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How To Ombre Dye a Flannel Shirt
A colored shirt—This can be any type of shirt. You may want to use a couple of old shirts first as test runs before trying this technique on any clothing that you truly treasure.
• One or two large, clean buckets—You can do this technique with one bucket, but it is easier with two so that you don't have to run to change the water
• About a 1/2 gallon of bleach
• Some distilled white vinegar
• Plastic gloves, like you would use for household cleaning
• Safety goggles to protect your eyes (I didn't use these, but I should have.)
• Some old towels
• Some newspaper to cover your work area
Preparing Your Work Space for Bleaching
• I would suggest you work outside for good ventilation, since you are handling bleach.
• Cover your work area with newspaper in case your bleach drips or spills.
• I would also suggest wearing old clothes and/or an apron while you work to protect your clothing.
• Be sure to always wear your safety goggles and gloves when handling the bleach, the bleach mixture
How to Ombré Bleach a Shirt
1. Make sure your item of clothing is freshly clean and dry. You can use any type of shirt; however, a heavier shirt (like flannel or denim) will probably take longer to change color.
2. Decide where you want to start your ombré bleaching on your shirt. You can also bleach your shirt from the bottom to the top by putting your shirt in the bleach mixture upside-down. Also decide whether you want to bleach your shirt's sleeves along with your shirt, or leave them as is.
3. Put on your gloves and goggles and keep them on throughout the bleaching process. Then, in a clean bucket, make a generous mixture (enough to cover the area of your shirt you want to bleach) of 1/2 warm water and 1/2 bleach. You don't really need to measure this mixture. You can just approximate it. If you have another bucket available, fill this with cold water.
4. With your shirt on its hanger, submerge your shirt in the bleach mixture to the point where you want to begin your color change (if you do not want to bleach your sleeves, leave them outside your bucket throughout the bleaching). The bleach will seep up a little on your shirt, so keep that in mind when placing your item in the bleach. You can use a binder clip or clothespin to hold your shirt and hanger in the mixture if necessary.
5. The bleach will start working immediately, so stay with your item and watch for the color change. This is why it is important to work in a well-lit space. I wanted to have a very gradual color change on my shirt, with the ombré effect going through many steps. However, I didn't see how much bleaching was taking place, so I only was able to get three color changes on my shirt. Watch for the initial color change.
6. Once you see the initial color change on your shirt that you want, pull your shirt out a few inches from the bleach mixture. Leave the remainder of your shirt in the mixture to continue a further color change. This will create multiple steps in your ombré effect. they would be slightly different in color than the bottom of my shirt.
7. Once your ombré bleaching is complete, submerge your shirt in a bucket of cold water for about 10 minutes. Be careful of dripping your bleach
8. While your shirt is in the cold water. Rinse your bucket and use it to make a mixture of 2/3 cold water to 1/3 distilled white vinegar.
9. After 10 minutes in the cold water, move your shirt to the distilled vinegar mixture. Leave it to soak for about 10 minutes. The vinegar will stop the action of the bleach on your clothing.
10. After the vinegar soak, wrap your clothing item in an old towel. Wash it in your washer using cold water and a little bit of detergent. Then dry per the instructions on the clothing label.