Eco-printing is an ancient, natural and artistic process for the dying and decoration of fabrics without the use of artificial dies or harmful chemicals. With this technique one can reproduce the shapes and colours of things in nature, leaves, flowers, seeds and bark amongst others on fabrics. The fabrics are tightly bundled with the objects and then boiled or steamed according to the result desired.
The word Eco means using nature’s resources without wasting them! Not wasting water, respecting the plants, picking them sustainably without uprooting them, leaving flowers for the bees and seeds for them to reproduce, collecting the autumn leaves that fall on the ground instead of cutting branches, composting plant waste and using cold techniques which save energy…
The choice of fabrics (cotton, wool, linen or silk) is also an ecological choice because they are all 100% natural. The preparation of these, called mordanting is a process which makes fabrics more receptive to colour and printing after they have been washed. There are various mordanting techniques and here too one must be sensitive in disposing of wastewater in the right way, I prefer to use up products entirely so as to waste as little as possible.
Printing in this case is botanical printing of leaves on fabric, or the various natural dyes which bind indelibly with the fabrics in a bond which is stable over time, giving vivid, unusual and varied colours that can’t be achieved with synthetic dyes. The ph of the water used can have an enormous effect on the final result when using natural dies. Some plants require alkaline water whilst others work better with acidic water. Rainwater, which is a fresh water because it contains few minerals, is ideal for obtaining the brightest and most luminous colours