Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July KIt's: Discharging with Bleach

This month the lesson involves bleach pens and discharging the color from a piece of black fabric. The fabric in the kit is a Kona cotton and will bleach to a rust color. Other fabrics that you try may have different results. Experiment with both commercial solids and prints and hand-dyed cottons.

Before you begin, it is essential that your supplies are out and ready. Once you have put the bleach on the fabric, the only way to control the discharge process is to stop it by putting it into water. We have included some Anti-chlor for you to use in your second rinse, which should help to keep the bleach from destroying the fabric in the future. Be careful with the bleach as it will dry out your hands, bleach anything it touches, and interfere with your breathing if you inhale the fumes. The bleach pen makes the chlorox easier to handle than straight bleach and has less odor. To prepare your rinse water, fill two containers with warm water: one water only and one with the Anti-chlor (about 1 tsp to 2 gallons). When you finish discharging, you will drop the fabric into the straight water to stop the bleaching process and then rinse well in the Anti-chlor water; then wash well with soap and water. Dry and press and use as one-of-a- kind fabric.

Use the bleach pen to make designs. This bleach pen has both a narrow tip and a wide one. Work fast as the first mark will bleach more than the last! A foam brush dipped in the bleach gel or staight bleach will also leave designs.

Squeeze out a small amount of the bleach pen onto a palette and dip a stamp into it and then onto the fabric.

Cover the fabric with tape and brush the bleach pen into the areas not covered by tape.


Bleach can be placed into a spray bottle and sprayed onto the fabric. You can discharge alot or little depending on the stream of the spray.


A large cotton doily was used as a resist for the bleach. Without totally soaking the doily, spray and carefully lift the doily off. Rinse immediately.

The black fabric can be wrapped or scrunched and then sprayed with bleach for a shibori result.

1 comment:

grace said...

this is awesome .. another quilter friend of mine tripped over your blog and sent me the links .. talk about timely .. i'm just starting to experiment with this type of fibre play and you have ideas that i've not seen covered yet

thank you!!
grace