Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fabric Bleaching…the oddities

Recently I found myself walking out of a thrift shop with a roll of ~20 yards of home-décor fabric.  It wasn’t what I went in hunting for….but it sort of found me and since it cost pittance,…well I wasn’t put out at all to lug it down main street with a toddler in tow.  The fabric is 100% cotton, and a great weight…the only drawback really is the color…sage green.  Not so much a fan of sage green.  I really like it as a wall color, but I don’t find myself sewing with it much.  Despite this, I knew this was too good of a deal to pass by. 

The thought occurred to me while adventuring with kiddos that I might be able to bleach out the fabric to a light green or even white and use it to make a new shower curtain.  I cut off a few yards and put them to soak in the bathtub with a few inches of water and 3/4 of a bottle of bleach.  It didn’t turn light green….it turned blue!  A beautiful perriwinkle purpley blue!  We couldn’t believe it.  I left more to soak and the colors went through more stages of blue and finally (after ~24 hours) to a creamy white.)  I pulled out the purple and washed it and the color stayed fast.  I wasn’t as careful about watching and stirring the second attempt so as it went through the stages of blue it didn’t bleach evenly.  I’m excited to try some more and pull them out at the different stages and work with the new colors!  The few yards of creamy white are on the line for their final “bleaching” courtesy of the beautiful (if not cold!) sunshine.  The color and project possibilities for this fabric are oh-so-exciting!  I’m actually thinking of learning a bit about fabric dying and seeing what fun we can have with that!!!