Can you Bleach colored Spandex or Lycra?

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by Houston Robocop, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. Houston Robocop

    Houston Robocop Well-Known Member

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    Howdy,

    I was wondering if you can use bleach to turn a colored spandex or lycra fabric into white?

    BTY this is a screen-used costume piece and it's about 25 years old.


    Thanks... Nick
     
  2. Funky

    Funky Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nick, I'd be real nervous about doing it. If there is a way you could spot test it with diluted bleach on an inconspicuous spot, I'd try that.
     
  3. voice in the crowd

    voice in the crowd Sr Member

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    Sorry disregard the garbage I wrote in here I had read your post wrongly and thought you said discoloured spandex instead of coloured spandex (it was 03:00).

    I was a bit thrown at why you would want to change a screen used item.

    Hope my other post helps more :)

    Cheers Chris.
     
  4. Funky

    Funky Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah...or you could try THAT...
     
  5. voice in the crowd

    voice in the crowd Sr Member

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    Just out of interest what is the original colour?

    If it is a light colour possibly a dye would work.

    Checking a few sites it appears dark colours in spandex will not dye. It also says on all my other searches not to bleach spandex. I am not saying it can't be done just it is advised on the sites not to and also according to a few sites bleach appears to yellow spandex over time.

    this link may help its from a site about hand dying http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/FAQ/dark.shtml

    The intersting part is a section on tie dyeing - "Diluted bleach works great for this on cotton, but is death to spandex - don't do it. Instead, buy some fabric *paint* and water it down to use just like tie-dye. Be careful, most fabric paints are not opaque, so be sure to get one of the few that are."

    Also this hand dying site has a forum that may be able to get the info you need.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers Chris.
     
  6. BatDemon

    BatDemon Active Member

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    Chances are, you will ruin the fabric. For one, bleach breaks down the elasticity. If the fabric was originally white and dyed by hand, it is possible to take some color out. If the fabric was commercially dyed, or came that way from the mill, bleach will first turn is a nasty color. greens turn orange, etc. I have enough bleach spots on clothing to verify this. I'd suggest keeping the original and having a copy made it white.
     
  7. Houston Robocop

    Houston Robocop Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply guys, I thought it would be a no no, but I thought I ask anyway.

    it's a screen used Buck Rogers starfighter pants that is purple (it's was used by background extras as security uniforms). I have two starfighter tunic tops which is white (2 screen-used hero version). I was unable to come across any white starfighter pants to go with one of these tops so I thought maybe I can just dye or bleach the purple one.

    I will go with my original plan, which is to have a seamtress drawn out a pattern using these costumes and make a brand new copy.


    Thanks again guys..... Nick
     
  8. spcglider@aol.com

    spcglider@aol.com Sr Member

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    Yeah,

    Whatever you do, DO NOT bleach spandex. Basically spandex stretches because it has little rubber strands woven in with the fabric... much like a very refined and wide elastic. Bleach will basically destroy the rubber element leaving you with a hard, crunchy, non-stretchy wad.

    I'd say let our competent seamstress have at those tights and break them down for patterning.

    Then release the patterns for all of us poor schlubs! :)

    -Gordon
     
  9. Jumpin Jax

    Jumpin Jax Sr Member

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    Ditto. Don't do it, you'll regret it.
    JJ
     

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