Textile Printing with Plants

Dates: n/a

Location: Elphin by Ullapool

Course Places : n/a         

Price : n/a






plantpics01This five-day course is designed to introduce you to a significant number of simple, deliberately low-tech, methods of transferring the intricate details of plants onto cotton and mixed-fibre fabrics.

We will start the week by roaming around my one-acre garden, gathering up some plants to put through the mysterious process of eco-printing - a method of direct-transfer of the shapes and markings of plants to the cloth.  This involves cooking up a witch's brew of plants and cloth which we leave to simmer all day, and leave to dry overnight, before revealing the exciting results later in the week.

After that, we will experiment with the techniques of tie-dyeing and shibori, in order to create a wonderful array of fabrics which will form the base cloths onto which we will apply plant prints.

Next comes the highly satisfying process of mono-printing plants onto cloth using fabric dyes and paints.  For this we will use an adapted clothes mangle, which provides the pressure necessary to make strong and lasting imprints onto the cloth.  The variations are endless and each print is unique.  

Day three is dedicated to block-printing, taking inspiration from the skilled depiction of flora in the print works of Angie Lewin.
On day four, we will do some simple screen-printing,  introducing stencil shapes and layering of colour, as seen in the work of Carry Akroyd.
At some point, whenever the sun pops out, we will suspend this work to do some cyanotype printing, which uses the sun to print the outlines of plants on to cloth.


And so, at the end of the five days, you will have built up a significant bank of unique pieces of cloth all covered in flora, and suitable for a whole range of future textile projects.

All materials and equipment is provided.  The cost of the course also includes refreshments and a cooked vegetarian lunch each day.


Please click on an image to see the full picture.




Jan's studio is in Elphin, overlooking the magnificent mountains of Suilven, Canisp, Cul Mor and Cul Beag. This remote location means that accommodation is a little more difficult to find, but the experience of visiting this area makes the search well worthwhile. Many course participants opt to stay in Ullapool, which is 20 minutes drive away. It is a most picturesque fishing village, with a good range of accommodation to suit all budgets. There are many restaurants and takeaways and shops, as well as some evening entertainment, should you have any energy left at the end of that day's workshop. And students often group together and car share for their daily trip up the road, past Stac Pollaidh, to the studio. Please look at the Accommodation links page to find out more.

To read about an innovative community partnership approach to preserving and improving this landscape for the benefit of all, have a look at Coigach and Assynt Living Landscapes. To find out about the fascinating geology of this area go to North West Highland Geopark.


Email : info@jankilpatrick.co.uk    Tel : 01854 666279,   Postal Address : Jan Kilpatrick, Cul Mor, Elphin, By Lairg, Sutherland, IV274HH.

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