Tag Archives: plant dyes

Complex botanical dyes and ecoprints on silk – painterly inspiration

Lunar Mystery ecoprint scarfLunar Mystery Scarf – with cutch, indigo, blackberry leaves, coreopsis, cotinus coggygria leaves and marigold petals on flat crepe silk – SOLD.

During the autumn months of 2015 I created a collection of silk scarves using layerings of ecoprints, botanical dyes and resist dye techniques. As an artist with a background in painting and printmaking I have always enjoyed complex layerings of colour and texture.  I have been observing within the ‘ecoprint’ community that there seems to be a preference for exact detail of the leaves and other botanical material. In my opinion this is often at the expense of the subtle nuances of colour that ecoprinting can offer. I think this is due to an overuse of iron as a mordant. While iron does bring out details it also saddens and darkens colour. Iron can also affect the integrity of silk and can leave it duller and less ‘silky’. I always use alum as a mordant and I sometimes use iron in small amounts. My interest lies more in the painterly and playful effects of layered colour and texture and the infinite nuances of colour from botanical dyes and ecoprints than in reproducing the leaves exactly.

Where some may find the yellows and golds unwanted in the scarf below, I find it beautiful. Not using iron allows the golds and rusts of the coreopsis and the pale lilac blues of the cotinus to flourish. Where the warm and cold colours meet are an infinite variety of subtle greens.

Golden silk scarfCotinus leaves and Coreopsis silk scarf – with cutch, cotinus and coreopsis on flat creper silk scarf – SOLD

On the subject of painting, during my recent show “Botanical” I had the pleasure of showing my work with the lovely miniature botanical paintings of artist Nadine Stefan. We decided to do this after noticing how our work complemented each other. It was so rewarding for us to see our work displayed together in this way. We had an almost sellout show!

Botanical Show“Botanical” – Hidden Garden Gallery, New Denver, BC, Dec, 2015

Botanical show“Botanical” – Hidden Garden Gallery, New Denver, BC, Dec, 2015

Nadine Stefan paintingsNadine Stefan miniature paintings in “Botanical” 

Nadine Stefan is an artist who works in a wide variety of media. Check out her website here: Nadine Stefan

Here are a few more pieces from my collection  – some have sold and others I have made available for purchase in my online gallery  – Those still available appear first in my products, and following those I have left some of the sold ones for you to view. here: http://morgenbardati.bigcartel.com/

Wine and Gold scarfWine and Gold scarf – with cochineal, madder, cotinus coggygria leaves (smokebush), coreopsis leaves and flower buds, and sumac leaves on flat crepe silk scarf – SOLD

Moom and Leaves silk chiffon scarf

Moon and Leaves silk scarf –  with leaves of maple, birch and cotinus coggygria ecoprints with cutch, brazilwood and indigo on crepe de chine

Blue green gold silk scarfBlue green and gold ecoprints and itajime silk scarf – with madder, coreopsis, cotinus coggygria, maple and indigo on crepe de chine.

Botanical Dream scarfBotanical Dream silk scarf – with black tea, coreopsis, cotinus coggygria and maple leaves on flat crepe silk – SOLD

Landscape Illusion scarfLandscape Illusion scarf – with black tea, cotinus coggygria leaves, coreopsis flowers, sumac leaves and indigo on medium weight silk habotai

Blue and Brown silk scarfBlue and Brown ecoprint and botanical dye silk scarf – with maple leaves, marigold and cotinus coggygria ecoprints with cutch, black tea and indigo on silk chiffon

Mother pf Pearl and Flowers silk scarf Mother of Pearl and Flowers silk scarf – with black tea, brazilwood, coreopsis, cotinus coggygria leaves, indigo on sheer lightweight silk habotai

Late September Garden silk scarf Late September Garden silk scarf with cochineal, coreopsis flowers, Japanese maple leaves and cotinus coggygria (smokebush) leaves on crepe de chine – SOLD

 I wanted to extend a sincere thank you to all those of you who supported our show “Botanical”, both locally and afar. Also, many thanks to all of those who have emailed me recently with your kind words of encouragement – I appreciate you all very much. I am considering the idea of presenting a workshop – perhaps here in the Kootenays in the early Fall when the local leaves are strong with colour. I will keep you posted.

Botanical Alchemy – ecoprint, plant dyes, itajime and indigo

Ecoprint, itajime and indigo silk scarfFlat crepe silk scarf with rhubarb, madder, indigo, cotinus coggygria, coreopsis, itajime

Summer has flown by and though I have neglected to post here recently I have been collecting plant material for dye vats and contact prints, scouring and mordanting )mostly silk), starting and reviving indigo vats, dye baths and bundling, stitching and clamping shibori resists, stitching rolled hems, photo record keeping (trying to keep up), and then selling much of what comes out of all this activity at my local village market.

Here are some of the results of my summer:

Cotinus Cogyggria and black tea scarf

Flat crepe silk scarf with madder, black tea, cotinus coggygria, coreopsis

Ecoprint silk crepe scarf

Silk crepe with madder, rhubarb, cotinus coggygria, coreopsis, itajime

Paul Klee scarf

Silk charmeuse with rhubarb, madder, indigo, cotinus coggygria, cutch, coreopsis, itajime ( the colours and textures in this one remind of the paintings of Paul Klee)

Summer flowers silk scarf

Flat crepe with onion skins and coreopsis

Itajime, indigo and rhubarb silk scarf

Crepe de Chine with rhubarb, madder, indigo, cotinus coggygria, coreopsis, itajime

Silk charmeuse and coreopsis

Silk charmeuse with cotinus coggygria, coreopsis, cutch and black tea

Summer flowers and onion skin scarf

Crepe de Chine with onion skins, coreopsis, cotinus coggygria and rose leaves

Ruffled ecoprint shawl

Crepe de Chine silk shawl, double sided with ruffle – St JohnsWort, goldenrod, indigo, maple leaves, cotinus coggygria, coreopsis, itajime

Naturally dyed scarves with mixed techniques

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I’ve been meaning to share with you some of the scarves I made before Christmas but I. Have been having computer issues and avoided doing this on my ipad. I’m still waiting on the computer so here I am trying to configure this post on a little ‘gadget’. These scarves shown here are a collection of silk ones I constructed  myself as well as some simpler silk and silk/ wool blends which I purchased pre-hemmed. Most of the plant dyes used are local here in the Kootenays and include goldenrod, St Johns Wort, black walnut, onion skins and contact/ dye prints of coreopsis flowers, cottinus coggygria leaves, acer( maple) leaves, St. John’s wort, cosmos flowers, oak leaves, rhododendron leaves, strawberry leaves, some windfall lichen. I used a few exotic dyes on some pieces, including madder and logwood.  Techniques used are vat dye baths, contact/ Eco dye printing, screen printing, ‘itajime’, clamped block resist , a shiborI technique. I used a variety of beautiful silks, crepes, habotai, raw silk, charmeuse.

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Some naturally dyed and printed scarves to show you at last.

I have been slowly putting some of my natural dyed and printed fabrics together into scarves with ruffles and pockets.

Cotton and wool scarf with pocket – logwood dye, rusty metal rings, eco-printed and screenprinted with walnut husks.

Silk scarf - anemones and nudeThe colours on this piece I found extremely difficult to capture in a photo – it just does’nt do it justice – the sheen of the silk and the subtle colours I’ve used here are not showing as they should. This scarf is made of silk habotai with raw silk on the other side. Dyed with walnut husks, eco-printed and screenprinted with logwood and walnut husks, this scarf has a drawing of a nude screenprinted on one side. It can be worn with her showing or turned inside. The ruffled anemone printed edges appear on both sides of the scarf.  I have always maintained drawing as a core practice and have especially liked life drawing. Using some of my drawings on garments has been an idea I’ve had for a while. I plan to make a series of these.

IMG_1718 copyClose-up showing strawberry leaf and lichen contact prints and anemone flower screenprints in walnut husk and logwood printing ink.