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Borsch Monster
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bleach

Post by Borsch Monster »

Ok, I've got some unbleached linen & I want to turn it white. How do I do that. Preferabley with permaneantly buggering up the washing machine. I take it you don't just cover it with Domestos?


Yes, I am an idiot where it comes to cloth.

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Alan E
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Post by Alan E »

Leave it out in the sun?

Best wait 'till summer though :shock: :D
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Post by Eyemo »

Wash it cheap washing powder...high in bleach!... :D :D :D

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Post by Tuppence »

sun bleach it.

takes a while, but it's the only realistic way to do it domestically.

that's if it is natural of course. if it's been bleached and dyed to look natural, a dye stripper would work.
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Borsch Monster
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Post by Borsch Monster »

Tuppence wrote:sun bleach it.

takes a while, but it's the only realistic way to do it domestically.

that's if it is natural of course. if it's been bleached and dyed to look natural, a dye stripper would work.


Hmm, no quick chemical fixes then?

b**ger I'll have to buy some bleached linen then

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Post by gregory23b »

Well, you could make some lye, taek some wood ash, preferably hard wood ash, mix with water, say a pound of ash to 2 pints water, stir, let settle, pour off liquid on top.

This is early bleach, it will be reasonably strong enough to bleahc your cloth, if you boil it down it can be rather caustic, as it isa pound to 2 pints still can give you a sting on broken skin.

But wet it and leave out in the sun, over a hedge or on the grass, apparently the ozone given off by green plants also adds to the bleaching effect.

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Post by Sophia »

A wash with added Ecover Bleach powder (calcium percarbonate) will neither wreck your machine or the environment and will lighten the colour somewhat, otherwise only time is really any good. On the other hand unless you are playing serious nobility semi-bleached is the way to go.
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Borsch Monster
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Post by Borsch Monster »

Sophia wrote:A wash with added Ecover Bleach powder (calcium percarbonate) will neither wreck your machine or the environment and will lighten the colour somewhat, otherwise only time is really any good. On the other hand unless you are playing serious nobility semi-bleached is the way to go.


I might try that. It needs to be WHITE! It's for a WW1 Austro-hungarian Flag!

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Calendula
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Post by Calendula »

I'd just get some white if I were you, in case it comes out patchy.

then I can nick the unbleached stuff

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Post by gregory23b »

How big is the flag and how thick do you need the linen?

My guess is you have a piece already and are wanting to save cash for this world war one thing.....

Calendula has the right idea.
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Post by janes-wardrobe »

If you use commercial bleach to make natural linen white you will seriously weaken the fibres and it won't last long. I don't know how white linen is made ithout weakening the cloth but from what you've said I'd buy new white linen for the job.
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Post by Maladicta »

I must agree with janes-wardrobe. I used bleach to whiten a linen undershirt... the other day my hand went through the front. :oops: . Bleaching seriously weakens the material.

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Post by frances »

Use Milton, the stuff used to sterilise babies nappies. It is very weak and you can leave the fabric to soak for 24 hours. I use this to remove stains from Victorian lace and have never had any problems. On the other hand I did put my hand through a brown cotton chemise a few weeks ago. But then I did buy it second-hand from a theatre sale donkeys years ago and have used it a lot.

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Post by Maladicta »

Frances - Is Milton like Napisan? I don't think we have it over here...

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Post by frances »

Oh, Maladicta, I got that wrong. Oopps.

Napisan is the stuff for babies nappies, which I also use. But for delicate fabrics the gentle stuff is that used to sterilise babies bottles. We have Milton and other proprietory brands.

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Post by Maladicta »

Ah. Thanks for that. :D . I shall be on the look out next time I'm in Coles.

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Post by janes-wardrobe »

Milton might work to remove staining but I doubt it would be strong enough to bleach natural linen to white. I stand by my original comment - if it's strong enough to make natural linen white, it's too strong and will weaken the fabric.

I have had natural linen fade to a pale creamy white over many years of washing with modern biological powders and hanging to dry in the sun - but I'm guessing this isn't possible within the timescales - the hanging out o dry in the sun is, I think, one of the important factors in the whitening process.
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