Leaf Printing on Fabric: Create Your Own DIY T-Shirt, Perpetuating Fall Ephemeral Beauty!

by Snezhana Besarabova

Leaf printing on fabric is an enchanting way to showcase on clothing nature’s complicated pattern of ephemeral, transfiguring beauty. With every print being phenomenal, you can wear, displaying a piece of art, inspired by fall, but recreated individually. How can you make your own DIY fall project? Can you make up a design pattern, which suits you best?

What Type of Printing is Leaf Printing?

leaf printing on fabric place the leaf face down

Leaf printing on fabric is an immediate stamping method where the structure and dexter of a leaf are translocated onto some kind of fabric. This method captivates the fine veins and exclusive shapes of various leaves’ forms. Leaf printing, as one variant of nature printing, brings with it the essence of eco-printing, where native elements are used to form designs. Craftsman and hobbyists like to apply this method not only for its facility, but also for the incalculable yet handsome results each pattern yields.

How to Make Leaf Prints on Fabric?

leaf printing on fabric use a hammer to fix the print

  1. Choosing the kind of fabric and leaf. Start your affair by taking a fabric, which is light colored. Native fibers like cotton, linen, or silk will be able to present best and most clearly the prints. Likewise, take leaves, which have plain veins and are recently fallen or picked from the tree or bush. The more structure a leaf has, the plainer the print will be.
  2. Get ready of the fabric. Wash the fabric previously to undo any sizing or traces of stuffs. This is useful in reaching a plain print. If you’re searching for more outlined prints, you can mordant your fabric. Mordanting is a technology of processing the fabric with certain chemicals to make it more susceptible to dyes.
  3. Placing the leaf. Lay your fabric plane on a stable surface. Leave the leaf with the vein-side placed down onto the fabric surface, where you will make the print.
  4. Leaf printing on fabric: Hammering. Using a beater or hammer, lightly dab on the leaf, making sure you pass through all areas. With this action, the native paints and pigments in the leaf will move to the fabric. For more complicated details, you might need to knock more firmly, only ensuring before doing this that you don’t rupture the fabric.
  5. Examine the print: Cautiously raise the leaf to exhibit the mark. You will see the handsome imprint of the leaf’s veins and ridges.
  6. Set the print: To turn your print into a permanent pattern, iron the fabric on an appropriate place where you wish to set it. This heat manipulation will impregnate the native dyes into the material. After you finish with this step, it’s time to wash off and utilize the garment or other fabric as you desire.

Read also: Raised Salt Painting – Making Colorful Fall Pictures with Children (+ Free Templates)

DIY Different Leaf Printing on Fabric Patterns

how to do leaf printing on fabric group the leaves in clusters

Leaf printing on fabric is not connected only with single leaf stamps. You can test an abundance of patterns to make complex designs:

  • Overlap your prints: Include leaves of a variety of forms and proportions, and overlap their impressions, aiming to reach a deep layered effect.
  • Clusters of leafs: Pick leaves that are small and print them in sets to take after the native groupings of leaves on trees or shrubs.
  • Leaf stream: Print a sequence of leaves in a linear stripe, as if they are streaming down the fabric.

japanese leaf printing on fabric make a stream leaves design

  • Symmetrical pattern: Come up with a variety of symmetrical designs by arranging identical leaf prints on opposing sides of the fabric.

Read also: DIY Outdoor fall decorations – beautiful and simple ideas with flowers for the garden, house entrance and porch

How to Make a Leaf-Printed DIY T-Shirt?

how do you make textile leaves

Creating a leaf-printed T-shirt is a fascinating DIY endeavor, which passes through the steps:

  1. Prepare the T-shirt: Take one white or light-colored, 100% cotton T-shirt. Prewash it to undo possible commercial sizing.
  2. Project visualization: Before to begin, plan where you want the leaves to be printed. Whether it’s a simple print on one side of the T-shirt, an all-over design, or a cascading layout down the sides, a clear view will be helpful for your printing.
  3. Leaf choice: Opt for leaves, which can be placed flat and have clear vein patterns. You can take one type or combine different forms for variety.
  4. Printing operation: Ensue the same procedure described in previous section. Be sure you lay a protective coating like cardboard or newspapers inside the T-shirt, not to allow the DIY to penetrate into the back of the clothing.
  5. Setting the imprint: When you’re already content with the final design, let it dry for two hours. Next, set the print with the help of an iron. This step is of crucial importance for your T-shirt, as it will experience multiple washings.

printed leaf shirts how to leaf print on fabric

Read also: Modern Fall Porch Decor: Catch the Colorful Charm of Autumn in Your Smart Entrance Design!


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