Saturday, December 17, 2016

Discharging or Un-dyeing

About a month ago, I took an online class in Cloth Dyeing.  Very soon after that, a notice of a book sale showed up in my email - or somewhere else possibly. What did I discover?  The instructor of The Art of Cloth Dyeing, Jane Dunnewold, has a book and it was on sale for a very low price.  I had to order it! The book is "Complex Cloth" and in addition to some dyeing techniques, there are various other ways shown to change cloth.  One of those is "discharge dyeing" -or as Abby likes to say "Un-dyeing."  The method is to use bleach or another color removal chemical to take out some of the color on the cloth.
Abby and I played with several pieces, both hand-dyed and commercial solids.  For now I only have one photo of a piece that was partially successful.
The upper left quadrant came out perfectly. (the darks in this piece are darker than the photo.)
The lower left quadrant got some patterning but it is much fainter.  The right side was not processed at all.   The reason that the lower part is fainter: The piece was folded in half and the lower part was the inside.  Because the bleach discharges quickly, it did not have time to penetrate the fabric like a dye bath would do.  But even with a dye, the inner parts come out less due to the "resist effect" of folding.

If you try bleach discharging, remember that you must be ready to rinse immediately and thoroughly. I use cold water, warm water, cold water and then warm with some soap/detergent.  This piece is roughly a fat quarter or slightly larger so I rinsed in the sink.  For larger amounts of fabric, it would be advisable to run it through the washing machine.
After the holidays, I want to try techniques with dyes. I have lots of ideas, but I need to gather some items to use as resists to make interesting patterns.

I think this is satisfying the urge I had several years ago (2009 and after) to design fabric. Since that never came about -and I realized that I would not get rich at it - I am fulfilling that desire on a small scale with dyeing and discharging.   Of course it is still possible to find some of my 2009 fabric designs available on Spoonflower.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.


Barbara said...

Very interesting and SO creative!

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

That looks like FUN!! I didn't know that you had some Spoonflower designs - thanks for the link - they are simply GORGEOUS - ;))