Thursday, October 6

Fading color

my sample strip with dots and stripes. I didn't leave the bleach gel on too long, and I've got subtle pink left behind
 Last night was so much fun! I had my Stitch and Surface students experiment with rust dyeing and bleaching. The previous week we dyed a piece of fabric using the low-immersion method in multi colors, so there's a range of color there. Then last night I asked everyone to bring a Clorox bleach gel pen to see if we could get some bleached out drawings on our fabric. We're starting an abstract pattern project, so this will be a great first layer to work with.
I really like Shelby's experiment with a variety of morphing patterns

There's a diiferent effect when you drizzle vs. scrape the gel on. These were left longer and there's yellowish color left behind

Oh that Havana Brown dye!!!! Bleached to a greenish yellow.
Here's the wall of everyone's results. If you try this at home, make sure you are in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves to protect your hands. Use this on cotton- no silk- and work on a  protected surface that won't be damaged by the bleach. Normally when bleaching fabric you'd want to dilute the bleach- and this was definitely NOT diluted and it was a very FAST bleach-out. It only took a few minutes for the color to leach away and we immediately rinsed off the bleach gel in water. This effect worked best on darker fabrics for high contrast results. Commercially dyed or printed fabrics took a little longer- the hand-dyed was best.
Unfortunately it's kind of an expensive process- the bleach gel pen cost me $2.99 and only covered about a yard of fabric before being used up. However, the instant drawing tool aspect of it being a PEN with dual size tips, made it very interesting to work with. And the fact that it was in gel form, not liquid made the results have more definitive edges.