Sustainable Textile Teach-In: Flower Pounding

Papers & Petals Series

ONLINE PROGRAM

FREE 

For the months of June, July and August, our Sustainable Textile Teach-Ins will take on the theme of Papers & Petals, introducing you to techniques for using flowers and paper in your projects! Flower Pounding is the first installment of our Paper & Petals Series! Join Education Coordinator Yahn Nemirovsky and learn how to print fabric with flowers using a hammering technique

All skill levels and ages are welcome. Class size is limited, registration is required.   

You will receive the Zoom meeting access info in a confirmation email upon registration for this program.  A reminder email with complete details on required and optional preparation will be sent out in advance of the workshop. 

Type: Program

Date: Jun 23, 4pm - 5:30pm

WORKSHOP PREPARATION 

Prep for flower pounding can be quite simple! All that is truly needed for the technique is a piece of fabric, a collection of flowers, and a hammer or rock! However, if you want the fabric that you print during this workshop to be washable, you will need to do some more preparation before we meet on Zoom.

When flower pounding, pigment from the flowers’ petals enters the fibers of the fabric, making the process quite similar to that of natural dyeing. As such, fabric should be prepared in the same way that it would be for dyeing.

The process of treating fabric to prevent dye from washing out is called mordanting. A mordant acts as a connector between a dye and a fabric. Mordants are combined with water which is then brought to a simmer, creating a bath in which to pre-treat fabric.

For this workshop, you are welcome to participate in any of the following ways:

  1. Flower pounding on fabric without mordanting. (The prints will fade if/when the fabric is washed. You could frame this fabric or use it for a project that isn’t intended to be washed.)
  2. Flower pounding on fabric that you have mordanted with rusty nails (a DIY option that requires preparation at least a week in advance, plus one day for fabric mordanting and drying time).
  3. Flower pounding on fabric that you have mordanted with aluminum sulfate (requires the purchase of this mordant, plus one day for fabric mordanting and drying time).

NOTE: You will have to make sure that you acquire the necessary materials for the process that you’re looking to follow. If you plan to use mordanted fabric, you will need to have this done before the workshop. This is because the process takes some time, and your fabric will need to dry before it’s printed on. The process will be demonstrated during the workshop for the sake of participants’ learning, though pre-mordanted fabric (which is already dry) will then be used for the flower pounding portion.

All participants will need the following materials:

  • Undyed fabric
  • Flowers and/or leaves (Small, multi-petaled flowers work best – experiment!)
  • Masking Tape or Painter’s Tape
  • Hammer or rock (Choose a tool that is heavy, but that you feel comfortable hammering with. It should have a flat surface area large enough to pound a flower.)

 

MORDANTING

DIY: MORDANTING WITH RUSTY NAILS

You will need the following materials at least one week in advance of the workshop (one week in advance is Wednesday, June 16):

  • Rusty nails or other rusty iron objects
  • White vinegar
  • Glass jar with a lid

When preparing your iron solution, follow these steps:

  1. Put the rusty nails or iron objects in the glass jar.
  2. Fill the jar with 1 part white vinegar and 2 parts water, so that the iron objects are completely submerged. (Ex. in a 1 quart jar, place the rusty nails, then cover with 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of water.)
  3. Screw the lid on the jar.
  4. Let this mixture sit for at least one week. The solution should turn a yellow or orange colour.

You will need the following materials for mordanting after your iron solution has sat for at least a week:

  • Water
  • pH neutral laundry soap (if possible)
  • Metal pot with lid
  • Tongs

When mordanting your fabric, follow these steps:

  1. Wash your fabric (ideally with pH neutral laundry soap).
  2. Once rinsed, pre-soak the fabric in water for at least one hour.
  3. Add pre-soaked fabric to a metal pot. Fill the pot with water so that the fabric is covered.
  4. Add iron solution to the pot.
  5. Put the pot on the stove and bring to a simmer or just below a simmer, covered with a lid.
  6. Keep fabric covered and heated on the stove for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Fabric can either be rinsed and dried or simply dried. It is now ready for printing.

 

STORE-BOUGHT: MORDANTING WITH ALUM

You will need the following materials:

  • Alum (15% WOF)
  • Water
  • Neutral pH laundry soap (if possible)
  • Metal pot with lid
  • Tongs

When mordanting your fabric, follow these steps:

  1. Wash your fabric (ideally with pH neutral laundry soap).
  2. Once rinsed, pre-soak the fabric in water for at least one hour.
  3. Add pre-soaked fabric to a metal pot. Fill the pot with water so that the fabric is covered.
  4. Put the pot on the stove and bring the water to a simmer or just below a simmer.
  5. Measure out alum to be used, at 15% WOF, meaning 15% of the weight of your fabric. (Ex: an average yard of cotton weighs about 5oz./140g. and 15% of that would be about 21g. 10g of alum is equivalent to about 2 teaspoons. So, in this example, 4 teaspoons of alum would be used for mordanting the yard of cotton.)
  6. Heat up a small amount of water on the stove or in a kettle and pour it into a bowl. Dissolve alum in the water.
  7. Add dissolved alum mixture to the pot, and cover with a lid.
  8. Keep fabric covered and heated on the stove for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  9. Fabric can either be rinsed and dried or simply dried. It is now ready for printing.

Become a Member of the Textile Museum Today

And enjoy unlimited free entry to all the Textile Museum's exhibitions, plus much more.

Join Today