I did this a LONG time ago and remember it was quite successful. We used regular hammers on a sort of thin fabric, not remembering what kind it was. I remember that we used impatiens, and the reds and pinks came out quite well.
Word of caution: Don't pound to hard or too long in any one spot, it will make holes and cuts in the fabric!
I would think rubber mallets would work well instead of metal hammers...or put down something to absorb the sharper edges...felt maybe? Give it a try on paper that way and see if that would keep the paper from tearing?
Good luck and let us know how it went.
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