Dying your own fabric - Part 2 - Discharge dying with lace stencilWelcome to my second blog about dying your own fabric. If you have read the first one you will know that, in my endless quest for beautiful fabrics for my many sewing projects, I was inspired to have a go at creating some of my own. I am using silk partly because natural fabrics take dye better than synthetics, and partly because, of course, silk makes beautiful finished garments. (Silk from Fabworks Mill Shop)

So, here is part 2 of my ongoing fabric dying experiment. I am trying a technique using discharge paste that I saw on Pinterest. Here is the attachment to the tutorial I used. It uses discharge paste the same as last time, but this time I am using an old piece of broderie anglaise as a stencil.

So, here it is all set up. I laid out the fabric with the broderie anglaise on top and painted on the discharge paste through the holes. Simple, if a bit slow going brushing through every hole.  After leaving it to dry, I ironed it to bring out the bleaching effect. On my first attempt this was very subtle. Very pretty, but very subtle. So, I then washed the fabric to get rid of the discharge paste and, horror! the fabric’s original blue colour ran into my lovely subtle pattern and almost completely covered it up – urrrgh!

discharge-dying-3So, round two, I started again but went MUCH thicker with the discharge paste this time. You have to put it on so it sits as a thick layer on top of the fabric. Anything less and it just end up mottled or nonexistent. This time, as I ironed it, the pattern came out strongly although pretty blurred. And when I washed it the fabric ran AGAIN. (You would think I would have learnt, but clearly I didn’t). Anyway the result was good this time. The bleached areas went from a yellowy colour to pale blue, which actually looks lovely.

discharge-dying-1You can see from the whole fabric piece that I have done the pattern as a border. I thought it would make a great bottom hem of a dress. I only had enough discharge paste to do one half of the fabric (which would just be the front of the dress). You can see on the others side some faint marks that were the first attempt. I don’t mind this pale echo for the back panel. I just need a pattern now. Any ideas? The silk is a little stiff so it needs to be a pretty simple pattern – maybe an Aline shift dress. Please recommend me a decent pattern if you have any ideas.