Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bleach Resistant Shirts

Hello!!! I am back! Again...I am always on the go aren't I??
Well hopefully Marquette and I have a summer schedule all figured out that will work for everyone!!
"Blah blah blah lady, where is the Pinstrosity?!"
Here you go readers! Happy Tuesday!!
The Original

The Pinstrosity

The Pin-Win

What's the story here??

Sarah sent us this Pinstrosity and then the Pin-Win. Here is her story!

"...[The pin I looked at] gave me some good tips like that letting the bleach dry all the way gets you a white line, as opposed to washing the shirt with the bleach still wet, which leaves behind a little color. It seems like common sense, but I didn't think of that!

   So I bought myself a pretty blue shirt for $2.50 (they were on sale at work, so I got it extra cheap!) and went next door to Meijer and bought a bleach pen.
   I drew out my design on the shirt and let it dry. I had a lighter shirt, so I wanted completely white lines. Then I threw it in the wash and anxiously waited for it to finish.
   Then I pulled it out. Looked at it. And.... Nothing! The shirt looked exactly the same as it did before I bleached it! So, naturally, I tried it again. Surely it would work this time! I let it sit even longer, thinking that maybe this shirt just needed longer to absorb the bleach (Picture #1, the Pinstrosity).
    It still looked exactly the same as when I bought it (except maybe a bit more wrinkly).
   Determined to make a bleach pen shirt, I decided to try it again. Only this time, I bought a different shirt.
   And it was a completely different experience! Within minutes of putting the bleach on the shirt I started to see the color fading. So now I know not to buy Jerzee shirts for bleaching. Who knew they made bleach resistant shirts?

    I didn't let it dry all the way; my lines were too thick for how absorbent this shirt was. The bottom design was about halfway dry when I put it in the wash, and the top design was barely on there - pretty much just long enough for me to draw the design.
   I had to draw it in three different segments. I drew the bottom design first. Then after washing/drying I drew the front half of the top design, washed, dried. Then the back half of the front. I had to split the top design into two parts because I couldn't spread the sleeve out like I wanted for the design I had in mind.

   Here are some tips of my own:

  •  If you don't want spots on your shirt like mine has, let the bleach dry all the way.
  •  To get thinner lines, hold the pen farther away from the shirt. You almost have to drag a short line of bleach behind you, if that makes sense."
Sarah has some great tips!
And after doing some extensive Googling (super professional right??), I found out that there are in fact bleach resistant fabrics! I didn't know either!! That would probably explain some of the bleaching mishaps I have had in the past. As for advice Sarah gave us I completely agree! She hit the nail on the head here, and now we all know to be careful when picking our fabrics and technique is everything when doing this type of pin. Perhaps practice your design on scrap fabric first, or draw it on paper so you have an idea of how big you want your design. Another thing to remember is to put some cardboard in between the layers of the shirt so that the bleach doesn't bleed through to the other side. Good luck all!
Happy pinning!!


  1. i did this with a t shirt to wear on the last day of school and it worked great! i had a pink shirt and i didn't let it dry all the way so it turned out purple.

  2. I never knew about bleach resistant fabrics either. Avoid Jerzee tshirts. Got it. What was the brand Sarah ended up using? And wonderful job on the design!

    1. I ended up going to Walmart and buying a Faded Glory shirt. I made a second one this weekend with a Massini shirt. Both worked great!

  3. So the bleach doesn't turn the shirt white as you are drawing? How can you see the design as you draw it? Cause the Pin Win is fabulous!! They look like Mehndi designs!

    1. It varies by fabric. Some fabrics whiten nearly instantly and some don't take to the bleach at all (as with the first shirt Sarah tried). You can see what you drew as if you were drawing with a water pen, as you can see the liquid line you draw.

  4. I like the Pin-Win better than the original pin. Better color and design! Love!

  5. You can also use a piece of freezer paper inside t-shirt. If you iron it in place, the plastic melts just enough to stick the the fabric to keep it from sliding around. Then it peels right off when you're done.

  6. Polyester is plastic! Polyester won't bleach. Partly polyester will only partly bleach. 100% Cotton is the best choice. Look up using freezer paper as stencils. So much fun!

  7. Also keep in mind that a lighter shirt probably wont get as dramatic results as a darker shirt. And did you free hand this stuff, or get a template?

    1. I free handed everything, but was looking at a bunch of different pictures for inspiration.

  8. I imagine the issue is that the first shirt was not 100% cotton.

  9. It's not fair to blame the Jerzee brand. Some of their stuff is cotton (see http://www.jerzees.com/363MR.shtml?menu=T-Shirts). The lesson here is to always check the tag, no matter what the brand. (Or the sign that a lot of craft stores have over each section of t-shirts, saying what the t-shirt is made of.)

  10. I just ran into this problem with a backpack I bought at Joann Fabrics. It was a cheap drawstring backpack in black. At first, I thought it didn't work because I forgot to launder it. The second time didn't work either. I texted my friend and asked her what she thought. She sent me to you. So, avoid "Wear'm" Drawstring Backpacks. 100% cotton. They will not bleach. I swear to it. I have a still black backpack without the design. Rrrr. I'm going to buy paint pens tomorrow. Drat it all.


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