A few days away in Carlow . .

Nicola and Pops

I have just returned from a few days away staying at Clasheen in Carlow, Ireland with my great friend Nicola Brown. Nicola and I met when we were both teaching at Geelong TAFTA Forum in Australia in 2015 and have been good friends since. We tend to get together 2 or 3 times during the year depending on how busy we both are and if we are traveling a lot.

Nicola is a brilliant eco printer, eco dyer and feltmaker. She works without traditional powdered mordants to create her beautiful eco printed and eco dyed fabrics. Nicola has a huge amount of information on her YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/@clasheen, you can follow her on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nicolabrownclasheen/

With me being so interested in synthetic fabrics and distressing them with a heat gun and soldering iron, you might wonder why I would want to learn about eco printing . . Nicola told me I could eco print on nylon. My head exploded with ideas when she told me this!

It's great at Nicola's as I can take Pops and Fizz with me. They get on well with Pip, Nicola's dog.

Me with Pops and Fizz

Nicola with her dog Pip and Fizz rushing out of shot

Yes - we love our dogs, so, on with the eco printing. 

I had some idea of what is involved with eco printing. I follow Nicola on social media and as her friend I am aware just how hard she has worked to develop her sustainable practice.

It is important to be organised and have everything you need to hand, however, I had no idea how physical the process is. Having to roll and tie the bundles so tightly is a real effort. I couldn't do them on my own, Nicola had to help me. It made me relaise how little strength I have in my hands and wrists now. It is important to roll the bundles as tightly as you can so the vegetation you use is pressed hard against the fabric, to give the best print. (If you don't have anyone to help - you can always use a heavy object to hold your fabric in place as you roll.)

One of the tables with all the equipment we used

A tin can I wrapped one of the samples on

Nicola with the bundles fresh from 2.5 hours boiling the dirty pot

My bundles ready to be unrolled . .

I was not particularly interested in leaf prints, more of an all over abstract colour. I had an idea how I was going to distress and stitch into the samples.  

Here are a couple of videos of the unrolling. You can see and hear just how excited I am in the first video - Nicola was very patient with me . . .

Oh the excitement of unrolling your first bundle

The beauty of the nylon organza before I unfolded it

The nylon organza as I was unrolling it. I was so excited about the gold colour 

More of the nylon organza
eco printed nylon net

A heavier nylon fabric decorated with eucalyptus leaves that I had ripped up to change the 'leaf' shape

The 4 different eco printed nylon fabrics piled up together

I am not going to go into a step by step process of eco printing, you can find all the information on Nicola's YouTube channel.


I am so delighted with the results of the printing.  SO delighted that I'm not sure I want to distress the fabrics now - groan!! I'm going to leave them to one side for a while, before I decide what to do with them. I have a few videos to make this month for my ExTex group and the video library and don't want to get distracted.

I hope you have enjoyed this departure from my normal practice . . I know I did!!


x x x


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