fabric burning and discharge

18 Jul

okay that might sound like a medical problem but it’s not! it’s grand fun! i slipped into a class last night at the LQS Heirloom creations and had a blast.

we started with discharge. i need more time with this technique. i was disappointed that all my 5 black fabrics (different manufacturers) all turned orange when bleach was applied. depending on the under dyes, your fabric can turn green or blue or even pink. wouldn’t ya know mine all turned the same color. differing intensities but all orange. oh well, it’s was just playing.

on this one i applied a soft scrub product that contains bleach to a rubber stamp. obviously, i was a little messy but you get the idea.

the longer you let the product sit, the more intense the “discharge” this product took the most time to activate.

this one we taped a piece of “ribbon waste”—-it is a kind of metallic ribbon about 4 inches wide with a grid of holes in it to our fabric and then daubed (yes like bingo daubing) the soft scrub stuff on it. i was too methodical about getting every spot covered-should have just swiped and neutralized it.

and in this one we used masking tape as a resist. i think i would use less bleach so i would retain more black.

and this one i cut shapes out of freezer paper and ironed onto the fabric. i also squiggled with a bleach mixture in a squeeze bottle. like the idea, not so wild about my piece-again too much bleach used.

by the time we got to the last piece i realized that i wanted less bleach (duh!) this one was rubber banded for a shibori look. yeah, didn’t use enough bleach this time. grrr.

we used spray bottles with 100% bleach, 50% bleach (mixed with water), bleach pens, soft scrub with bleach, and the bleach mixture in a squeeze bottle (for writing). not sure anything was a huge success here but i think it bears more play time. the stronger the mix, the faster it worked. we neutralized everything in a bucket of vinegar water—easily available. you may want to invest in soda ash to neutralize your pieces if you get more involved in doing this. obviously, when you are bleaching fabric you are damaging it. i don’t think i’d use this fabric in a quilt that would be used. i can see it in wall hangings, postcards, atc’s etc.—things that won’t require washings.


i’m not the pyro in the family (that title belongs to scott) but i really liked this. i’m not sure why. we started with a natural base of a 100% wool army blanket. and then we snipped bits and pieces from a variety of fabrics and ribbons and piled it on top of our base. then we covered the base with a sheer fabric. then we free-motion quilted our piece on our dsm (ya gotta know this was the biggest challenge for me. i really wanted my longarm to do this!). the we used a heat gun and/or a heating tool (the name escapes me…..maybe a soldering tool?) anyway, the heat gun worked the fastest but did a general all over burn. the “tool” could be used to burn away specifically between your stitching. naturally i used the heat gun (fast fast fast) and came away REALLY liking the look with the other “tool”. what i liked about it was that you didn’t have to burn away all of your sheer fabric. leaving a bit of it next to your thread really made the stitching path pop. HOWEVER…..i do love my piece.

and this is using the “macro” setting on my camera. i had to get a little farther away from the piece and hold real steady (took a few tries) …..they recommend using a tri-pod with this setting.

isn’t it amazing the detail that shows up in that setting

tomorrow is art club at andi’s! can’t wait! well except for the part that i have to teach shaving cream dyeing….

i haven’t forgot about my blog birthday. i have decided on the giveaway but have to get it made!


2 Responses to “fabric burning and discharge”

  1. Jan July 19, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    Those are all just cool!!! How lucky are you to have a shop close by to go make your mess at!! Fun!!! Did the fabric burning smell… burn faster than you anticipated or any other forewarnings you would issue?

  2. kayp July 19, 2008 at 8:21 pm #

    lucky indeed! i didn’t notice any smell but we did it outside. i don’t know that i’d want to do it inside if i had a choice. you have quite a bit of control on the speed of burning so that wasn’t a big concern. with the heat gun, you just find a “distance” that you are comfortable with the rate of burning. with the tool, you just touch lightly until it burns away.

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