How To Do Flower Pounding On Fabric


I know, beating on poor, innocent flower blossoms doesn't seem like a good way to create beauty, but it IS a unique way to dye fabric.

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How To Do Flower Pounding On Fabric

I know, beating on poor, innocent flower blossoms doesn't seem like a good way to create beauty, but it is a unique way to dye fabric.

How To Do Flower Pounding On Fabric


Pictured here are the items you will need to get started: a board, a tack hammer, and saran wrap. You will need to place the board on a steady surface. I use my kitchen island, but a good worktable that won't be damaged by pounding on the board will do. The saran is used to cover the board.



Your fabric needs to be prepared in advance. You will soak your fabric for 5 minutes in a chemical set such as the bubble jet set printer solution shown here. Then let the fabric dry. This solution is used to make fabric printable with an ink jet printer, but it also makes it susceptible to dyeing with flowers.

jet set


Select a flower blossom such as the primrose pictured here.



You can also add leaves. Colors will not be true. You can see that this pink comes out darker. Orange and yellow can be good choices. Red and purple often come out brown, but it depends on the flower, so don't be afraid to experiment with flowers around your yard to see what colors you can make.



Blossoms are generally pounded with the right side toward the fabric; leaves with the right side facing up. If the flower is complex, you may need to deconstruct it before pounding. Cover the flower with more saran, sandwiching the flower between layers.

saran wrap


Start pounding with the outside edges and work your way in. You will be able to see the places you missed because the ones you have pounded turn to mush. When finished, remove the saran. Don't worry if some of the mush remains on the fabric. After it dries, you can easily remove it with your fingernail.



Outline your flowers and leaves and add veins, etc. which create definition. Don't worry too much about the lines being too dark. They are needed when viewing your creation at a distance.



The piece pictures here used flower pounding on a lattice created by the "magic inch" technique. Feel free to add color with appropriate inks. You can also add color with your quilting.



When complete, you have your own personal piece of art!


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Bubble Jet Set
A liquid product in which plain fabric is soaked and hung to dry. The dry piece is then ironed to a piece of Freezer paper and it can be printed on with an ink jet or bubble jet printer and the color is fast.
Strips of fabric that are set between blocks and separate the blocks in a quilt.
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