Hapa zome printing is a magical activity. The Japanese art form of ‘leaf bashing’ relies on the bleed of natural dye from within fresh flowers and leaves as they are crushed. This is a surprisingly easy activity to do with little ones and the results are awe-inspiring.
Here’s how to do it:
Choose brightly coloured flowers and leaves - we used small pansies which worked beautifully. For best results, try to pick them in the morning before the sun has dried out the natural oils within the petals.
Lay your flowers and leaves onto a piece of white paper placed on a hard surface. Gently spread them out - you might need to press the petals open so they are not on top of each other. It helps to cut the stems really short.
Place some light coloured fabric on top of your flowers. Now you are ready to start hammering the flowers with your hapa zome mallet* - start by tapping quite gently so the flowers don’t move. Keep tapping with the mallet until you can see the colours coming through the back of the fabric. The flowers will release their beautiful dyes onto the fabric, leaving patterns and outlines of their structures behind to admire.
Turn over the printed fabric - the flowers and leaves will have stuck to the fabric, so you need to remove them carefully. We used tweezers to peel them off. Don’t be tempted to rub them off as you will create smeary marks!
Leave your works of art to dry before using.
*This and all of the other tools that you need to achieve these results can be found in our lovely Natural Fabric Art Kit.