Upcycled garments

Do you have a favourite garment that's looking a bit tired or has a stain that you can't remove? Flextiles may be able to help by ecoprinting or overdyeing it with indigo. Thanks to the natural, organic feel of these designs, the stain may look as if it's meant to be there! 

Ecoprinted garments

Ecoprinting involves making a bundle of leaves in fabric and steaming or simmering in water or dye. In these conditions, certain plants leave their imprint on the fabric - no other inks or pigments are involved. Different effects can be produced by using different plants, dyes and mordants (substances that help the dye attach to the fabric).

I lay the garment flat and place the leaves or other plant material on top, usually with a cloth soaked in iron water, which acts as a mordant. Then I roll the garment up around a wooden stick, tie it tightly, and steam it for a couple of hours.

When it is cool I unbundle the garment, wash with baby shampoo, and rinse well.

See here for more information on ecoprinting.

Indigo shibori garments

Shibori is the Japanese version of tie dye. It involves folding, binding, stitching or compressing the cloth so that parts of it are not exposed when it is dyed, resulting in very distinctive patterns.

For garments I often pleat the fabric both horizontally and vertically and then machine stitch the pleats in place. After dyeing and removing the stitches, this results in an interesting, irregular grid pattern.

I can also do hand stitched patterns, from simple small geometric motifs to more spectacular designs that cover the entire surface of a garment.

See here for more information on indigo shibori.

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