Navigation: bundle #1


There appears to be no direct course ~ certainly no guarantees ~ for coaxing plants
to give up their colors on cloth.
Perhaps that's part of the thrill of it, all those unknown factors
working together to give us something we could never plan ...
like a party, where the group of invitees is such an odd assortment of characters
one has no idea of the party's outcome.
Will it break out in fistfights?  Be dull as dirt? (no offense to dirt)
Or encourage happy mingling with lots of pleasant repartee? 

Surely, the best way through a (new) thing is to just  GO ...
before you realize it,
you've set a course for yourself, one way or the other.

Back in July, I wrote  this post  about our merry band of island stitchers who happened
to take a quite unexpected detour from traditional shibori and sailed away (quite joyously) 
into another realm entirely ...
the one where  India Flint  lives.

We "bundled" our hearts out.
And over innumerable cooking pots of assorted vegetation,
a few of us lost our hearts to the process ...

For the next few days I thought I would post, one bundle at a time, my results ...
a good way perhaps, to keep permanent notes on how the colors came to be
and generally place some records here about this very special kind of mark-making.


Bundle #1 was a scrap of silk (no mordant) folded around purple pansies,
madrone bark, metal washers and one rusty nail,
wrapped around a piece of driftwood, secured with rubber bands,
steamed for 45 minutes,
then left to air dry for three weeks.

Biggest surprise?  That lovely peach color (below the washers) from the Pacific madrone bark.
Some great potential there in our native Arbutus menziesii !


  1. that looks really neat. maybe that's something sara (my 10 year old) and i can experiment with someday. i'm going to be starting to teach her to sew this coming weekend (going to go get her a new machine on saturday). after she's a little comfortable with sewing, maybe it would be fun to experiment with what you have here. i'll be looking forward to seeing the next bundle.

    1. That's exciting, Lisa, how wonderful to teach sewing, such a valuable skill. And if you venture into eco-printing, I cannot think of a better *nudge* for a young person (or older person!) to learn the magic of plant alchemy. Enjoy!

  2. A most lovely piece of silk. Good job!

    1. Thank you, Peggy...tis the plants & cloth that deserve the credit ;>]

  3. Beautiful pictures... you make them look so luscious, especially by adding purple fabric!

    As one of the bundlers that day, and because the Madrona bark was from our trees, and because I used some of it too, I need to add something to your findings. You got that lovely peachy color from it; I did not. I put pieces of the bark in both cotton and linen bundles, and got no color transfer at all. Both fabrics were mordanted with alum. We don't really know if it was the fiber or the mordant that blocked the color.

    It might be wise to try keeping more things constant. Like three fabrics, all same mordant, all same dye treatment, all with only Madrona bark. Like who has time for that????

    Oh well, it was a thought. Looking forward to your other bundle results! Thanks for posting these. xoxo R

    1. I will carry on this experiment with your madrone bark (many thanks for my new *stash* bag of it yesterday, dear Robin!) and we will see what happens. So curious, all of this combining & muddling about with which fabric, which mordant, how long to cook, etc. I've done some limited "controlled" experiments & they are worthwhile (albeit, labor intensive) so I like your idea about constancy. I guess one has to decide if the end color is worth fighting for :>]] so to speak.

  4. Cool! Love that peach color... especially combined with the purple.

  5. there is indeed much delight to be had from bark
    and you are so right
    the [rather Sagittarian] motto appropriated by a certain sports outfitter
    "just do it"
    fits so well with ecoprint bundling :)

    1. I had to purchase some new sneakers the other day, India, and I bought THAT brand. As a reminder. Silly, I know, but I couldn't resist.

  6. Like a lovely Christmas morning as you unwrap and see what awaits. Sometimes (as with this most lovely of pieces) its exactly the right gift -- other times I'm sure it 'doesn't fit' or isn't your 'color' -- but the expectation must be delicious!

    1. Oh Penny, this is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than Christmas ;>}}

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you, Maggi, and for your visit here, too!

  8. Replies
    1. I'm very belated getting these all posted, Judy...I thank you and the fsd'ers for your patience.
      More coming soon!

  9. Those are such beautiful photos. The colors are stunning and the patterns are wonderful. I do wish I would get my natural and indigo dye plans off the "to do" list. Just too many things needing attention of late, have not been able to make/create anything for quite a while. Looking at your beautiful work is a real treat, especially during this "dry" time in my own studio.

    1. I miss your beautiful work out here in the blog-osphere, Morna, but I am quite certain that your dry spell will eventually push you towards something extraordinary. That's who you are ~ it will happen. In the meantime, I so appreciate your kind words & that you still stop by for visits here!

  10. Very inspiring, the only thing that disturbs my is the 3 weeks of air drying. It would be very hard, I would even say impossible, for me to wait that long!
    But the results are very rewarding.

    1. Almost impossible to describe the patience needed to ******* wait ********* 3 weeks. Funny thing is, it gets easier all the time. Especially if you've got bundles to unwrap in succession, you can actually be unfolding one every couple of days.

  11. your images are always a gift to enjoy.
    what you created is a very nice party indeed.

    1. ...probably has become my favorite kind of party, Nancy ;>]]