I have been experimenting with eco-dyeing using the leaves from Australian plants, which are infused with essential oils, to print paper and fabric. You can get an extraordinary range of colours through deep gold, lime green, purple and pink using different varieties of eucalyptus, grevilleas and banksia. My absolute favourite is Eucalyptus Cinerea, which dyes a beautiful deep pinkish red. Silver Dollar Eucalyptus leaves are a similar variety and are used by florists in the UK in their flower arrangements. These are the two processes I use:
1. Laying leaves over a piece of silk or cotton that has been washed in soya milk and then tightly wrapping it around a stick and tying it into a bundle, then steaming it over boiling water and vinegar solution and allowing the bundle to slowly dry so that the leaves make an imprint on the fabric.
2. I bind different leaves between pages of paper and boil them for over an hour in a solution of water and vinegar with some rusty nails as a mordant.