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Finally, the bleach


After lunch we moved on to discharge dyeing with bleach and bleach containing products. We wanted to keep the discharge paste separate from the bleach as we didn’t know if combining them would give off any mushroom-shaped clouds of toxic fumes. (cough, cough).

Besides liquid bleach, which we mixed 50/50 with water in spray bottles, we used Clorox bleach pens and Palmolive gel dishwasher detergent. This is thick enough to use with rubber stamps or stencils without it bleeding like liquid bleach would. You can buy a thickener to add to liquid bleach, but this was much simpler and seemed to work fine.

Kay did some neat writing with the bleach pen on black fabric which discharged to a rusty color. Did I take a photo? Uh, NO! Jeri brushed some through a stencil. Did I take a photo? Uh, NO! Kay laid some keys down on fabric and sprayed bleach over them. Photo??? Better ask Kay! I was derelict on my photographer duties!!

We tried laying down some leaves and spraying the bleach solution over them. It didn’t work the best. (The next day, I re-read the chapter in Colleen Wise‘s book, Casting Shadows, on doing discharged shadows. She recommends pressing your leaves in a book for several days to get them flat. It would have been nice if I had read that part several days BEFORE we met.)

After the girls left (gosh, the day went so fast), I played for another hour or so. I had that piece of green where I had stamped the ferny leaves with the discharge paste and turned it to a lovely yellow-green. So I laid out 3/4 of a yard of that and collected leaves and grasses from my yard and sprayed bleach over it. I was working half-in, half-out of the sun, so it was hard to tell what was happening. As it turned out, not much. I forgot – that fabric turned to a yucky gray-green with bleach. (It was only pretty with the discharge paste.) And since I hadn’t flattened my plant material (sure wish I had read the chapter in the book more carefully a few days ago!), I had some odd green marks on ugly gray-green material!


I can't believe I'd show you this!

I can't believe I'd show you this!

Then I played with something else I’d seen on a site for discharging on t-shirts. They had taken stones and those marbles you use in flower arrangements and rubber banded them into the shirt, then dipped it into a bleach/water solution. I had done that with a small piece of dark fuschia fabric, but instead of dipping it I sprayed it with the solution. I LOVED the result:


The true colors are much prettier, but this gives you the idea

The true colors are much prettier, but this gives you the idea

Kay had tried the same thing with black fabric, hers looked like flowers:

Oh, that’s right, *I* didn’t get a photo. Kay, yoo hoo, will you update your blog, gosh darn it?!?!?

So that gave me an idea. I started with a bit larger than a fat quarter of solid purple Kaufman Kona cotton fabric. Rubber banded those stones, but separated them a bit:


The 'stones' I used are shown in the lower left

The 'stones' I used are shown in the lower left

Then I sprayed the bleach solution just around the stones. The color started to change almost immediately:


The magic is starting....

The magic is starting....


And this is the result after the fabric is washed and dried:




Wouldn’t this be cute on a shirt? I have plans to do something more to this piece, but it will probably have to wait for a bit. (Hint, this fabric turns yellow with discharge paste.)


One Response

  1. yes yes yes! i will get it pulled together into a post. soon…… i too got so involved that i forgot my photo duties.

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