Please help improve the blog by taking the poll to the right. Thanks!

August 25, 2007

More Wearable T-Shirt Art

Stencil Revolution :: View topic - Bleach on fabric tutorial

"First: bleach will not work on most synthetic fabrics. You will need natural fabrics. The good news is that even the cheap tee-shirts are generally 50/50 Cotton and Polyester, and they will work just fine. 100% cotton will also work well, HOWEVER, bleach really weakens the material. If you get big, wet drips of bleach on 100% cotton, they will quickly develop into holes in the material. I do know that, for at least one clothing company, this is actually the desired effect but I prefer the stronger 50/50 blends for bleach designed clothing."

"Second: I use Duralar material (.005) to create my stencils. Cardboard will only soak up your bleach and become a mess. Duralar is available at your art supply dealer or online and is only about $2.50 USD for a 32 X 40” sheet. It is thin, plastic, and clear and you will get a lot of mileage out of each of the stencils you cut out of it."

"Third: Cheap bleach is fine. It is still a toxic chemical. Wear a respirator or work in well ventilated areas, or both. Don’t wear anything you love. You’re spraying bleach."

"Fourth: Empty your spray bottle after you’re done. If you store bleach in it, it will expand due to softening of the plastic and gasses from the reaction between the chemical and the plastic bottle. This can be messy and dangerous.""

"With stenciling bleach onto dark fabrics, you have to think in the negative. This is opposite the general process of stencil work with spray paint or roll-on paints and inks. The light colors are going through the stencil and the dark areas are being blocked by it. Otherwise, this process is darned close to the spray paint stencils more commonly created."

"For this stencil, I created the stencil for the half-tone layer to be applied first. On the back side of the stencil, I used a repositionable spray adhesive. This is a 3-M product and makes the stencil sticky but easily removable. It leaves no residue on the substrate (fabric). This is used to prevent under-spray for those clean, crisp lines and edges. It is important to also select a spray angle with your wrist position and stick to it. The angle of your spray should remain consistent throughout the even application. If you roll your wrist at all, you’ll risk under-spray and inconsistent application."

Read the article to get the full process. It produces a very professional look, well worth it for your wearable art-piece!