Sep 17, 2012

Bleach Pen Linen Table Runners and Tips on Using Bleach Pens

One of our most popular posts is the Bleach Pen T-shirts . I get a lot of comments and e-mails about using bleach pens.  I have made several  T-shirts, decorated skirts, made the boys some shirts in the last 8 months. Recently I tried using bleach pens on woven fabric instead of just knits. I decided to share some tips on using bleach pens and hopefully this will help those who have experienced some trouble.
Click here to see the Bleach Pens I use.

 Last week I made some linen blend table runners.
 I used 1/2 yard of linen blend fabric for each table runner, added simple pin tucks on the ends and finished the sides. Then I grabbed my bleach pens and started to design.

I will share what I have learned working with bleach pens through repeated use and gaining experience by making mistakes.

Use simple designs and lines. Too many details and it will just all blend together. Even though the bleach is gel-like in the pens, it does bleed into the fabric somewhat.

  You need to keep a steady hand and make sure the bleach gel flows well. Frequently shake the bleach to the tip. Over a rag of course.
Use a rag to wipe away extra bleach from around the tip, you do not want extra bleach to get smeared all over your beautiful work and you want crisp lines. Wipe away bleach bubbles. When you see those, wipe them away, do not get them anywhere near the fabric and get the thick gel flowing before you apply it. The bubbles are trouble! They are liquid bleach, that will make your designs run. If you make a mistake, you cannot wipe it away. Take a deep breath and make it part of your design.

In my experience the bleach pens work much better on cotton knits. I had more trouble on the linen table runners. I practiced and practiced on some scrap linen fabric before I attempted a table runner. And the first one did not really turn out. As long as I strategically place a vase on it, no one will be able to tell. By the way, I am NOT showing it here.  The second was much better and I was happy with the last two.