Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Discharging Fun

Yea, Peggy came over and we got to play with several different types of discharging. I started with a spray bottle of 50% bleach over leaves placed on black fabric. No results, more spray, nothing happening, we worked with other products and kept patiently checking the bleach spray. Finally my husband brought out a new bottle of Clorox instead of the generic bleach we were using. Instant results, so check on the strength of any generic bleach you have, we watered it down and it was too weak. Lesson learned the hard way, we wasted an hour and a half waiting for the bleach to NOT work. In the mean time we played with Soft Scrub, with added bleach, and two generics from the Dollar Store, a scrub and a gel. We carefully sponged them over stencils, again nothing worked. The generic products are too weak, when we finally stirred in some Clorox, it finally started to change color. One of the things we had learned previously was that chlorine evaporates quickly, if you put Soft Scrub on a paper plate to work with it, it will loose strength the longer it sits out. So we had added bleach, unfortunately it was the generic. We finally got things going, about noon, and decided on a coffee and lunch break.

Since things were finally working we decided to keep going, because it was a nice cool day, and all the supplies were already outside. Peggy continued to work with the scrubs with added Clorox, the scrub gave some color/texture/thickness to the paste and you could see what you had painted onto the stencil. She redid some of the pieces she'd already stenciled, giving her a two tone appearance, a very bleached out white and a rusty area. With the bleach products, we also had a bucket of Anti-chlor from Dharma, which we soaked the fabric in for 15 minutes, and then rinsed in plain water. WORK OUTSIDE with bleach products, my picnic table and deck were perfect for this, but our fabric kept blowing away in the wind. We used clear flat marbles and rocks to hold everything down.

We both tried Jacquard's Decolourant, the regular and the Declourant Plus with white dye. After stenciling onto the fabric, the piece was left to dry, and then ironed to activate the process. It was hard to tell how much to iron, as the white paste still remained on the fabric, and the directions said the longer/hotter you iron the more it discharges. The fabric was then rinsed in plain water, and you could see the black dye wash out, it looked purple and we hoped the stencil would have a purple cast to it. But it rinsed out to a tan/white, you could see the brush strokes and the different areas where the iron was on longer. Also some of the iron vent holes appeared in the print, but we both liked the effect, so it wasn't a problem. Lesson learned, keep the iron moving.

We decided that our black fabric was probably "Country Classics" from Joann's Fabrics, I had bought a bolt on sale, but we also had some scraps, who knows what that was. The regular Decolourant left the fabric with the underlying dye color, and the Plus with white, left a white washed sheen to the areas that were discharged. I tried a piece of fabric with both types, and the effect was very nice together, subtle color changes added variety to the print. I used mostly fern, Gingko, and a large leaf stencil, Peggy had a bird on branch stencil, leaves, butterfly, and other bugs. The results were very different from the Clorox to the Decolourant. At the end of the day, I stenciled declorourant onto a dark pink 100% cotton T-shirt, after drying it ironed and rinsed out to a yellow under dye. It needs to be rinsed and then washed to see the final results. I'll add a picture later. I think I will add some Shiva oil sticks to the gingko fabric I printed, maybe the ferns as well. The large leaf print I am already working on, I'll post it the next time I blog. We had a great day, thankfully it was cool enough to really enjoy, a slow start, but we are happy with our final results. We learned to work out our "what ifs" trying to make everything work, trying different products, and techniques. It's great to work with a friend, I would have stopped half way through if I had been by myself, but setting aside the time to really try it, with a friend, was great fun.

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