Today Jill of Lune is going to share the next part of our textile printing series, how to paint with bleach. I love the simplicity of her design and can’t wait to try this. Enjoy!
Bleach painting is a fun, easy and inexpensive way to play with fabric dying and I know you’ll love the results! I chose to create a simple tank with the phrase “We are made of stars” which is adapted from a famous Carl Sagan quote. I hope you enjoy my take on painting with bleach!
Supplies Needed: Fabric safe household bleach, inexpensive synthetic bristle paint brush, glass or ceramic bowl, dark colored cotton blend top, a white towel or rag, white chalk, cardboard.
Safety: Bleach is toxic, so be careful to keep it safely out of reach of children. Always protect your eyes, abrasions and clothing from coming into contact with the bleach. If you have sensitive skin, you will want to wear thin gloves during this project. Be safe, have fun!
1. Place a flat sheet of cardboard inside your shirt. This will provide an even surface for your design to be created upon, and will stop the bleach from bleeding through to the back of your shirt. With a piece of white chalk, sketch out your design. Don’t worry if you need to smudge out chalk lines and re-sketch. The chalk lines will wash out once your painting is done. 2. Secure your shirt by folding the sides under the cardboard, using elastics or clips to keep it from slipping. Prepare a small bowl with non-diluted, fabric safe bleach. Have your towel on hand to wipe up any drips. 3. It’s time to make your design permanent! Dip your brush in the bleach and drag it on the edge of the bowl to eliminate dripping. Use steady strokes to trace the chalk lines of your design. For an even bleach line, you will need to reload your brush every two inches. The fabric will quickly soak up the liquid. Work in a natural position, and take it slow. You will quickly see your design appear, like magic! 4. Continue to trace your design until you reach the end. Take a break, and return in a few minutes once the bleach has had time to react with the fabric of your shirt. Are there un-even spots or light areas? No problem. Simply go back in with your bleach filled brush and even out the design. 5. Once you’re pleased with how your shirt looks, let the piece sit in the sun for an hour or more. This will allow the bleach to process and lighten. Depending on the cotton content of your shirt, the color of your design will range from dark red, to orange, to pink, all the way to white. Rinse and hand wash your shirt, and hang to dry. Your design is now permanent, safe to wash with like colors, and ready to wear.
There are so many options for bleach painting. It’s a great opportunity to get creative with recycled materials. Creating large paintings, a grouping of small shapes that mirror the stitching of your garment, simple patterns like stripes and dots, and handwriting are just some ideas for your new design. Enjoy!
Thanks so much for sharing this technique with us today, Jill. Be sure to visit Jill’s blog, Lune. Xoxo. elsie