This Is Discharge?

The expression ducks in a row is floating around my brain today. I’ve just looked up the meaning of that expression and it means to be organized and prepared. Unfortunately for me my ducks seemed to have flopped over and died leaving me in total despair this morning.

 Last night I’d finished my running stitches on my shibori dishcharge piece, pulled the gathers tight and then having misgivings about the spacing being too large between the rows, tied the whole thing up with artifical sinew. I went to bed with visions of sugarplums dancing around in my head and the bold splashes of colour that were to replace the areas of discharge where the black had been on my fabric. Sure I had doubts about how effective the tightness of the stitches would be in providing a resist in the cloth for the effect I was going for but after all how bad could it be? I mean even if there were only little specks of black all would be well with the colourful over-dye right? Wrong!

The discharge I decided to use was thioureadioxide. Dharma has photos on their website of their black Kona and the different colours the fabric discharges to using the various media. Since bleach produces an orangy colour I decided to go with the Thioureadioxide which produces an off-white.

I mixed up the thioureadioxide with the heated water and soda ash and stirred in my damp material. Joy when I saw the black begin to discharge from the fabric or at least until about the five minute mark when all of a sudden the black disappeared and a yellowish colour appeared. Hmm, maybe if I add more thioureadioxide… no such luck, nada, no more black coming off of the fabric.

 I’m not quite sure what went wrong or if indeed anything did go wrong. From the directions it did say that several dippings  might be needed but at that point it was a smelly mess of dull grey fabric and from what I could tell there wasn’t much of a resist left in the cloth except where some of the sinew was wrapped and the stitches themselves. The sinew was another story because the wax in it disolved, could this be my problem? I don’t know but another phrase comes to mind…”flogging a dead horse”. Somehow at this point it didn’t seem much sense to try and take this experiment any farther since there wasn’t much in the way of a resist. Long story short, I’ve rinsed the fabric and will see what I have. Instead of chucking the stuff I might try some discharge paste I’ve discovered and see what I can come up with.

The swap after all is a discharge swap. Nobody said it had to be pretty right?


Stitched and Gathered Kona
Stitched and gathered thread

Bound Kona
Sinew bound Kona

Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing

Discharged Kona Black to Grey
Discharged Kona Black to Grey

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