Ever since reading EyeSwoon’s blog post, I’ve been dying to try floral imprinting (directions below). I dried out a bunch of wax flowers and cornflowers and then got to work. My house smelled like a very interesting tea while the bundle was steaming away, but the scarf turned out beautifully!
I was surprised that the cornflower had left only yellow behind, no blue. And the wax flowers added a subtle splash of dark pink in a few spots. Going into the project I hadn’t researched what colors/flowers would be best, so it was a total shot in the dark but I still love how it turned out. It’s available in my shop here.
I’ve been collecting fallen blossoms from around the neighborhood (this time after researching which ones yield brighter colors) and am excited for my next scarf steaming day :)
FLORAL IMPRINTING HOW-TO
By Cara Marie Piazza and Andrea Gentl
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Steamer pot, or non-reactive pot and grill grate (toaster oven shelf)
- Silk fabric
- Rubber bands or string
- Distilled white vinegar
- Bowl or spray bottle (for distilled vinegar)
- Plant matter
- Rubber gloves
Collect your flowers and save them in an airtight container or resealable bag. If you’re not using them immediately, put them in your freezer.Cover your workspace with newspaper or on old cloth, lay out the silk fabric and put on your rubber gloves. Now it’s time to decide what pattern you’d like to create. The pattern is created where the petals touch the fabric. So, either leave the flower heads on or pluck and scatter the petals to create your desired look. Starting from one end, tightly and evenly roll the fabric so it looks like a snake. As you roll, try to keep all the flower matter well-packed in your bundle.Tie up your roll with rubber bands or string. It should resemble a sausage when you’re done.Pour distilled vinegar into a bowl or spray bottle. If you’re using a bowl, dip your roll in the vinegar, wetting the roll thoroughly. Or with a spray bottle, spritz the fabric roll evenly throughout.If you have a steamer pot, great! If not, just fill a pot with water, bring it to a boil, and add a grill grate, like the rack from your toaster oven, on top to create a shelf for steaming.Place your bundle on your steamer pot or grill grate, fully immersed in steam, for at least one hour — but the longer, the better!Using your tongs, pick up your bundle and rinse lightly under cold water. Unroll and shake all the flower bits off your fabric, then give the fabric another quick rinse in cold water.Let your silk dry naturally overnight. When it’s dry the next day, iron it to set the color.
Figuring out “what I want to be when I grow up” has not been as easy as adults made it seem all those years ago…
I’ve tried lots of different paths (I was even a butcher, can you believe that!) and it just felt like nothing ever fit. Like really fit. Ever since I can remember I loved clothes. When I was really little I stubbornly told my mom that I only wore dresses, and they had to be pink. And not just any pink, but a very specific and very bright pink.
My mom loved clothing too, and when we lived in Hawaii she sewed and embellished all of our clothes by hand. So maybe this is just a continuation of what she started.
After many many years doing jobs all over the fashion industry, I decided to take a chance and FINALLY create my own pieces. That was in February 2020, little did I know I was in for the wildest and most surprising year of my life.
And with lots of extra time on my hands and trying to stay sane, I did my best to dive into my practice. I started sewing again, hand dyeing, embroidering, driving to remote locations, and taking photos… it was a huge adventure and one that I definitely needed to be pushed into, but I’m so glad I was.
Despite the confusion and chaos, finding my little center has been precious. I’ve been able to see so many threads of my life finally come together, weaving into something that makes sense for me.
So here I am again, starting fresh! But what’s that quote say? “Don’t be afraid to start over. This time you’re not starting from scratch, you’re starting from experience.”