I was able to see a demonstration of this great new product and was totally blown away. Discharging is something I have played with a few times, but because of the strong fumes and mess of bleach or the unreliable results of other discharge products I haven't really done a lot with it. However, this new product has really impressed me for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it has little to no fumes.
First of all there are two types of product: deColourant and deColourant Plus. The deColourant is just that, only the deColourant product that takes color out of any natural fiber (cotton, silk, etc. no synthetics). It comes in two forms: a creme that is painted on and also a spray on. The spray is fun for creating background effects, and also for soft speckled effect with stencils.
Then there is deColourant Plus. This is the deColourant creme with a pigment and binder added in. It essentially take the color out of the fabric and replaces it with a new color. Amazing! Note that this also comes in spray form, but my distributor is not carrying it at this point so I haven't gotten my grubby paint stained paws onto any... YET.
I was a bit skeptical at first, but after watching the demonstration and then playing with the product myself I am very excited at the possibilities.
First Up: deColourant Creme!
I wanted to see what the results would be on the ultimate test fabric: Black. The first piece I did turned out pretty well considering I hadn't washed the fabric first. I used a stencil from Cedar Canyon Designs to make the leaf shapes, then used my sponge brush to add patterning to the background. The trick with this product is to LET IT DRY before you heat set it. Now if you are like me and very impatient to get on with it, you can use a heat gun or even a plain ol hair dryer to dry the product. Once it is totally dry, use a dry iron over the product. I was amazed! This photo shows the piece after it was heat set and after I hand washed it to see if anything came out.
When I realized I was using fabric that hadn't been washed, (big sigh, I know better) I took some pieces and washed them. *Remember* when you wash fabric to paint on, never use anything with fragrance, softeners, or any other additives and don't use dryer sheets. This will all interfere with any product you try to put on your fabric. My results were much better with the washed fabric. Remember, both pieces are the same fabric and only the deColourant creme with no pigment. Notice how in the photo above the result still has some color in it, while the sample below with the washed fabric gave me much better results. I have also hand washed this piece after heat setting to compare the results.
Next Up: deColourant Plus!
One of the things I was told during the demonstration was that hand dyed fabrics worked very well for this process. Since I have a TON of my own hand dyed fabric laying around I decided to give it a go. This is another stencil I carry from Delta, can you tell I love leaves? I settled on a nice green fabric and used Red, Yellow, and Orange with a simple foam brush. In the photo below you can see two leaves are finished and the one on the lower right is not yet heat set. After drying the leaf it is dull and looks like I just used a regular fabric paint on the fabric.
Here I ironed most of the leaf so you could begin to see the difference. See how the color is coming up on the upper right and middle of the leaf, replacing the green in the fabric! The left and lower ends of the leaf are not yet heat set and so not quite as vibrant.
After the deColourant and deColourant Plus is heat set, it can be washed and dried like a normal fabric. Make sure you really heat set it a good five minutes on all painted sections (move your iron around and you wont scorch the fabric) so that nothing washes out. Once washed, there is barely any feel to the painted sections depending upon how much paint you used.
I can't wait to play more with this fun new product, deColourant and deColourant Plus!