Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bleach discharge dyeing

Yes, it has been a while.  The day job took me away from home for all of March and April, and I was too lazy to do anything on-line in May.  But my quilt "Indigo Summer" is in Lethbridge for this year's National Juried Show, plus I've been quilting and dyeing, and I'm getting ready to get back to the indigo vat later this month.  In the meantime, I saw an article on bleach discharge dyeing with shibori techniques in the most recent issue of The Canadian Quilter.  It sounded fun and easy, so I decided to give it a try this past weekend.  On Saturday and on Sunday morning, I worked on prepping fabrics, and then I spent Sunday afternoon in the backyard:

prep work in progress
discharged fabric in the neutralizing solution
I used black, dark brown, and dark blue Kona cottons.  After bleaching, the black fabric turned a nice shade of brown, while the blue produced a plummy pink, and the brown became reddish orange.  I used a range of techniques, including pole-wrapping, tesuji, stitched shibori, and itajime.  Here are some of the results:

Not bad, huh?  The colors don't have the depth, richness, and sophistication of indigo, but bleach discharge dyeing is quick, easy, and still very satisfying.  If you want to try dyeing with a process that isn't too fussy or difficult, bleach discharge is a great technique--I highly recommend giving it a shot!

6/3: Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and The Needle and Thread Network.  Cheers!


  1. Lots of interesting results - looks like fun!

  2. Very cool! And it definitely seems more approachable then indigo dyeing for a first-timer.

  3. These turned out great Jessica. Wish I'd been able to play with you - hopefully next time!

  4. Welcome back! Glad to see that you haven't lost your interest in experimenting. :)