Friday, March 27, 2009

Pounding Plants: Leaf Print T-Shirt

Blaze got a lot of attention yesterday, when he wore his new plant T-shirt for the fist time. I ended up explaining to several people how it was made.

To start out with, we collected leaves and used wide packing tape to attach the leaves to a plain white T-shirt, making sure that the leaves were completely covered withtape.


We put some newspaper inside the T-shirt to keep the plant "juices" from bleeding through to the other layer of fabric. Then we put a board on the ground outside to use as a hard surface for hammering.

Here is the fun part,
the plants must be hammered to a pulp. Don't hold back. Get out all your frustrations, because the more pulverized the plant, the better the print will be. We took turns hammering, because it took quite a bit of pounding to get a good result.


Next, the T-shirt was turned inside out and ironed to help set the colors in the cloth. I placed the newspaper on the ironing board to prevent any leakage from the plant getting on the ironing board cover.


The tape and the leaves were then peeled off, revealing the print left behind on the cloth. Some leaves worked better than others. I thought the ferns would be interesting because they have so many tiny leaves, but they did not turn out as well as the
Sweet Gum Leaf,


Wild Grape,

and Clovers.

The one question I was asked a couple times today was, " can you wash it without the colors coming out?" I don't know the answer to that yet, because I haven't tried, but I'll add the answer to that after it goes through it's first wash.

Update 3/28/09 10:35 p.m. - The T-shirt has now had it's first washing and it turned out fine, all the plant prints are still there. I did turn it inside out before washing, just in case, and I didn't use any bleach.

Blaze learned another new skill this week. After years of trying to get him to swing without being pushed to get started, suddenly this week, he just started doing it. He's been very proud of himself and has spent lots of time on the swing, so much time, in fact, that last night he complained that his back felt like it was still swinging long after he had stopped and come into the apartment.

Crafty Crow