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Botanical printing with the brand: Loropetalum design

Botanical printing with the brand: Loropetalum design

Have you ever asked yourself how botanical printing works? We asked the brand Loropetalum design for a full explanation. 

During our event for Fashion Week, "The Art of Revaluing” Michela Cattivelli, the founder of Loropetalum Design, amazed us with her botanical prints and breathtaking natural dyes.

Here a little interview where we tried to understand and learn a bit about the origins of these sustainable fashion technique:

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started?

I have always been connected to nature and art since I was a child. I have always loved forests, trees, and often painted them, losing myself in the paths of imagination. In adulthood, I discovered the world of botanical dyeing I was fascinated by it, and became passionate about it.

appcycled loropetalum design

How did you learn this process?

The process of working on fabric and leather is the result of continuous studies and research, dye recipes found in ancient texts, and an ongoing acquisition of botanical knowledge through extensive experimentation.

Is the process 100% natural or do you use some chemicals?

Both mordants and dyes are exclusively natural, such as roots like madder or barks like campion, flowers, onion peels, etc. 

I always make use to preserve biodiversity and seasonality through botanical printing: I only use on the fabrics what I find at that given time. 

Apart from being more ecological, also the result is more balanced and harmonious, just like nature itself. These dyes and prints are also created specifically to preserve both the colors and impressions over time.

What fabrics can you use?

The fabrics must be 100% natural, whether of plant or animal origin, or they cannot be dyed using this process.

How does this process unfold?

The process for creating the products is divided into 5 fundamental steps:

  1. Preparation of fabric or leather with natural mordants
  2. Collection of leaves and flowers with the utmost accuracy in their selection. Each item, flower or leave, won’t ever be the same and this will make use our result is unique.
  3. Placement of leaves on the fabric or garment to create unique designs
  4. Rolling and boiling the fabric (or leather) to imprint the soul of the leaves indelibly.
  5. Unrolling, where the magic finally happens: the wonder of nature is revealed on the fabric.

Where do you create these botanical dyes or prints?

I create these designs on cloths, tablecloths, scarves, but also entire clothing pieces from antique and vintage fabrics or from company waste like end-of-roll pieces. For me, every fabric is a source of great inspiration, no matter what others may call it waste, and upcycling is the art of recovery and nature preservation.

What would you like to achieve in the future?

I want to go beyond just wearable garments or accessories and also create fabrics and leathers for home decor, such as tapestries, paintings, and everything related to this world, so that one can have a "small secret garden" in a corner of their home.


Did you miss Loropetalum Design's live event on September 25th? Watch it on Instagram.


Many techniques, one project: reduce the environmental impact of fashion.

Every product created by Loropetalum Design is the result of continuous aesthetic research inspired by nature, its leaves, flowers, colors, scents, combined with a contemporary vision of fashion.