altered tee

Couple of weeks ago I made this tee for a friend of mine and would like to share with you how to do it.

It is 100 % cotton long sleeve t-shirt, you could use any sleeve type. I have only done this technique with 100 % cotton tees.  I used bleach and some fabric / acrylic paints plus a brush.

After I finished the t-shirt  in reaction to one of the posts by Neki Desu from A Movable Feast  I asked her what  is the difference between tie dye batik and shibori and if removing colour is used in shibori too.  I have learnt something I hadn’t known before: bleach is NOT good  colour remover. With her consent l I post ing here her e-mail as it can be usuful information for others as well:

i think that tie dye batik and shibori as far as process goes may be similar . But the term tie dye batik is a misnomer and leads to confusion , like throwing apples and oranges together.
The purists just dye, but many people  and i’m thinking Carter Smith-
 use discharge techniques to remove color.Color removal is usually performed using either thiourea dioxide or hydrosulfite  with soda ash added to both as bleach is vile on fibers and an absolute no no on silk.
Or one  can start with an already dyed cloth and use binding or stitching techniques and then remove color thus resulting in negative patterning.

There are a couple of very good books on the various shibori techniques that you could look at maybe through your library:
Yoshiko Wada Mary Kellog Rice – Shibori the inventive art of Japanese resist (aka the Bible )
 Karren Brito -Shibori creating color and texture on silk.
If you’re interested in shibori give yourself the Wada- Rice book as everything you’d want to know is there. And then some more.

It is good to remember, that the resulting colour after removing colour vary acording to…something I don’t know. From my experience bleached dark blue t-shirt becomes pinkisch/purplish, black becomes brown/orange, green bleaches into white.

Start making swirl at the right bottom side and include the sleeve as well. The more folds you make (sort of gathering fabric with the fingers of your other hand), the more pattern you will later create with a paint and a colour remover.

Continute making a tight swirl until you have …

…this pancace shape. Fasten the end of the tee with a few stitches.

Put a t-pancace into a sink or on a plastic sheet and  here I sprayed it  with diluted bleach (1:1 concentrate, bleach:water all poured into some kind of a sprayer bottle, eg. from a hair spray). Turn and spray from the other side too. Leave the bleach to work for cca 3 minutes. Next time I know I will not use bleach…

Mix some paint of your choice and paint randomly over the pancace from both sides.

Unpick the stitches and unfold and leave it to dry on a hanger.

Iron to stabilize paint and then I rinsed the tee in a water to get rid of a bleach.

You can now wear it as it is or take the embellishing further with stamping, stenciling… I used a foam butterfly stamp and fabric stamps.

And here are some variations:

This grey-green tee is only bleached:

Here I have outlined some of the bleached patterns with a metalic fabric paint:

This green one is bleached and while it was in a pancace state I painted it with a black acrylic paint:

This was originally a black t-shirt. Several times I made a swirl, bleached  and painted it, let all dry, then made a swirl again with fold at different positions (even starting from the other corner of a tee), bleached, painted… that’s why there is not much of the original colour. You can always finish it with a paint and a brush once you open the tee, it is like a canvas before you….



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