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DIY bleach printed fabric

As our brand spanking new pattern gets closer and closer to it's release date, so we get more and more excited about all the possibilities, variations and hacks we can dream up for it's future... This new pattern (currently in the arms of our wonderful pattern testers helping us to produce something as close to perfect as possible) is no exception. I for one, have already made up five variations for my own personal, ummm, testing process! The next variation I want to make involves today's DIY: armed with 3m of a deliciously soft and drapey cotton chambray purchased from The Village Haberdashery and a bottle of bleach, I'm going to show you how to create a bleached out border print...

What you'll need:

  • Your fabric - natural fibres will work best
  • A little ramekin full of bleach - I used Domestos thick bleach
  • Various shapes to print - think corks, flat ended knitting needles, pin heads, cookie cutters, shapes cut into potatoes, paint brushes, or any flat shape stuck onto the end of a knitting needle works a treat too.

Step 1

Get your workspace prepped: gather all your shape printing bits, pour a little bleach into your ramekin and lay down some newspaper or something to protect your surfaces from the bleach.

Cut a scrap of your fabric to practice printing on before diving into the Real Thing, and be prepared to change or adapt your design according to how your test turns out. I had originally planned to print polka dots, but after getting a feel for it, I decided instead to print using glow stars which I had stuck onto the ends of a pair of knitting needles with UHU glue (shown above).

Step 2

When you're happy with your design, lay your fabric on the newspaper and get stuck in! Dip your printing tool into the bleach - you want it fully coated but not drenched - and simply dab it onto your fabric once, being careful not to smudge it, and remove it after a second. It'll take a good few minutes for the bleach to work its magic, and you won't see the full effect until about a half hour after printing.

Step 3

Once you've finished printing, leave your fabric to dry and then stick it in the washing machine to get rid of any bleach residue.

I couldn't be happier with how this turned out and have already ordered my pearl snap fasteners to complete the look! Watch this space...

Comments on this post (3)

  • Jun 12, 2014

    This looks great and so simple Iight start with a plain fat quarter and see how it turns out

    — Fairythoughts

  • Jun 10, 2014

    What a great effect this creates, I love it! I’m intrigued to see this made up :)

    — Jenny

  • Jun 10, 2014

    Nice! It’s got a real nani iro feel to it, which can only be a good thing!

    — Fabric Tragic

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