Margaret, aka Inspired Textiles, believes that art is an expression of one’s inner most feelings and thoughts and she chooses to use the tactile medium of textiles as her chosen substrate to express these. Since discovering the serendipitous nature of botanical printing and dyeing she has been able to unite all the aspects of nature, art and textiles that she favours creating original substrates on which to work. Her background in contemporary stitch and embroidery has ‘come home’ with this harmonious marriage.
Contact botanical printing is a process whereby leaves are arranged on mordanted and/or naturally dyed fabric and then tightly ‘bundled’ around a wooden or metal pole which is then either steamed or boiled. The alchemy of this technique is due, in part, to the reaction of chemicals and tannins in the leaves transferring themselves on to either fabric or paper. There is no paint, synthetic dye or ink used in the process.
Margaret’s current practice focuses on printing reclaimed and vintage fabrics and garments giving them further years of use. Amongst her unique originals are scarves, table runners, book covers, bags, cushions, wall hangings, mounted prints and cards. ‘Let Me Print Your Garden’ is a recent initiative whereby Margaret prints a keepsake of a garden or a bouquet; this can take the shape of a scarf, picture or bag as a meaningful reminder of a venue, person or event.
The muted subtle colours and imagery of the naturally printed fabric/paper and dyed threads feed her spirit with joy as she works on them using methods that encompass the slow stitch movement. Meditative stitching allows her to reflect and facilitates mindfulness.
Sharing this technique by giving talks and leading workshops on Botanical Printing allows Margaret to spread the word. She also welcomes commissions.