A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Soft Scrub Experiment

I have been wanting to try Soft Scrub as a discharge agent and this month gave me a good reason to finally get around to it.  I also have been wanting to try discharging on a patchwork piece of fabric.  I like the idea of the material being different but the discharge pattern going across the different fabrics to uniet them.  

I used a block leftover from this quilt.

And here are my results. 

I am underwhelmed.  It is much more subtle than I would have gotten from either bleach or Decolourant.  This actually shows two attempts. The first time I stamped the dry fabric and let it sit for about 15 minutes before washing it out with water.  I could see very little change. So I stamped the wet fabric again and let it sit for about 30 minutes.  Still when I washed it out, there did not seem to be much change.  To neutralize the bleach, I put the fabric in hydrogen peroxide--more expensive than anti-clor but still not expensive and I had it on hand--and let it sit for a couple of hours.

Here are two detail shots.  I do plan to use the same stamp with some thickened dye before calling the block finished.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sometimes A Do-Over

is a really good idea.

These are the same three pieces that I was unimpressed with on Friday.

I mixed up a flour and water resist, let it dry, and then sprayed on some bleach.

I think I might have saved myself the trouble of the resist and just lightly sprayed them.  But I really like these.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Experimenting with Bleach

First the successes.  Seeing the interesting results obtained with resists in the previous posts (especially the one with the flour -- that's right outta my playbook)  I decided to get out my old smocking pleater and pleat up some fabric for discharge.  It was fun because I didn't care whether it was on grain (a must for hand smocking) or even if I "popped" some of my pleats.  

 I used some Egyptian cotton that I keep around because with deColourant it discharges to white. The top two were folded in half, then pleated and dipped in a diluted bleach solution.  I really like the patterning, but I'm not crazy about the color.  The bottom one was pleated in a single layer and I brushed on deColourant, then hit it with the hair dryer.  Nothing happened.  So I moved downstairs and hit it with my steam iron and got the wonderful stripey effect.

I know I've been AWOL a lot lately from the blog world.  I haven't even done any snow dyeing because my personal life is crazy busy these days.  Of course, there hasn't been much snow, but it snowed last night, so I thought, "Snow discharge!"  I sprayed full strength bleach over the top of the snow packed on three different  scrunched-up fabrics.

 This was the Egyptian cotton.  Blah.  I like the pleated stuff better -- I'm thinking I may have to mix up some flour and water and re-do it.

 This was some commercial purple batik that I must have really liked because I have a bunch of it in my stash.  I will probably over-dye it.  Meh.

This was Kona black.  Again -- not thrilled.  I'm thinking another resist (and bleach or deColourant).  I wasn't crazy about previous experiments with deColourant and resists, so I suppose it's worth a try with bleach.  And I've decided that snow is better reserved for dyeing.  

Also - completely unrelated to this month's technique

I actually used some of my dispere dye/transfer painted fabric in a piece and thought I'd show you it:

And I really like the result - so I can see myself using this technique a lot in the future!

Discharge paste = Decolourant?

I hope so!

I didn't have any Decolourant, but had discharge paste, (although I used a Canadian supplier) and I had a piece of procion MX dyed fabric that hadn't turned out so well, so I put them together.  :)  I used one of the stencils that I've had around forever and never used, just dabbing the paste on, and I think I've improved it. I could quilt the dog out of it with some bright coloured thread and play with a bit - and maybe have something good!

and then I used another stencil with discharge paste and Procion MX dye powder (mixed straight into the paste) and then applied in the same way.

I used a blue for the birds, brown for the branches, green. for the leaves and red for the berries. On the right, I used an iron, and as you can see, didn't get the expected results in terms of colour.  On the left, I tried it with a heat gun - got a better bleaching result, but not a better colour result.

I have tried it in the past on RTD cotton fabric and gotten much better results with the dye/discharge paste combo; but as you can see, on this fabric (a heavy cotton jersey ) -  not so much!

And the experiments continue...


Monday, February 20, 2012

Discharging with Decolourant

Yesterday I used some Decolourant to discharge. This is a product that you can paint onto fabric or stamp it on. It really didn't smell too bad, either, which was good since we had a "snowstorm" here in North Carolina, a pretty rare occurrence (2" of snow), and I had to stay in the house and work on this.

This was the Decolourant on a blue cotton fabric, a commercially dyed solid. After stamping on the product, I let it dry, then ironed it using the hottest setting.

The color changes a little, it turned more purplish-blue after ironing.

I also stamped a hand-dyed piece of bright pink, then ironed, and it turned very white. Then a black commercially dyed solid, and it turned kind of a rusty white. Both kind of look like batik.

This product didn't make the fabric stiff like paint does, and wasn't nearly as stinky as bleach.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Late January Post

I know.  I know. January is over and I should be discharging things.  I'll be doing that tomorrow.  But first I want to show you the un-quilted so not completely finished third piece I started in January.  As a reminder, I started off with this intermediate piece from a Nancy Crow workshop.

Then I showed you this piece that showed some slicing and dicing.

Here is the finished piece,  "Building in Space"

Now I am off to discharge and then use the fabric to make a sketchbook cover using Beth Berman's tutorial.
I'll post pictures when I am done.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Jumping on the bandwagon...

I started with a piece of black, heavy weight jersey cotton, marked it with chalk and then loosely pulled some threads through the markings. (You'll note that I decided not to do the circles on the top left hand-side after all.)

Once I pulled the thread tight I used a small sized squeeze bottle of bleach to apply bleach along the pulled areas, and sprinkled drops randomly over the blank area.  When completed, the result was:

Which I'm rather pleased with.


I'm succumbing to the pressure

This is not my favorite time to be bleaching but I thought I'd share some really old pieces I did a few years ago. This is my travertine tile entry way inside my front door.
I had a few left over (yes, I laid this tile myself) and used 3X3 tiles, sprayed them with bleach and dropped some black cotton on it. It actually came out very well.
Even before I did this one, Rosalita and I did bleach on a piece of black cotton with dried flour paste mixture on it. The flour paste dried and cracked and we sprayed some bleach on it. That was nice too.

And this is an area in my regular studio that faces the barn (2 feet away). The window is a slider and unlocked all year so I don't get a cramp trying to unlock it. I just slide the window open, put the fan on which is blowing out and fiddle away. I wouldn't use bleach but I do iron discharge paste, transfer dyed and burn and melt organza, Tyvec and generally anything I can put color on and melt. Very fun.
And this table is CLEAN. You should see it when it's not...

Bleach Discharge--Quilter Beth

I am hoping to do some bleach discharge later in the month; but, in the meantime, I'd like to share some I did a little while ago.

I started with some pieces using bleach in a spray bottle. If you would want to do this, I suggest you do it outside (which I did--even though the temperature was in the 30s). You MUST HAVE good ventilation when working with bleach and anti-chlor. I thought the pieces turned out interesting. I'll be doing more of them.

This is what I started with...some string and two keys strewn onto my fabric.
I used straight bleach sprayed from a spray bottle, and this is what I got... 
After I sprayed the fabric with bleach, I let it sit a little while (until the color was a bit darker than I wanted). Then I removed the objects from the fabric and put the fabric into an anti-chlor solution (for five minutes) to stop the discharge of the dye. I waited a bit too long on this particular piece. I think it turned out a little too light. What I think I'll do with it is overdye it with a color. The anti-chlor solution I used was 1 teaspoon of anti-chlor to 2 1/2 gallons of water. I rinsed the fabric in cold water after the anti-chlor bath. I followed this same procedure for all of these pieces.
This is what turned out when I used "Jet Black" fabric from Blank. The color is a beautiful rusty/reddish brown. The picture doesn't do the color justice. On this piece, I again used the keys, some jute, and three bottle caps. 
On this piece, I sprayed bubble wrap with the bleach. Then I placed the fabric face down on the bubble wrap and lightly pressed the fabric into it with my gloved hands. After that, I put the fabric on the table, added some string and a glove and lightly spritzed the whole piece with the bleach. I let it sit for just a little bit before putting it into the anti-chlor solution. I like the depth in this piece.

I have lots of ideas about things I can use to make more of this unique fabric. It was great fun. Why don't you give it a try?

A couple of discharge projects.

I am hoping to work on some discharge projects this weekend but till then I thought I would show you a couple of wall hangings I have. They are not "high ART" but I have them hanging in my office and actually get more comments on them than I do on my more sophisticated pieces.

This is a piece of black cotton from Joann's that I brushed with Decolourant to see what would happen.  I know it is Decolourant because when I used bleach, the fabric discharged to brown rather than this grey.  To integrated the two colors, I used some embroidery floss to quilt outline the discharged area.  I was experimenting with copper wire and affixing beach stones.

In this piece I got a bit more adventurous and did the quilting with the embroidery thread before I discharged the material.  If you look in the discharged areas you can see the added texture I got from discharging it after quilting.

Are you familiar with Decolourant?  Here is the product page with how-to's for painting, printing, stamping, screening, and spraying with Decolourant.  I'll be doing some of that this weekend!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Discharging -- first with bleach

Discharging (removing color) from fabric is probably most commonly done with bleach. Since that's what I had on hand this weekend, that's what I decided to work with first.

I choose some really ugly fabrics from my stash, some commercial prints/solids, and some that I had already overdyed with MX dyes some time in the past.

I just stacked up a few layers, then I got out my plexiglass circles and clamped them tightly. (These plexiglass pieces are available from http://www.etsy.com/shop/r0ssie, by the way)

I stuck this all into a gallon of water with about 1/2 cup of bleach in it. After about 20 minutes, I removed from the bleach/water and stuck in vinegar. Of course, all of this was done in my garage with the door open due to the fumes.

Finished pieces:

This was a funky batik, I like the discharged colors a lot more than the original.

This piece was originally golden yellow, and I had overdyed it with a dark green a while back. The bleach took the dye out, but left too much of the original design in. Definitely a piece destined for the burn pile now.

This was another piece of fabric I tried this with:

After discharging, I over dyed these, one in green and one in blue.

I had wanted to compare the bleach discharge with Rit Color Remover, but it was too cold here this weekend to work outside in my garage. Stay tuned!