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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

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?


  1. the bubble wrap bleached piece is so cool! I'll definitely have to give it a go!

  2. Beth, for me the string piece is the best -- and I don't think it is too light at all. Don't forget, you need to soak your bleached piece in cold water before you put it into the anti-chlor so the chemicals don't react. After is fine, too - but before is important. These are really nice!

  3. Rayna, I didn't soak mine in water before I plunged it into the antichlor and, thankfully, didn't have a problem this time. However, I will be doing that the next time for sure.


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