Suomeksi

An easy way of creating personal, patterned fabrics.
Removing colour instead of adding it.

Equipmen

  • Ordinary household bleach
    (Different brands can give different results)

  • Fabric (natural fibres -cotton, linen, Cellulose -based regenerated fibres)
    The darker the fabric is, the more dramatic is the result.
    Some fabrics might not work with this technique, so test first.

  • Different techniques can be used to apply the bleach on the fabric.

There are also other ways of removing (discharging) colour from dyed fabrics but they usually need highly toxic chemicals and lots of experience. Ordinary household bleach is much safer when used with care. It is best to do your experiments outside, though,  if possible. And wear old clothes in case you accidentally get some bleach on them as well.


Techniques

"Tie and dye"

You can dip your fabric in bleach as such or you can cover parts of the fabric
using rubber bands, strings, paper clips etc.

It is propably best to make a solution of 1 part bleach to 4 or 5 parts water. 

After you have  prepared your fabric, dip it into the solution. After the wanted result is achieved you rinse your fabric in cold water. If you need to stop the action quickly, you can neutralize the fabric in a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and then rinse it thorougly. 

Bleach + thickener

You can make bleach "thicker" by mixing it with a thickener.  For a thickener you can try different kinds of pastes for example wall-paper paste. After this you can paint it, add it with a sponge or use it for block or screen printing.


Screen - printed froggies. The dark brown
cotton fabric turned orange.

Painting

You can paint with bleach using different kinds of brushes (those mede of natural fibres don't last very long...),  sponges, sticks etc...

I've also tried dipping cotton yarn in bleach and making patterns on fabric with the yarn.

Spraying

An easy way of adding the bleach is spraying it on the fabric with a spraying bottle. With this technique you can also make pattern by  covering parts of the fabric with plants, stones, plastic...


Pictures


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