Sunday, August 19, 2007

Discharging fabric

Not much time to start working at real projects, so I took some time off and discharged some fabric. Very easy to do, does not take much time and I had all the supplies at home.
I did this on a warm, windy day. So the fabric took only 20 minutes to dry before I could repeat the process.
I used household bleach to discharge, had a bowl of water with vinegar to stop the bleaching process. And a bowl with water to rinse the fabrics.
To keep things easy, without fear of bleaching my workroom, I worked outside in te garden. The only problem I faced there was how to keep everything out of reach of Joy, my daughters Golden Retriever (who is white, actually, instead of gold), a very active, energetic dog full with creative ideas about investigating the world around her.
So I put the bowls on top of the large trashcans we have here in Holland.

I used some quilt fabric, an apart from the blue fabric, all discharged very well, except one blue piece - it would not bleach. That was probably real good quality quilting fabric!
I used clothes pegs and paperclips to hold the fabric, when I folded it. The paperclips formed these nice little patterns.

I learned that when I left the bleach too long outside of the bottle, it seemed to slow down the bleaching process. So I just poured a little bit in a shallow tray, dabbing with the fabric in it, or sometimes using an old brush (since the bristles are eaten away by the bleach) to makes some brush marks.
Then as the colour was fading away, the fabric was put in the bath with vinegar for a while. Then I rinsed it with water and hang up to dry in the wind.
There is not so much control over the whole process - but I guess that is the beauty of it. You just go along and accept the results.

This was so much fun to do - I will go through all my fabrics and see which ones I don't like anymore - they will be discharged too!

Here a close up from the patterns created by the paperclips.