Applying Discharge Paste to Fabric to Remove Color

To see this entire video and learn more about printing on fabric check out my online course.  Follow this link and get 50% off the list price.

What it does:

Removes color from natural fiber (protein or cellulose) fabric.

Why it’s used:

The paste is thicker than bleach and therefore easier to control to create precise designs.

But, it won’t work on all fabrics so be sure to do a test before moving on to a larger project.

How to apply it:

Use a paintbrush, stamp, stencil, screen or even monoprint

The process:

  1. Apply discharge paste
  2. Allow to dry either overnight or with the assistance of a hair dryer
  3. Iron with a hot iron until the desired lightness is achieved.
  4. Rinse fabric to return it to its original hand and remove any access discharge paste.


Check out this video to see discharge paste in action:

Check out my online class and learn more about using discharge paste and other surface design techniques.  Click here to get 50% off the list price of “Printing on Fabric: Five Techniques to Get You Started.”

2 comments on “Applying Discharge Paste to Fabric to Remove Color”

  1. Paula Raina says:


    Thank you for the video
    But doesn’t the discharge paste break down the fabric?

  2. kimberlyairwin says:

    Thanks for the question.
    Yes, the discharge paste can break down the fabric, if it is a very fine natural fiber but I have only seen that happen once, on silk gauze. Most fabric will be just fine.

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