Friday, May 2, 2014

How to Make Eco Print Scarves

Are you looking to make a new fashionable craft project? Are you interested in eco-friendly crafts and fashion? If so, you have got to check out this guest article/post below. You can find this project and many others in the brand new book called "A Garden to Dye For" from the talented author/artist Chris McLaughlin. I would also like to invite you to visit the author's blog A Suburban Farmer.

How to Make Eco Print Scarves

Eco-Print Scarf

Oh, how I love making eco-patterns on playsilks and scarves. Silk takes color like crazy and the natural materials used in the patterns are easy to see. There are as many ways to eco-print as there are crafters in the world. Per my usual MO, I use a simple (yet satisfying) technique.
What you’ll need:

• 100% silk scarf or playsilk, any size (I get mine from Dharma Trading Company) pre-wetted
• White vinegar
• Small bowl with some white vinegar
• Non-reactive pot
• Rubber bands
• Plant materials such as eucalyptus, dark rose petals, onion skins, etc. (I favor the silver dollar leaf type of eucalyptus, but use whatever type you can get)
• Extra eucalyptus leaves (Two large handfuls)

1. Fill the pot about halfway up with water and two big handfuls of eucalyptus leaves. Turn the heat on medium and once it's simmering turn the heat down a bit so that it's a strong simmer or a gentle rolling boil.

2. Take your pre-wetted silk scarf or playsilk and lay it flat on your dye station table.

3. Dip eucalyptus leaves into the bowl of white vinegar (just some color assurance here) and place them all over the silk in whatever way pleases you.

4. Now, place the onion skins, rose petals, or whatever plant materials you have onto the silk.

5. Fold the silk in half and repeat with the eucalyptus leaves and other materials.

6. Start from the bottom and begin rolling the scarf or playsilk up until you reach the end. Roll carefully to keep your plant materials inside.

7. Using the rubber bands, secure the sides several times to create a bundle. Turn the bundle sideways and add more rubber bands going the opposite direction.

8. Add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup vinegar to the pot.

9. Add the bundled silk to the pot on the stove. Let it simmer hard or gentle boil for about two hours.

10. Using tongs, remove the bundle from the pot and let it cool for a few minutes.
Clip the rubber bands off of the bundle and add the used plant materials to your compost pile. Rinse the silk off in cool water and hang up to dry.
A variation of this is to use something like a piece of PVC pipe or other sturdy item to wrap the silk around. Then add the rubber bands to secure the silk lengthwise onto the pipe or other core item. Try every variation that you can think of for some beautiful and original eco patterns.

Book Information: From author, Chris McLaughlin, and her soon-to-be published book

Chris McLaughlin is the author of A Garden to Dye For: How to Use Plants from the Garden to Create Natural Colors for Fabrics & Fibers and the wildly popular blog A Suburban Farmer.

Home-grown botanical dyes are in, and they're part of today's shift toward natural and organic living. "A new generation discovers grow-it-yourself dyes," says the New York Times. And you don't have to have a degree in chemistry to create your own natural dyes. It just takes a garden plot and a kitchen.

Chris has written wonderful instructions on how-to create beautiful naturally dyed scarves with flowers from your garden such as eucalyptus, dark rose petals, onion skins and more. You can purchase this book on

Disclosure: I was NOT compensated for this post and I am NOT an affiliate. I am just sharing the information with my craft blog readers as a courtesy. The project, book and photos are copyright of the author featured above.

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