Monday, October 27, 2008

Fabulous, Dahling!

The middle school kids I'm preparing to teach get to choose from a variety of interesting classes they might want to take during their "intersession" week, with everything from surfing (in water, not on the Web) to chocolate, belly dancing to basketball, quilting (I could use that one myself!), and of course my class, "Resisting Dyeing". The organizers of each class make a short presentation to try to entice the kids to take that class.

As part of my own sales pitch to them, my daughter and I wanted to show off a "final product" that could be achieved with the discharge dyeing technique. So she grabbed a pair of her newest, nicest, darkest blue jeans (moms everywhere cringe in unison at the thought), my binder of stencils, and off she went.

She taped down the stencils into her design, then used a stenciling sponge to daub on the Soft Scrub with Bleach. She did the whole design, and then let it sit overnight. Imagine our disappointment when the design came out to be visible only in a few places!

We then redid the whole design with more Soft Scrub and the stencils.

We put a bit extra Soft Scrub on places that we wanted to be extra white, such as on the eye and back fin of the seahorse below. Notice the slight brownish tint on the fin of the fish. The Soft Scrub turns faintly brown where the bleach is reacting with the dye. I found that the Soft Scrub was "done" when it had turned uniformly pale yellowish brown over the whole design.

Again, the design came out much too faint (I think the bleach had become "exhausted" by the high amount of dye in the very dark jeans), but at least it was visible.

I then did the design a third time freehand with the squirt bottle directly onto the jeans, putting on a very thick layer (imagine drawing with white glue--it's about the same consistency). Here I've just started doing that with the fish at the top of the design:

This time the design came out in the desired brightness, with subtle shading effects where the bleach had been thicker and thinner.

Here is my daughter's finished pair of jeans:

Fabulous, Dahling!

P.S. Certain members of my audience have become more, shall we say, vociferous in their demands to see more pooch pictures in my blog. Two such members were adamant enough that they were willing to pose for more pictures to make it happen...

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