Saturday, June 28, 2014

How To Stamp With Bleach On Fabric

 I have been wanting to see how stamping with plain bleach would work.

I went through my fabric stash and cut small test areas from different woven fabrics to see how they react with bleach. I strongly encourage you not to skip this step. From the 5 different samples I tried, I was only happy with 1! And the blue quilting fabric did not even react to the bleach at all. In some, the bleach spread too fast and the design was not recognizable, in others I did not like the color I ended up with.
 I chose the green linen blend fabric from Joann's. ( I also tried 2 quilting cottons, 1 corduroy and 1 gauze. )
Grab a bowl or container,  fold a piece of paper towel and place it in the bottom of the bowl. You should have at least 4 layers of paper towel.

Pour bleach on it slowly,  watching to make sure the layers of paper towel get well saturated. Tilt the dish and if you have some bleach pooling, get rid of it! Essentially you are making a stamp pad with bleach and too much bleach will just make for dripping stamps. Next you should prepare a bowl or sink with a solution to neutralize the bleach. Mix 1 part white vinegar with 5-6 parts water. As long as you do not mix bleach straight from the bottle with vinegar, you will be fine and there will not be any dangerous fumes. At all. (Plus the amount of bleach you are using is very minimal in the fabric itself, so no worries.)
Tip: use simple, not too complicated stamp designs with bold lines. Or make your own. Thinner lines work OK, but are not the best. Press your stamp down on the bleach soaked paper towel. IMPORTANT: Do not place the container with the bleach on your fabric, like I did on the picture. Trust me. Also, once you "inked" your stamp with bleach, grab a rag and tilt your stamp over the rag. Do not wipe the stamp, just allow any extra bleach to drip off onto the rag. Not your fabric. Again, just trust me on this. 
Now you can stamp away! Watch the bleach discharge the color. It should only take a minute or two.
Then take your fabric to the vinegar/water solution and rinse/ soak your fabric for a few minutes. Then wash it and dry it.

And  have a fun new fabric!

I made a couple more.
 The green turned out the best. Just goes to show you that you need to test, test, test! To make sure you get the results you will be happy with.