Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bleach Discharging

Based on some inspiration from my favorite blog (I should just tell you to go read her stuff and be satisfied with that!) ohfransson, I attempted some bleach discharging of commercial fabric. I had an odd time of it.
I started out with 5 fat quarters. I cut them in half to make fat 8ths. Then I put 5 fat 8ths (one from each fabric) into a mix of bleach and water. I started out with a low concentration of bleach to water. After about 7 minutes (stirring every minute or two), it looked as if nothing had happened. I added more bleach and try for another 7 minutes. During that time, I think I added even more bleach! Can you tell that I am not patient in many thing!?! One of the fabrics (the green peppermint fabric) bleached out more quickly than the rest, but I didn't take it out of the bleach bath as I should have. The rest of the fabrics seemed to take forever to bleach. After another 5 minutes or so, I decided that I needed to be satisfied. I took the fabrics out of their bleach bath and rinsed them off as much as I could. Then threw all the fat 8ths (the bleach and unbleached) into the washing machine. When they came out of the dryer, here is what they looked like.

It turned out that my adding bleach to the bucket was not such a bright idea as there are several splotches on a couple of the fabrics, particularly the brown and the blue with brown flowers. Here is several of the fabrics cut for the square in square blocks that I intent to make with this fabric. I really like this layout of stair steps. I hope to make a quilt with that design one day.

Here is the first two square in square blocks that I made with the bleach discharged fabrics.

What do you think? If you are interested in this idea, there is a whole flickr group devoted to bleach discharging and over-dying commercial fabric. Check it out here. All this was inspired by Malka Dubrawsky, check out her blog A Stitch in Dye. Neat idea isn't it, but I am not sure that I will do any more with this as I have so many projects that I want to try as well. One more idea that I wanted to try off the list.


  1. I love you your stuff! It makes me wish I had even a small amount of talent when it comes to crafts. But I can content myself with being crafty vicariously through you =).

  2. These are looking great! I've found some fabric discharges at a much different rate than others. The stairstep layout is fantastic, it looks original to me! I can't wait to see how it turns out :)