Friday, July 10, 2015

Discharge Printing

Remember the other day when I showed you the compressed sponge shapes I had cut?  Well, here is what I did with them.  So. far.

One day this past week I got together with friends and we had a discharge party. It was so much fun that I did some more the next day by myself at home.

This was the first time I had really gotten into discharging fabric to this extent. I had tried a piece here or there over the years. Lately, though, I had really been wanting to do more with it. I have quite a stash of hand dyed fabrics that I wanted to play with, some dyed a single color and some overdyed.

I found there to be a slight learning curve with the discharge printing. We used bleach mixed with monagum thickener. I found a thicker mixture worked best for the sponge applications. This first piece shown was my first attempt and my mixture was too thin. The thinner the mixture, the more moisture spread on the fabric and then you sort of lose the details of your design.

The fabrics shown are not all the ones that I did, but I think these are the ones that turned out best. Another thing that affects the outcome of this process is how long you leave the bleach mixture on the fabric. The longer it is on the lighter/whiter the designs become. So it is sort of a guessing game as to when to dunk the fabric into the rinsing buckets. For the most part I was able to stop the bleaching action at a point where I wanted, but sometimes not.

Another factor that is fun in this process is you don't know for sure what colors will show when the bleaching action starts. At least that is how it is for me, since I don't keep track of what colors I originally dyed the fabric with and some colors discharge differently than others.

I will be doing some more of this in the near future. This will be a summer activity for me because I don't like to use the bleach in the house. I don't want the smell in the house and my curious cats don't need to get into it.

One other thing that I want to try the compressed sponge shapes for is dyeing fabric with Color Magnet. Ohhhhhhh, can't wait!!!!!


  1. Compressed sponges are so much fun! These turned out pretty nice!!!!

  2. These look great! I'm going to be doing some discharge dyeing tomorrow and you've given me some ideas thanks!

  3. Very nice! I have been curious about what you did with the compressed sponges. I am not a quilter, but a mixed media jewelry artist, and am always fascinated with your imaginative work.

  4. These fabric have such an elemental beauty to them Terri. It must be a lot of fun to see how they turn out and to play around with how you do them!

  5. It definitely was fun to see the results. Thanks!


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