Gillian Smellie Eco Print Textiles

Clothes and fabrics transformed by the magic of plant dyes and eco-printing.

Gillian Smellie Eco Print Textiles

Clothes and fabrics transformed by the magic of plant dyes and eco-printing.

As featured in Living North...

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I’m Gillian Smellie

I am a magician who hand prints real leaves onto textiles.  I offer unique items of clothing, many of which are upcycled, that are stylish, different and ecologically sound.  This is not fast fashion, this is slow and delicious fashion that you can hand down to the next generation.

Eco prints harness the tannins in the leaves using heat, water and contact to transfer the image of the leaf onto fabric.  It is a truly magical process and I never lose the excitement of opening up a bundle to discover what the leaves have given me.  I am never quite sure what I will get, it is a little bit like Christmas every day.

What is


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Eco printing is still relatively new to the UK so it’s not surprising that I get asked this a lot.  

Eco printing an ecologically sustainable contact print using plant material.   All that is required to make a print is a leaf, material to print on, water and heat.  It is an extremely low impact method particularly where second hand textiles are used.  All my fabrics are fully mordanted and the prints are permanent and wash fast.

The leaves are laid out on the prepared fabric then rolled up tightly, bound with string and boiled or steamed for 2 to 4 hours depending on the fabric and the leaves.  The heat and water releases tannins and other chemicals from the leaves, which as they are so tightly bound, have nowhere else to go other than the fabric they are in contact with.  This then creates a permanent print of the leaf on the fabric.

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Stand out from the crowd

Gillian Smellie Products

I have a small selection of items available to buy online at the British Craft House. Click the button below to view the full shop.

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Eco Print Silk Trousers

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Eco Print Silk Top

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Eco print cardigan

Want to see the full collection?

Please come to one of the events I am attending (see Events) or contact me to arrange a private viewing at my studio in County Durham.  I hold regular pop up shops throughout the North East of England and occasionally in Scotland.

Most recent Gillian Smellie projects...

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Bespoke Printing

On many occasions I have had a client love the clothes but because my clothes are upcycled and thus one off in terms of print, style and size they have not been able to find the perfect item.  This is where my bespoke printing service comes in.

Please contact me directly if you would like to discuss a bespoke print.

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Workshops & Events

Want to see the full collection? Click the link below to view the events I have lined up.

Do you run a WI, TWG, Craft Group?  I am available for talks and demonstrations.  Why not try something a little different?  Please contact me for details.

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If you are interested in a collaboration whether online or in person, please contact me directly.