A Guide to Hapa Zome

For those that love the colours of autumn, Hapa Zome is the perfect way to capture the season in time.

Using fallen leaves, the traditional Japanese technique involves hammering plants onto fabric or paper to create a wall hanging or pennant.

Here, local artist Rebecca Struthers, who is set to host Hapa Zome workshops in Chapelton on Saturday 14 October, provides a helpful guide on how to make the most of Hapa Zome this autumn. 

Hapa Zome is a Japanese word meaning ‘leaf dye’ and is given to the process of transferring the natural pigments from leaves and flowers onto fabric or paper to create a botanical image. The activity is incredibly relaxing and very simple, making it of interest to people of all ages and abilities.

Step One

Choose your selection of leaves or flowers. The best floral to use are those with bright colours and juicy petals or leaves.

Next, lay a piece of fabric or cloth flat onto a surface and arrange your selection of plants into a design of your choice. Once you are happy with the design, cover it with paper or another piece of thin fabric.

Step Two

Using a hammer or a rounded pebble, bash where the plants lay. Keep hammering across your design in a methodical way to produce the best results.

Once you’re finished, peel off the top layer. Your leaves and flowers will resemble a bit of a mushy mess but don’t worry – once you peel off the foliage your design print will be revealed. You can keep adding new leaves or petals to your image by repeating the process.

Step Three

When you’re happy with your image you can then iron the design. The steam will help set the colours and prevent them from fading.

You can then use your fabric or paper any way you choose, either kept intact as artwork or divided to use in other craft projects.

To book your space at the Hapa Zome workshop for kids or autumnal Hapa Zome workshop, visit www.beestruthers.com 

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