Introduction: Bleached Black Tiger T-shirt

I wanted to try a bleaching project with a leftover black t-shirt from a Christmas etching project and also wanted to experiment with a spiral resist technique. This project was a fun way to combine both!

Step 1: Materials

  • elastics
  • bleach pen and/or liquid bleach
  • spray bottle
  • black t-shirt
  • chop stick (optional)
  • plastic sheet or garbage bag

Step 2: Wet and Bunch T-shirt Into a Spiral

Lay your t-shirt facedown on a plastic sheet or garbage bag and spritz it thoroughly with water so that it is very damp. The dampness will give the t-shirt some weight and it will help you to keep it in place when you begin twisting it into a spiral.

Choose a spot on your t-shirt where you want the centre of your spiral to end up, I chose to put mine midway between the armpits. This is where you will place the end of your chopstick. Put a bit of pressure on the chopstick and begin to turn it. As the spiral begins to form around the chopstick, remove it and keep turning the t-shirt, fanning the edges out and then and shaping it into a tighter spiral. It doesn't need to be perfect.

Once you have a fairly tight spiral, wrap an elastic across the bundle sliding it across the plastic under the t-shirt without lifting it up to keep it from falling apart. Add two more elastics across the spiral as shown in the photos to hold it all together.

Step 3: Add Bleach

I had a bleach pen lying around and thought it might work well for this project. I discovered that it didn't produce very dramatic results, but had a more subtle effect.

I applied the bleach cream evenly over both the front and back surfaces of the t-shirt, spritzed it with water to help it soak in and flipped the plastic over to massage the bleach into the t-shirt.

Than I went and made myself a cup of tea.

Step 4: Rinsing Out the Bleach

Less than 10 minutes later, I filled a basin with water and rinsed the bleach out of the shirt.

Step 5: Applying Liquid Bleach

After unwrapping the rinsed out t-shirt, I decided I wanted to add another more intense spiral layer. I repeated step 2 re-wrapping the t-shirt spiral in preparation for an application of diluted liquid bleach.

I spritzed both sides of the t-shirt, thoroughly wetting but not soaking the t-shirt and watched as the colour changed quickly from a brown to orange. Within about 5 minutes it was ready to be re-rinsed.

Step 6: Finished T-shirt

After thoroughly rinsing and washing the shirt, I hung it out on the line to dry.

It looks terrrrrific!

Comments

author
ilmana (author)2016-07-08

Alhamdulillah

author
skiprlg (author)2015-10-16

I learned something today Thank You

author
whopoder (author)2015-08-11

In Brazil, we use bleach, but it corrodes (weakens) the fabric.

author
whopoder (author)whopoder2015-08-12

I mean, bleach with sodium hypochlorite. Is this?

author
licheness (author)whopoder2015-08-12

You are right! Bleach is not something you want to leave on your fabric for long, as the sodium hypochlorite in it will break down the fabric over time. It is best to neutralize the bleach. I always thought that you used vinegar to do this, but after looking into it some more, I found many references suggesting that using a 3% peroxide solution is better.

From the Clorox bleach site: "...when people are working on fabric
projects where they use bleach for decorative effects... quickly stop the bleaching action from sodium
hypochlorite (the active in Clorox® Regular-Bleach)... (using) a
hydrogen peroxide solution that’s 1 part hydrogen peroxide + 10 parts
water will work."

author
whopoder (author)licheness2015-08-12

Good idea :D Thank you.

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