help of online tutorials and the kindness and patience of many facebook friends who are teachers in Eco Dyeing and Printing.

I hope you are inspired to have a go.

Lots of love for now 
Marilyn xx


  1. Very nice, Marilyn, and generous of you to share what you've learned!

  2. wow, I have been steaming mine for 3 hours and soaking paper for 1 hour,
    I haven't got the color you get yet, thanks for sharing your experiments!
    I'm wondering if using aluminum pans has made a problem for me.
    Well I'm inspired to try try try again! Love your prints!

  3. Gràcies per compartir el seu art!
    Ho provaré a casa!

  4. Wonderful tutorial, thank you. I bought India's book I'm embarrassed to say how long ago & was a bit frightened of the science but I've been slowly collecting the bits & pieces I need together. This tut is inspiring me to get on.......The herb robert leaf is amazing, I'll have to wait a bit for those as I'm so far north ;)

  5. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments xx

  6. Thanks, Marilyn, for sending me the worked! Love the way your cards came out. The colors are spectacular. You're doing so well for a beginner too! I would have to say you're past "beginner". ;-) Thanks, for sharing.

  7. Very inspiring, thanks so much for sharing this technique. Your work is beautiful! warm wishes , Susanne, Hockley Valley, Ontario

  8. these are such beautiful prints Marilyn....

  9. Marilyn, you're amazing in paper prints. They're soooooo pretty looks like watercolor painting. I've never got such beautiful blue, pink even yellow from our local flowers. Daffodils are wonderful.

    1. Thank you Terriea for your lovely comments :-) x

  10. wow, I loved this Marilyn! (so glad you`re now blogging, too!) (Another excuse for me to be surfing the net, instead of actualy making art!!) I can`t believe the outcome - amazing! I especially loved the forget-me-nots! thanks for sharing! Judith x

  11. beautiful results, Marilyn. I just got a couple of tiles this week so I could start experimenting with paper. Most of my dyeing has been done on cloth. great tutorial.

  12. Ziet er super uit !
    Ga het zeker proberen !
    Quiévrain groet Rini

  13. So beautiful I am amazed, it is so generous of you to share this idea xxx
    Thank you I shall be happy if mine are half as good as your beautiful ones xx
    Lynn xx

  14. Hi marilyn,
    So glad to find your wonderful blog....lovely pictures

  15. Fantastic wish we had you in our worshops . Lucky cornwal. Great blog from bodkin

  16. Hi Marilyn, I've just added you to our new Fannie & Fox blog, we are a group of artists living and working in Cornwall, please take a look and join us on our journey.. All welcome.

  17. HI Marilyn:

    I never realized you could do this! How beautiful! Thank you so much. I will share!
    happy creating,


  18. I've been working with leaves for a few years but am amazed to see eco-dying which I'd never heard of. It's one in the morning and I'm so excited to know about this art. Fortunately with the unusually warm fall there are still leaves around for me to hoard while I get the pots and pans together! Thank you VERY much for so generously sharing the steps of this process. I read a couple of other blogs but couldn't understand the steaming part which I now do thanks to your excellent photos and clear words. Thank you, thank you Marilyn.
    Hazel is my site, if you're interested.

  19. thanks that is encouraging and as I have never done this then it makes me say hmmm I could give this a go . Have a lovely day and happy creating Therese.

  20. Love this,,want to try it. No fixer or mordant necessary? Also, layered as they are with paper, does this give you a print on both sides of the papers?