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Bleached Black Tiger T-shirt

I wanted to try a bleaching project with a leftover black t-shirt from a Christmas etching project and also wanted to experiment with a spiral resist technique. This project was a fun way to combine both!

Materials

  • elastics
  • bleach pen and/or liquid bleach
  • spray bottle
  • black t-shirt
  • chop stick (optional)
  • plastic sheet or garbage bag

Wet and Bunch T-shirt Into a Spiral

Lay your t-shirt facedown on a plastic sheet or garbage bag and spritz it thoroughly with water so that it is very damp. The dampness will give the t-shirt some weight and it will help you to keep it in place when you begin twisting it into a spiral.

Choose a spot on your t-shirt where you want the centre of your spiral to end up, I chose to put mine midway between the armpits. This is where you will place the end of your chopstick. Put a bit of pressure on the chopstick and begin to turn it. As the spiral begins to form around the chopstick, remove it and keep turning the t-shirt, fanning the edges out and then and shaping it into a tighter spiral. It doesn't need to be perfect.

Once you have a fairly tight spiral, wrap an elastic across the bundle sliding it across the plastic under the t-shirt without lifting it up to keep it from falling apart. Add two more elastics across the spiral as shown in the photos to hold it all together.

Add Bleach

I had a bleach pen lying around and thought it might work well for this project. I discovered that it didn't produce very dramatic results, but had a more subtle effect.

I applied the bleach cream evenly over both the front and back surfaces of the t-shirt, spritzed it with water to help it soak in and flipped the plastic over to massage the bleach into the t-shirt.

Than I went and made myself a cup of tea.

Rinsing Out the Bleach

Less than 10 minutes later, I filled a basin with water and rinsed the bleach out of the shirt.

Applying Liquid Bleach

After unwrapping the rinsed out t-shirt, I decided I wanted to add another more intense spiral layer. I repeated step 2 re-wrapping the t-shirt spiral in preparation for an application of diluted liquid bleach.

I spritzed both sides of the t-shirt, thoroughly wetting but not soaking the t-shirt and watched as the colour changed quickly from a brown to orange. Within about 5 minutes it was ready to be re-rinsed.

Finished T-shirt

After thoroughly rinsing and washing the shirt, I hung it out on the line to dry.

It looks terrrrrific!

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