Bleaching

Removal of colour from fabrics through chemical means.

Materials

  • Bleach
  • 100% cotton fabric
  • Cotton, chopsticks, container
  • Materials to create pattern; strings, stencil, creativity

Instructions

  1. Add bleach to a container and dilute it slightly with water.
  2. Dip a cotton ball with a pair of chopsticks into the solution.
  3. Spread the bleach over the fabric as desired.
  4. Leave the fabric to dry and the pattern will appear over time.

Explorations

Initially, I used felt as this is the only fabric I had at that moment. I was interested in creating a repetitive pattern through the means of folding.

The first design is zigzag folded together and bind with a string. Next, I tried a coil method by tying a knot to the diagonal fold pattern.

The result wasn’t obvious despite pouring the non-diluted bleach. Nevertheless, you can see some white spots here and there.

I went back home to redo the bleaching and make sure the fabric is 100% cotton or it won’t work.

Rose pattern inspired by smocking design.

Preparation complete! I can’t bear to part with my spray bottle, so I decided to do things the Asian way.

Using a cotton ball to spread the solution gives more control over how the pattern turns out and the intensity of the solution. The cloudy patchy effect is separated into four zones. The most concentrated section feel so intense like a heavy thunderstorm is coming.

This is from the rose pattern. The marks are like little dots sprouting in different scale almost like an actual flower blooming. The flow line can be fluid and random. The composition is so whimsical and beautiful.

The repeated pattern of fat blobs lining into a thin line in the middle resembles the underbelly portion of snakes scales. How the dots are concentrated on a certain area and the slight curve of the centre pattern gives an illusion that a snake had slithered through this area.

Next, I tried using bright coloured fabric.

Wooo!!! So different and beautiful. The mirrored image of bright green pattern with a cream background is undeniably snake scales pattern.

Lastly, I bleached my old sweater.

“To be close to a creature, you have to blend in with them”, they said.

This striped sweater is made to camouflage with the snakes haha!

Sadly, the beautiful amber-colour was gone as it was over-bleached.  This time, I was impatient and added a fully concentrated solution. The colour appeared quickly but faded pretty soon. I quickly soaked it in soap water to stop the bleaching. I would like it more if the pattern is consistent.

Conclusion

To have a consistent pattern, it is necessary to plan how the solution is applied and at which area. For impatient people like me, an 80% concentration will do but the fabric has to be washed with soap water soon to stop further bleaching.

Application

Developed by weaver and dyer Catharine Ellis (North Carolina, USA) in the 1990s, these woven shibori scarf blanks utilize weaving structure as a resist technique. Inspired by traditional Japanese nui (stitched) shibori, the blanks are woven with supplemental warp or weft threads which create resist patterns upon gathering. Approximately 152 x 28cm (60 x 11in). 75% mercerized pima cotton, 25% combed cotton; heavyweight jacquard twill weave. Machine serged edge with 100% cotton thread. Woven by...

With careful planning, this scarf could be made possible.

A cyanotype is a photographic process that produces a cyan blue print. The print can easily be made on a large variety of materials, so I wanted to see what would happen when experimenting with fabric.

Chair cushion cover.

Tie-dye print sweatshirt

Raster

Surface removal of material by machine to engrave.

Materials

  • Acrylic sheet
  • Digital file for print
  • Laser-cutting machine

Instructions

  1. Prepare the digital files for raster and convert it to DXF file to export to CorelDraw.
  2. Switch on the laser cutting machine and open the machine lid.
  3. Place the acrylic sheet into the machine and check if the nozzle is at the right height with a focus probe.
  4. Load the files into the computer and change the default settings to the appropriate settings written on a laminated paper pasted on the wall.
  5. After making sure the pattern is aligned to the acrylic sheet, close the lid and turn on the air pressure valve and ventilation hood.
  6. Press the on button and let the machine perform the raster and cutting.
  7. Do not watch the operation for too long as the high-intensity light is damaging to our eyes.
  8. Take out the piece after done and switch off everything.

Explorations

I wanted to make an aquarium to welcome my future turtles hehe.

I rastered their faces with images I found online. The varied thickness in raster looks pretty nice. I further went on to add some elements from the sunny beach.

Mew~ I pieced everything up with a pet-safe silicon sealant. Looks pretty good!

Conclusion

I find the interface in CorelDraw quite outdated. Several things can be done efficiently yet the system does not have the capacity. Things like selecting lines have to be very careful and can quite time-consuming.

Application

Further Contact Pendant Light – COZO

The amazing quality of the laser cut is fully expressed in this object. The precision and details are so well done to create a symmetrical lamp.

Leather case with laser engraved design

Leather engrave.

Laser Cut Shirt - Menswear

Laser-cut cloth.