Last year we tried printing two T-shirts by the dye discharge method. The idea is to print with bleach so as to remove the color from the fabric where you print. Rather than using liquid bleach, which is stronger and harder to control than you really want, we print using Soft Scrub liquid cleanser instead of ink.
Last year we had poor results. A few weeks ago we tried again with fish printing, and got poor results again. On our third try, the weekend of Oct. 20, we finally got good results. Arlene thinks the problem the first time was that we didn’t let the soft scrub stay on the fabric long enough. I think that the problem the first and second times was that the dye was too bleach resistant.
At any rate, here we go the time that worked. First, we masked off parts of the shirt so we would get the design just in one band across the shirt. Someone at the NPS conference had done a garment that way and it looked great. Second, we “inked” our leaves and put them down on the area we wanted to print. One leaf has been removed in the picture below.
Here Arlene is picking up one leaf so you can see the printed area under it.
We left the shirt outside to dry in the sun. We had to leave before it was dry, so we set it down indoors and left it until the next weekend before washing off the soft scrub. It’s hard to be sure how much the dye discharges until you wash the shirt, because the soft scrub is white and maybe that’s all you’re seeing; but the orange color is really mostly the color of the bleached-out shirt. This time when we washed the shirt it came out the way we had hoped. Dharma Trading, here we come, to buy some of the T-shirts you have with dischargable dye.