When I was working on my recent Moda Bakeshop project, Granny Windermere’s Placemats I noticed that the background fabric that I chose was a bit busier than I had anticipated. While pondering what to do I remembered listening to a podcast where an artist talked about over dying and bleaching fabric to give it a different effect. I figured this would be a great project to give that a try with!
So let’s get this started with some fair warning, this is the first time I’ve tried this so be warned that results may vary. I’ve heard that some dyes bleach out faster or slower or even not at all so feel free to do a test piece first!
I started with bleach, a storage tub and a slotted spoon. In the tub I mixed 2 gallons of water with 1 cup of the concentrated bleach.
The fabric’s raw edges were pinked to prevent excess unravelling.
I gently stirred the fabric making sure it was well submerged and that the fabric didn’t clump together anywhere. It got a little bleach-smelly in the kitchen so I kept the screen door wide open!
I left the fabric in the bleach bath for 15 minutes based on the results I saw checking every five minutes. With a lighter fabric I probably would have removed it after 5 or 10 minutes.
I immediately rinsed the fabric and used a bleach stopper to stop the bleaching process. I’m not an expert on this part of the process and will do it differently next time but this article and this article are good places to research stopping the bleach process.
You can see here how the bleach bath changed the fabric color. I really like how much this process changed the look of the fabric and I can certainly see myself doing it again in the future!
Have you ever bleached or over dyed fabric before? I’d love to hear about your results!