A concise guide to eco-print

Eco-printing is a unique dyeing technique that involves placing plant materials like flowers, leaves, and seeds on fabric, bundling it up, and steaming to extract prints. 


Your dye kit includes:


  1. Handwoven khadi cotton fabric (Pre-treated and ready for dyeing)
  2. Assorted set of 8 plant dyes:
  •    Marigolds (yellow)
  •    Red roses (beige/grey)
  •    Madder root extract (red/darker shades of pink)
  •    Alkanet roots (purple/brown)
  •    Roselle flowers (green)
  •    Myrobalan fruit powder (Yellow)
  •    Sappan wood (pink)
  •    Annatto seeds (orange)
  •    Bitter cumin seeds (brown)
  •    Onion skins (green)
  1. Colour modifiers:
  •    Alum (colour brightener and fixer)
  •    Ferrous salt (Colour modifier for achieving darker shades)
  1. Jute thread to bundle your fabric


Here's a step-by-step guide on how to dye the fabric in your kit:


  1. Preparation:
  •   The fabric in your kit is pre-treated with Alum and ready for dyeing. Just wet your fabric with warm water before you proceed to dye.


  1. Dye Application:
  •    After wetting the fabric, squeeze out excess water and lay it on a clean surface.
  •    It's important to note that the physical colour of plant dyes may differ from the pigments they produce. Each dye is labelled with its typical colour outcome. Based on this, select your dyes and arrange them creatively on the fabric.
  •   Some dyes, like Madder root extract and annatto seeds, are highly potent, so use them sparingly.
  •   If you have access to fresh plant dyes, such as Almond leaves, Silver oak leaves, Hibiscus flowers, or Guava leaves, feel free to incorporate them for added variety and creativity.



  1. Colour modifiers:
  •    Elevate your design by incorporating extras like ferrous salt, washing soda, lime juice, or iron nails. These elements slightly vary and the pigments in the dyes create unique patterns. Combining different dyes, especially in the presence of Ferrous salt, can result in vivid prints. Feel free to experiment!


  1. Bundling:
  •    Carefully bundle up your fabric so that no dyes spill out. Tie the bundle tightly (tighter the better) with the twine thread.
  •    You can soak the bundle briefly in a vinegar-water solution (1 part vinegar, 3 parts water). This step may modify the colours further to brighter prints. However, it is optional and you can skip it. We rarely ever do this in our studio.


  1. Steaming:
  •    Steam your bundle for 30-45 minutes to witness the colours emerge and bind to the fabric.


  1. Unveiling:
  •    Unbundle your creation for an exciting reveal.


  1. Finishing Touches:
  •    Do not wash the fabric right after unbundling.
  •    Line dry the fabric in the shade and then iron it to set the print.
  •    Submerge the fabric in cold salt water for 10 minutes before a final line drying in the shade. Natural dyes may have slightly stiffened up the fabric so you can further treat it with a softener or leave as is. 


  1. Endless Possibilities:
  •    Utilise the eco-printed fabric as a mini tapestry, wall art, or gift it to loved ones to spread joy.
  •    Remember, eco-printing offers limitless creative possibilities, so savour the process and let your imagination soar!


Upcycle with the Dye Kit:


To breathe new life into a stained or faded favourite garment that's been just sitting in your wardrobe, follow these steps:


  1. Prep for Dyeing:
  •    Soak your garment in warm water mixed with Alum for about 1 hour to prepare the fabric for dyeing. This step opens up the fibres for better dye absorption.


  1. Dye Application:
  •    After soaking in Alum water for an hour, you can either dry the garment for later dyeing or proceed immediately.
  •    Follow the same steps as dyeing the fabric in the dye kit to unleash your creativity.