Tuesday, March 2, 2010


For this little project, you will need:

Spray Bottle
1 bucket filled with water
1 bucket filled with 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water
foliage or mask of choice


How much fun is this. Take a piece of fabric, (hey I didn't even iron it) lay it out on your work surface OUTSIDE (make sure it is covered with plastic - heavy plastic tablecloths are ideal) I used the outside glass table, find suitable plants/foliage and lay out as you wish. I found that the ferns I used lay flatter if placed face side down.

I tried a few things to get the ferns to lay flat, even took them in and ironed them would you believe....I also used temporary spray adhesive to keep everything in place. With some of the bigger fern fronds I cut the side leaves off the main stem and cut a few nicks into the heavy stem, this all helped to get everything to lay flat.

Then the fun part. Put some bleach into a spray bottle. I used a home brand bleach because it was there, but I think you may get faster and possibly different results with a better quality bleach. It is also about now that you might want to think about changing out of your good black jeans into something else!! (I now have orange specks - fortunately I also have a black textile paint pen). Spray bleach liberally over the entire piece - the process starts almost immediately.

A couple of minutes more....

When you have the look you want, remove the foliage and quickly dunk into the bucket of clean water, swish around and remove some of the bleach and then quickly transfer into the bucket with vinegar and water. The vinegar mix stops the bleaching process. Now place into the washing machine - I used a hot wash - and dry.

The finished pieces looked like this. (below)

These following two pieces I did last week. Different black fabric, different outcome. This was cheaper fabric and I think the colours are better. I just have to find a suitable project for them all.
Following the trends, cause everybody seems to use ginko leaves for this technique and I didn't have any ginko leaves, I found some outlines on google images and drew them on to freezer paper. I ironed them into position and then did the spray thing. The freezer paper lifted as it got wet and so the bleach kind of pooled around the edges, this makes the fabric almost have a luminous effect, because it is so much lighter. The second piece was just crumpled and bleach was both sprayed and splashed on.
This is a very quick process and whilst you don't have a true say about what you are going to get, the results are great. There are so many things you can use to mask the fabric, you are not limited to leaves! Draw shapes onto freezer paper, use stencils, make shapes out of plastic or heavy cardboard (those ones will probably only last one session), masking tape, tie the fabric and do tie dye. Have a go, preferably outdoors or in a very well ventilated area, and see what you can come up with. These were only my first attempts using what I had on hand, so try other fabric colours - hopefully the outcome will be a pleasant surprise!!
Back soon.


  1. COOL! Love this post, Sue. What a clever woman (even if you do such a project in your formerly-black jeans) :)

  2. Oh This is so cool... Have always wanted to try this... Thanks for the great tute!!


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