Sunday, June 27, 2010

Do you Kudzu?

Kudzu printing part II
I posted about what I did with the ubiquitous plant called Kudzu and a silk robe while taking a class with India Flint at Shakerag last week.
see here
I wrapped the silk robe/kudzu leaf package around a stick, and bound it with a strong cotton string and left it in a pot of water, brought to the boil (slightly) and left to cool.
These pictures show the progression:

I cannot get over the level of detail that transferred to the silk!
Kudzu and Eucalyptus
A piece of habotai silk dyed with both kudzu leaves and eucalyptus
(I don't know which variety of eucalypt this leave was but you've probably seen it at the local florist)
The kudzu leaves made a beautiful green while the eucalypt presented a lovely orange.
If you live in the southern United States, I envy your access to the Kudzu plant. Perhaps we've found a way to eradicate its nasty invasive growth (up to 12" a day!) on the landscape of the South. 
We can remove it without the use of toxic chemicals and create striking patterns with the leaves on fabric. 

Please see India's blog to see more eco-dye we created in her workshop last week.


  1. kudzu is, as they say, the Bomb.

  2. wow. beautiful. we are engulfed in kudzu here in virginia. now I must try this. glad to hear that your Shakerag week was great.

  3. This is interesting work both in process and results! mean it doesn't grow everywhere! (ha ha) Everyone keeps trying to find a use for it or way to get rid of it but it is the Cockroach of the plant world and will be here after the bomb.

  4. Thank you for your comments India, Lotta and Terry. Lotta and Terry...I challenge you to experiment with Kudzu and send me your results!

  5. You're on Missy! I'm leaving for a couple of weeks so this will have to wait until I return but I accept your challenge and will put my big brain to work....

  6. just looking at the amazing kudzu prints and remembered 'the book of kudzu'- can't remember the author. for other uses once you've printed every fabric you own.

  7. I am jumping up and down with excitement at discovering these wonderful textile experiments. Thank you for sharing


  8. Terry, I can't wait to see what you make. Velma, I must find this book and Carolyn, I'm happy that you're excited!

  9. Hi Christine....We are going kudzing this afternoon as soon as it cools off. I'm taking my sister and husband and hope they will make something as well. xxoo

  10. I love it. "Kudzuing" to Kudzu. A verb.

  11. Did you mordant the silk first? So you didn't leave it on a low boil for any set of time, just let it come to a boil and turn it off? I just did kudzu scarf on silk and let it sit in a low boil for about 2 hours. The scarf had been soaked in vinegar when I tried it on another project that didn't trun out well.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Christina, no mordant and let it boil a bit then rest overnight. The secret to a good print is to wrap it very tightly. So tight that you might need to wear gloves to wrap it with string.


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