As always, my budget was very limited for this project so when I found yellow cotton lawn for a great price I took the gamble and ordered it. I was hoping for a buttery, sunny yellow. What I got was more of an egg yolk yellow, darker and slightly orangey. Um no. So I started experimenting.
I tried Rit color remover, which did remove some color but nowhere near what I was looking for. So I followed some links from a post on the Elegant Musing’s blog. First I visited The Cupcake Goddesswhich lead me to Wisecraft. Yes, yes, I know bleaching is harsh on fabrics, breaking down the actual fibers. But this is a costume, it’s not like I’m going to wear it more than 3 times a year if that. So I tried bleach was thrilled with the results.
Today I finally got around to bleaching my full 7yds of fabric. First I got the fabric thoroughly wet before I put it in the bleach solution (put it through a rinse cycle of the washing machine). For the bleaching I used a ratio of ½ cup bleach to 1 quart water (48 quarts = 24 cups bleach). My test piece was in the solution for 30 minutes but I thought I wanted my fabric a tad paler so I left it in for 40 minutes . I stirred pretty constantly, not to vigoriously, just keeping the fabric moving, and when my time was up I drained the tub sink and transferred the fabric to a bathroom sink filled with white vinegar (thank goodness for Costco sized bottles!).
**A word for the wise – don’t do the vinegar rinse the way I did! There was definitely a chemical reaction, which unfortunately I breathed in. I’m fine but it was very uncomfortable and my throat is still a little irritated! My suggestion would be to rinse the fabric a bit in water first and fill a bucket or something with the vinegar and do the rinse outdoors (a well-ventilated room wasn’t good enough). A mask might not be a bad idea too. **
I then threw the fabric in the washer for a rinse cycle and another vinegar rinse before tossing it in the dryer to finish the job.
The color came out paler than I intended – opps! It’s pretty and I think I can live with it but I’m a bit disappointed. Repeat after me, this is why we test! Silly Jenny. I’m going to let it sit for a couple of days to ponder if I’m still unhappy maybe I’ll see what a little yellow fabric dye can do for it… my poor cotton lawn, so abused!