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Topic: Bleaching Patterned Fabric?  (Read 3936 times)
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Xiphoid Process
« on: May 26, 2010 07:22:50 PM »

I hope this is in the right place, if not, mods please feel free to move it.

I will try to make this simple.

I have this generic polyester (and I think cotton) print fabric. The print is cute but the colours are very bright. Would it be possible to fade the pattern using bleach, perhaps diluted? I've never worked with bleach before so I'm just curious if this would theoretically work. I have plenty of the material so I don't mind trying it out but I don't want to like...burn a hole in anything. I'm very lost so any help would be greatly appreciated.


Xiphoid Process: Custom Clothing and Accessories
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2010 09:02:33 AM »

I would dilute it and just try it with little squares of fabric and test it until you get one you like. I just bleached on of my shirts the other day and was reminded how quickly bleach works. My shirt went from yellowing to WHITE in like two minutes so watch your bleach, don't leave it unattended haha
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2010 09:43:39 AM »

If I'm not mistaken, bleach does terrible things to artificial fibres. Try sun bleaching on a swatch. You soak the fabric in water with some lemon juice, squeeze out the excess and lay it on grass in the sunshine. I read somewhere that laying on grass accelerates the process, but hanging it on a clothesline should still help to tone down the colours.

« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2010 10:10:20 AM »

It's possible the fabric itself might fade with either bleaching or in the sun, but the print might remain.  This might have the effect you want, or maybe not.  Definitely test swatches if you care at all about the fabric.

I think what I would do is layer the fabric with something sheer.  If it's woven, maybe some organza, chiffon, or cotton voile.  If it's knit, maybe a stretch mesh.  That could great a really cool effect.

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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2010 03:43:10 AM »

How much fading can also depend on the type of dye used in addition to the fibre content. I know you said polyester with cotton, but how much of each? If it's high polyester you'll have much different results than if it's high in cotton.

And yes, bleach damages fabric. It'll eat cotton and turn polyesters pink. Nylon turns pink, too, I believe. If you go the bleach route, dilute with water, mix thoroughly, and then add the fabric. And watch very closely.

I would definitely do a swatch test, as mentioned above.

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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010 08:14:31 AM »

Maybe take a look over here:
- discussions about dyeing. Also, remember when you are working w/bleach, you need to neutralize the fabric (remove the bleach) or the bleach will continue to do its stuff & dissolve your fabric (found out the hard way) & you'll have unusable fabric.

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