Upcycle your clothes with Botanic Print

Photo by Zofia Lisowska

I use Botanic Print to decorate my clothes and accessories and to share with others how easy is to become an artist / a designer. After arriving in Madeira I was mesmerised by its nature and hoped to try it also here! Volunteering at Teatro Metaphora gave me a chance to share my favourite method of upcycling clothes during a creative and eco-friendly workshops.

Photos by Patrícia Gonçalves | Teatro Metaphora

Do you want to learn too? In the world of the fast fashion industry, let’s slow down and think about ethical fashion while we learn printmaking with natural materials as stamps for your designs.

Take any textile that you would like to decorate. The best examples are a plain t-shirt or a tote bag. Prepare textile paints, brushes and collect some foliage from your neighbourhood. I recommend using paper towels or old newspapers to protect your working space and to put inside the t-shirt, so the excessive paint doesn’t cut across to the other side.

Photos by Zofia Lisowska

While painting you can learn more about fast fashion. Some suggestions from me:
The life cycle of a t-shirt https://youtu.be/BiSYoeqb_VY
How fast fashion adds to the world’s clothing waste problem https://youtu.be/elU32XNj8PM
China: Denim Blues https://youtu.be/PFC5Kv3KSU4
Cambodia: Dying for fashion https://youtu.be/6Fnz9dND6Iw
Fashion Revolution on IG https://www.instagram.com/fash_rev

Now we can start! Paint on the backside of the leaf, the one with visible nerves. It allows reprinting the natural pattern. You can imitate the leaf’s natural colours or just play with your imagination and creativity.

Photos by Zofia Lisowska

Put your painted leaf on the textile and press thoroughly. You can press through the clean sheet of paper towel. Peel off the leaf… and your print is ready!

Photos by Zofia Lisowska

Enjoy the process, have fun and experiment with the possibilities that nature gives you! After your t-shirt is dry (I suggest the next day) iron it inside out for 5 minutes to make your design permanent.

Photos by Zofia Lisowska

Zofia Lisowska
Volunteer at Teatro Metaphora – Associação de Amigos das Artes
European Solidarity Corps  
To know more: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en

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