May Half Term: Natural Pigments and Plant Recognition


The first day was dedicated to teaching the children about the technique of eco printing. Inspired by the ancient art of natural dyeing and reinvented by textile artist India Flint. We first introduced the children to different types of leaves and showed them also some textiles that had already been eco printed. We also sent the children to find some leaves and flowers of their own. We explained to the children that this was very much a ‘mad scientist experiment’ and that we were not sure ourselves of the final results. In fact, whether the pigment from the flowers and leaves ‘sticks’ depends very much on a host of factors: the leaves chosen, the season, the water, the type of fabric etc.

 Children collecting leaves Plant recognition

 Making the bundles

  Simmering the bundles


On the second day we did some Hapa Zome – which is the process of pounding flowers and leaves to transfer the pigment onto cloth. Out eco print experiment results in very faint colours on the cloth, the leaves did not print even though we chose leaves  (Oak and maple) that we knew usually leave a print on cloth (we don’t know why this is, we’ll have to adjust the recipe!). The onion skin left dyed quite nicely, giving a lovely reddish/brownish background colour.  

  Hapa zome Children choose the materials

 Cosmos flower Onion skinsCosmos flower