Friday, May 27, 2011

Dye Discharge

I saw some beautiful scarves last week that had been woven from a warp dipped in bleach. It lead to some experiments here at home to see if I could do some dye discharge with a cone of cotton yarn.

And the results are in.

Bleach, followed with a peroxide bath to neutralize the process, works great at removing the "mint" green dye from this yarn.

From left to right across the page the samples are:
(1) soaked in water --this was my standard. Soaking it in water let me know that the dye didn't bleed.

(2) soaked in a 50/50 bleach/water solution.
(3) soaked in a 75/25 bleach/water solution.
(4) soaked in a cream of tartar solution. This idea came up at our guild meeting. I used 1 tsp of cream of tartar in 120 mL of water.
(5) soaked in 3% hydrogen peroxide.

The only changes to the color were seen in the samples that were in the bleach. There was no perceptible difference in effectiveness between the two bleach solutions.

A note about neutralizing: While searching for information on dye discharging, I came across Paula Burch's site "All About Hand Dyeing". She has lots of great information there, including a bit about neutralizing bleach. From what Paula presents, bleach does not stop chewing on the textile with a water rinse. It needs something to stop the reaction. Hence the neutralizing dip in the hydrogen peroxide. I haven't done enough with bleach and textiles to know how critical it is to do this step. But, I don't want my textiles falling apart on me either!

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