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.

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.  


  1. I really found these experiments interesting. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I love the one with the pleater - and I REALLY love the colour! :)

  3. I wouldn't dismiss these so quickly. I like the way they all came out. I AM thinking flour paste too!

  4. As I reviewed your pictures, and saw that you weren't happy with the results, I just had to suggest adding more techniques to improve the interest. I know you started out with black, so it would be hard to do too much overdyeing. but you could do more stitching or folding and try another bleach or decolourant to add design interest. When all else fails, don't forget Rayna's tips on how to use fabric you really hate! Slice and dice does wonders!


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