Color Discharge

Read my full post here


An Interesting deColourant Project

Did I mention that I purchased a couple of colors of deColourant?  Kandicorp gifted me a turquoise and clear. I purchased the 8oz Robins Egg Blue from Kandi and from one of Amazon’s vendors purchased a neon set of  3 (orange purple and pink).  I’m not sure why I didn’t get lovelier results and wanted to work more with this fabulous product but I”m not ready to use it on a “special” piece.

Point 2, I see all these nightwear pieces in the store and patterns in the catalogs but always wonder who actually buys and wears that stuff.  Every female I know admits to the same nightwear wardrobe:

  • Winter:  oversized T-shirt and for those of us in cold climates long john bottom
  • Summer:  The Too-tight Tank Top

I bought a set of 3 tank tops the last time I was in Menards.  For those unfamiliar, it’s primarily a builders supply for the do-it-yourselfer.  They sell odd lots from time to time and had the tank tops prominently displayed and extremely cheaply priced.  I knew immediately I couldn’t buy the fabric for twice the cost of the finished item. My concern was the sizing.  With no place to try on I was making assumptions about the fit which turned out to be incorrect.  But they will serve well as summer sleep tops and my trial grounds for deColourant.

This time I chose a simple flower stencil.  I chose to use the on-hand turquoise for the stem and leaf and the neon orange for the petals.  I wanted a yellow center and opted to use yellow fabric paint.  I left the stenciled design to dry until the fabric paint was dry to the touch then steamed and pressed at my iron press using a paper towel as press cloth to protect iron.  Sort of a mistake because I pressed the paper towel to the fabric paint.

The deColourant colors reacted well to the steam/iron treatment without picking up any of the paper towel either. The turquoise was about the same color as before. I did like the vibrancy of the orange but needed to do something about the yellow+paper towel. I waited 24 hours and then soaked the garment in plain water until I could slough off the paper towel. Then I let it dry again.

I wasn’t completely satisfied. I liked the colors, but somehow it lacked completion. I’m sometimes guilty of a short attention span. This was supposed to be a fairly easy project. Choose stencil, slap on some product, heat set and go. I’d now invested more time than intended into what was I think a 79-cent top. One which I didn’t think when I bought it, that I would be wearing it next year. How much effort do you make on such a thing? Still my design sense needed to be satisfied so I pulled out the recently purchased BIC markers. I used a red, green and orange to just highlight around the edges of the design. I made no effort to blend but did try (unsuccessfully) to keep a smooth edge. I have to say, I like this much better
the final combination of deColourant and marker is a happy combination that I plan to use again when I get to those “special” projects.

Continuing with the Robins Egg Blue.

I’m pleased with the deColourant Plus application process. Pleased with the silk screen. Pleased with the stencil. Not pleased by the color. The final color is a muddy blue nowhere near the Robins Egg Blue shown on the web.

But I decide to go ahead with my project. This is after all Fabric 02 and anything that makes Fabric 02 more blue than dull green is an improvement.  Furthermore, I know that altering fabric colors is not like changing screen colors. The basic fiber and all previous treatments affect the shade of the final color. I actually could be lucky to get this much blue. Besides, I bought and had shipped to my house the 8 ounce bottle.

I don’t just apply deColourant to the stencil; lift and repeat.  First, I tested the resist for a purpose.  This is a fabric on whichI’ve already invested hours testing and machine stitching.  I don’t mean hoop it up and let the embroidery unit do it’s thing.  I mean, choose a pre-programmed stitch; altering to my taste and then personally sitting at the sewing machine for hours to place lustrous thread upon the surface of the fabric.  So I’m thoughtful when it comes to my stencil.  I masked my previous stitching. Then I look carefully at my stencil and turn it each time.  I’m trying to shift it slightly to that it is not the expected repeat.  I try to avoid the birds but don’t eliminate them entirely.

I have 2 pieces of fabric approximately 1 yard long and 56″ wide.  I finish the first piece and allow it to dry while I work on the second.  By the time the second is done, the first is ready to be steam pressed.

All goes according to plan but I notices some differences.  My samples were all 6″ wide and various lengths but under 12″.  I had detected no odors, no irritation, no reaction to chemicals on the smaller pieces.  On these larger pieces, I must set up the fan in order to avoid the, um, aromas (think bird poo and recycled earth worms).  DH arrives shortly thereafter asking what I’m burning.  I do use a press cloth to protect my iron/press and that may be having an effect.  It is something I will remember for future reference i.e. when I fire up the press, turn on the fan.

I am happier with the end result than with the samples.  The dull green is never going to be completely gone because I don’t want to do the work necessary.  I would have to bleach the fabric and then dye it.  Rit dyes have never produced a satisfactory result for me.  I had aunts who swore by Rit.  I tend to swear at it.  The other dye processes available are really confusing to me.  I prefer to avoid activities that are inherently dangerous.  So far, the deColourant process is my best choice but it can be a bit pricey to affect such a large area (over 2 square yards closer to 3).  Before I started applying the product, I chalked the outlines of my proposed garment, a vest, onto the fabric.  I applied the product only within the chalk lines.  I used about 2/3 of the 8 oz bottle.  It’s likely that I’m using the product more extensively than KandiCorp planned and engineered for.  I do tend to push the limits.

My Fabric 02 project is once again in a holding pattern.  While I like this stage, I don’t think the final garment would be spectacular.  It would look rather dull. I need to think some more; test some other options; maybe even choose another embellishment.

I’m also not done with deColourant.  I want to know how to get the lovely colors I see on the web and I’m continuing my experiments.

deColourant Plus Robins Egg Blue

I was really excited about my first tests with deColourant Plus and immediately purchased more colors.  The next color I worked with was Robins Egg Blue. I’m afraid Kandi won’t allow me to link to color itself, but only their page.  Please do go look at their page, scroll down and take careful note of the Robins Egg Blue, because…

the color on the page is not the same as the color in my bottle.  I purchased the 8 oz bottle directly from KandiCorp because I had a large project in mind and didn’t think that the smaller bottle would contain enough product. What I received was labeled Robins Egg Blue but is muddier somehow.  In the bottle, it is not the same clear pastel blue as I see on the web.  This could be an issue of representing color on the Internet.  We all know that the colors shown on our monitors is not going to be exactly the same as the real item.  But usually, on my monitor, the colors are very close.  The computer industry as a whole has improved so much in the handling of color that when I purchase fabric, I believe the picture on the screen and not the description.  My thought though was “Oh that looks different.  The color must change when heat is applied.”

Happily, I pulled out a stencil purchased from Interweave

and a silk screen purchased at Walmart to begin testing on my project fabric.

I was totally wowed by how deColourant Plus worked with the silk screen.


Actual size is about 3″ square maybe less.

deColourant Plus flowed through the screen in one swipe.

I used some masking tape as a resist and tested my stencil
deColourant Plus just handles wonderfully. I can’t say enough good about the application process. It’s easy, safe, very clean.

I let the samples dry to touch and this time “set” the color using my press. I was about to sell the ironing press. I haven’t used it in over a year. Real estate inside this house is valuable. Something not being used needs to go away. But, I think deColourant Plus may have given the press a second life.

I know that the deColourant Plus worked. This fabric is one that I’ve tested before with plain old bleach.  When bleached the underlying fabric color is a yellow.  I didn’t scan a picture of the back of the fabric, but I can see a yellow halo surrounding the design where the deColourant Plus was applied.

to be continued


I’ve been experimenting with a fabulous product which Kandi Corp gifted me, deColourant and deColourant Plus.  There is both a spray and cream formulation in an amazing range of colors.  deColurant removes color from fabric  while deColourant Plus removes the color from fabric while at the same infusing a new color.

The deColourant products are a wonderful change from other bleaching/coloring formulations. .  I used the deColourant Plus in the cream formulation. On my small samples, I noted no smell at all and no irritation either.  I was really really pleased with the control.  I could get too much product on my fabric which meant I had to learn to use a lighter hand when applying the product.

I first tested Turquoise. I was really tickled that the final color was the same color as what was in  the bottle.  I used a sponge applicator and a brush both freehand and with a stencil.  The product goes where I put it and stays there.  I made a mistake.  I dampened a rag and wiped it up.

I let the sample sit until dry to touch — about 20 minutes in this heat wave– and then steam pressed with my Rowenta Steam Generator iron. I was so pleased with this result,that I purchased more colors and I’m preparing more samples and projects to share.