This is a great time to try this art. The leaves are full of moisture and just right to be hammered.
Before choosing leaves the fabric needs to be prepared. Here are supplies you will need for this process.
- 100% white cotton fabric (yard)
- washing soda (available at most grocery stores)
- alum (aluminum sulfate) found in spice area
- container to soak fabric
- wax paper
- masking tape
- fresh leaves
Preparing the fabric:
- Wash fabric in hot water with 2 tablespoons of Washing Soda in washing machine with regular laundry detergent.
- In the container, add 2 ozs of alum to 1 pint of hot water and dissolve.
- Add wet washed fabric to container. When cool, add 1 teaspoon of washing soda and add additional warm water to make a gallon.
- Soak overnight.
- Hang to dry and then iron.
Now that the fabric is prepared, it’s time to get your printing area ready. On a hard surface, stack newspapers as padding and then top with the fabric. I cut mine in small sizes to fit my printing surface. I also put wax paper over the newspaper so that the fabric does not sit directly on the newspaper.
Then it’s time to pick some leaves. I tried a variety of leaves from lemon balm to ferns. The hostas and lemon balm didn’t do well. The best leaves I have found so far are coleus.
Place your leaves Vein Side Down. This is really important to be able to get a good print. Then cover the leaf with masking tape.
Now turn over and hammer. As you hammer, the leaves will appear.
Once you think it looks done, turn it over and peel off the leaf. This was not the best print but the only one I took a picture of me removing the leaf.
Here is another one which is more defined.
Once the fabric is dry, rinse it with a little washing soda and hang to dry. When dry, iron and you have your print.
Now to decide what to do with this. I outlined with a green micron pen. That would be fine and finished, but wait!
It’s off to the sewing machine with a quilt sandwich.
I also outlined the veins with a brown Pigma brush pen but didn’t like the results. I did find outlining before sewing makes it easier to follow the lines.
These leaves would look good on a wall hanging or sewn to a purse. For now, I’ll just sit and look at mine. You know – it’s all about the process!!