I recently started following an artist on instagram named Jen Fox. I can't remember what winding road led me to her feed, but it was filled with pretty things, so I clicked "follow." She posts a lot of stuff about this product called deColourant.
I gave it a try. Watch the video to hear my reaction to the magical process!
What is this witchcraft?!
Let me break it down for you:
- deColourant, also called discharge paste is a chemical.
- It has a strong and unpleasant smell, in my opinion.
- The chemical removes color from natural fibers when heated -- especially with moist heat (i.e. iron on the cotton setting with steam).
- It's not bleach. It's not damaging to the fabric the way that bleach is. You can read an article about the comparison here.
- You can heat a little to remove just a little color. Or you can heat a lot to remove most of the color.
- Similarly: You can apply it thickly or thinly for different results.
- The instructions say to let the paste dry before you iron. In my impatient experience, this is more to keep your iron from getting dirtied than for any kind of chemical reaction issues.
- There are "colors" of deColourant which both add a new color while stripping away the old color -- this is an easy way to print on black fabric.
- It is more like a gel in consistency than a paint.
- Because it removes the color, the back of the fabric shows the pattern as clearly as the front:
- Nothing happens until you heat it. This means that if you get it on your clothes, you can simply wash them and there's no problem. Or if you don't like what you did, just wash the fabric before heating it.
- Once you heat it, the change is permanent.
- That said, you need to wash the fabric once you've removed the amount of color that you want to. Otherwise, every time the fabric is heated, more color will be removed.
- Safety Note!! Yesterday I posted a quick tutorial video on using a freezer paper stencil with deColourant and surface design expert Jane Dunnewold sent me the following note (quoted with her permission):
Hey Julie,Saw your Twitter on this product. Be sure to do the research. The active ingredient- Ronglit- can induce an allergy. That’s what happened with me. I have upper respiratory issues and never had them before the use of this product back when it was called “discharge paste.”I’m sorry there isn’t enough care/effort to encourage users to protect themselves with a respirator. The scent they add to mask the odd odor is problematic. Should NEVER be used with children, for example. You are an icon, and with that status, I hope, comes a responsibility. Please let your audience know that while the results are really alluring, (and they are) caution is expedient. It’s a good product but just needs some safety guidelines attached to its use.Jane
- I did a bit of internet research and found this "safety" information sheet on the Dharma Trading website.
- Also, here is some information (FAQs) from the Jacquard website (product manufacturer).
Through a stencil with a cosmetic sponge:
With an Art Foamie:
With a rubber stamp:
I'm super excited about the possibilities! I want to buy some of the deColourant with color in it now and see how that goes!
Have you tried deColourant? What are your thoughts on it?