flower pounding

Wimberley, TX(Zone 8a)

At my last master gardener meeting, we learned how to pound flowers into fabric, and it was SO COOL!! Has anyone else done this? I have so many flowers and foliage I want to pound !...(I'm not an angry person, really). I'd like to hear from someone who has done this before...maybe there are a few tips you could share.

Merrimac, WI(Zone 4b)

My daughter and I did this at an artist workshop last summer. It was lots of fun, and my daughter really likes it. She has made cards, and shown several others how to do it. I'll ask what kind of flowers she likes best; so far pansies have worked out well. Also, we have a box of industrial shortening filters (look like big sheets of soft paper and the texture is similar to homemade paper), they really get a good impression when pounding.

Wimberley, TX(Zone 8a)

Has she ever pounded them into fabric? I'd like to decorate t-shirts but I don't want the "flowers" to wash out, and t-shirts will need to be washed! You're in Wisconsin? One of our master gardeners is from there. We've been working together trying to restore a nature park in Blanco and I think she yearns for cooler weather sometimes...especially now!

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

check with Kathleen here at DG...she's done some beautiful ones...and taught us at the last DG Roundup.

Merrimac, WI(Zone 4b)

She has only done small pieces of fabric. I think I may still have the info that tells how to treat the fabric before pounding. The MG helping you does she now live in TX, or just visiting?

Wimberley, TX(Zone 8a)

We got info on how to treat the fabric at our meeting, but it just seems there's GOT to be an easier way! The MG lives here in TX now. We'd both signed up to take the MG course this past Jan and she doesn't live far from me (as the crow flies) but we usually get together on the phone or at one of the MG "happenings". I'm not sure what part of WI she's from...I just know all of the people I've ever met from WI (and there have been quite a few), I've always liked! Our local dr., and his wife are from there, as is my oldest daughter's ex-boyfriend. He lives there now (supposed to be in college!) and she still stays in touch w/ him (his folks live here). I'll have to visit WI sometime; the people sure haven't disappointed me!

Merrimac, WI(Zone 4b)

I found this info at http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/cr_quilting_other/article/0,,HGTV_3305_1392411,00.html, if you don't want to go through all the preparing, check with a t-shirt shop to see if you can get "prepared for dyeing" t'shirts from them.

Fabric preparation
Because flower pounding is a dyeing process, you need fabric that has been prepared for dyeing. You can use PFD fabric (prepared for dyeing), which is already treated and ready to pound on, or you can treat it yourself. If you treat it, use 100-percent cotton in any light color, 100-percent silk or 100-percent linen. The ingredients used in treating the fabric for dying are alum and washing soda. Alum (aluminum sulfate) can be purchased in small quantities in the baking aisle of the grocery store. It can be purchased in larger quantities from an artist's supply store (not a craft store) or ordered directly from the pharmacist.

Washing soda can be purchased in the laundry detergent aisle of any grocery store. Arm & Hammer makes one brand, packaged in a yellow box (figure A).

Other Materials:

fresh flowers
masking tape
permanent thin line marking pen - black
cutting board to protect work surface
kitchen tea towel to put under cutting board


Treating fabric
1. Wash fabric in hot water using regular laundry detergent and two tablespoons of washing soda. Run the rinse cycle three to four times to make sure all the washing soda is removed.

2. Remove the fabric from the washing machine and place it in a bucket or large container. Add two cups of hot water and 1/4 cup of alum for each yard of fabric. If needed, add more hot water, but do not add more alum. Stir until alum dissolves. Allow the water to cool. This could take several hours.

3. In a separate cup or bowl, dissolve washing soda (one teaspoon for each yard of muslin) in a small amount of hot water--about 1/2 cup. Add this mixture to the container holding the fabric. At this point it MIGHT fizz.

3. Soak this overnight or for at least eight hours. RINSE. Wring out and line dry. Iron while it is still damp to remove all the wrinkles easily.

Metal to the petal
1. Choose a flower and pick it off of the stem (figure B). If it is a single petal such as a petunia you can lay the entire flower (pretty side down) onto the muslin. If it is a layered flower, take it apart and do a few petals at a time allowing them to dry in between layers.

2. With the flower face down on the muslin (figure C), cover the entire flower with masking tape (figure D).

3. Turn the muslin over and pound with a hammer (figure E). You will immediately see the color of the flower bleeding through. When you are done pounding, turn the muslin back over and remove the tape (figure F).

4. Keep adding flowers until you are happy with your arrangement (figure G). Don't forget to fill in bare spots with smaller flowers and greenery (figure H ).

5. When your pounding is finished, outline each leaf with the permanent marking pen (figure I). We usually use black but feel free to experiment with other colors. We also like to doodle inside the petals. We do this where we see color changes. We like to call it stipple quilting with a pen (figure J).

6. When you pounding is finished, heat set with a dry iron on a low temperature. The poundings cannot be immersed in water, but they are dry-cleanable. For a more permanent pounding, color copy them onto photo transfer paper and iron them onto fabric, clothing or quilt block (figure K). If you do this, they are washable.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

http://www.dharmatrading.com/ has tee shirts that are prepared for dyeing. I'm not sure how washable the flowers would be, though. Like any natural dye, they will fade and eventually wash out if put to hard wear. Some of my pieces have faded just in storage. I think what I will do next time is to do the flower pounding and then go over the flowers with felt tipped pens or fabric paints. I may try to "freshen" up some of the older ones with fabric paint, as well.

Merrimac, WI(Zone 4b)

Just ran across this thread and wondered if anyone had tried the shirts?

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