Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Fabulous Fibers: Stenciling for Custom Textiles with Jennifer Gallagher


Jennifer Gallagher here again with another post for StencilGirl Products®. This month we were challenged to ‘Dress It or Wear It’ and I’m trying something I’ve wanted to try for a very long time. I’ve been hoarding some Jacquard deColourant for a while now. DeColourant removes areas of color from dyed natural fabrics. This is a fun and easy way to make custom textiles using StencilGirl® stencils. You can create custom fabrics for quilts, wall-hangings, clothes and more. You are going to love this, so let’s get started.

DeColourant is best used on natural fibers like cotton. I’ve purchased two shirts at a local discount store. They are 100% cotton and dyed bright colors that are perfect for use in this project. You will need pieces of cardboard, cheap disposable foam brushes, deColourant, painters tape, stencils, and the item you want to work on like fabric or a shirt. I did not use gloves, but if you are particularly sensitive you may want to use them and work in a ventilated area.

First, I’ve taped down paper bags to protect my work surface. Then I’ve slipped a piece of cardboard in between the front and back of my shirt. I’ve taped off any areas I want to avoid. For the first shirt, I’ve picked the Random Circles Stencil L071. I taped the stencil down to try to hold it in place.

Next, I dipped my foam brush into the decolourant. You do not want to soak the brush. I dipped the brush about a third of the way down and then using the side of the container, scraped the excess of each side of my brush. Using too much decolourant will cause it to seep under the stencil and ruin your design. When ready, using the brush, slowly pounce the decolourant onto the fabric through the stencil. Don’t wipe the brush back and forth; tap the product on in an up and down motion.

Here you can see the left side has been completed. You can already begin to see the design appearing. I’ve moved my stencil over to the right side. I repeat the process the same as before. (Be sure to thoroughly rinse your stencils after with warm soapy water.)

DeColourant is activated by heat. So if you feel like you’ve made a mistake, all is not lost. At this point, you can still wash the paste out of the fabric and start over once it’s dry. If you like what you’ve done, all that’s left is to heat set it. I used non-steam heat on my iron at a medium setting. The longer you iron your design, the more of the color will be removed.
In this photo, you can see the spot in the center is the lightest. I left the iron on that spot the longest.

Here is an example of the other shirt I made with the SpiritSwirl Mask stencil, S578.

After you have completely ironed your design you will need to wash it with a mild detergent.  

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. This process is very easy and a lot of fun. I cannot wait to create my own custom fabrics for wall-hangings and pillow covers. 

Thank you for letting me share this project with you. If you would like to see more of my work visit my blog or  look me up on Instagram.

Happy Creating,

Jennifer Gallagher


  1. Thank you for sharing, I cannot wait to try this. I am going to try it on an all cotton tshirt which has spots. I only use it for arting.

    1. So glad you've decided to try it. It's really fun and couldn't be easier. Happy creating!


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