Botanical printing and staining is using the dyes of leaves, roots, and flowers to color and print cloth and yarn. I have been thinking about this process and how to use it in my textile work and designs for some time. I have been reading and studying this ecological process. There are several books to research with a variety of techniques and recipes. My favorite book is Eco Colour: Beautiful Dyes for Beautiful Textiles by India Flint. I have been following India Flint for years, inspired by her lovely garments made from her explorations.
My preference is to take a class, getting hands on information from an expert. Then to follow up are several options to continue my practice. First, Jane Dunnewold gives a prelude on Facebook to her online Botanical Workshop, as well as, Design Matters TV with Linda Kemshall's online class of the same subject. Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, Virginia is offering summer workshops teaching this technique working with a variety of substrates, cloth and paper.
My plans...were to begin planting a 'dyers' garden. I will be collecting the leaves, seeds, stems, roots and blossoms from my own garden to use to print and stain my cloth and paper instead of tossing into compost bin.
Last summer, while waiting for my garden to bloom, and then waiting to harvest, my garden got away from me; it was like a jungle out there.
This time, I have other options for practice and to explore naturally colored and printed cloth. I have been collecting onion skins, dried rose petals, leaves and stems, and a bag of black beans.