Burnout or Devoré fabric is a material that has been chemically “burned” with an acid to produce sheer areas. This technique can be used on a wide range of fabrics, including t-shirts and velvets. However, the fabric must be a combination of cellulose (plant) fibers, such as cotton and linen, and protein or manmade fibers, such as silk, wool, polyester or nylon. The acid used burns away the cotton, leaving only the protein or manmade fibers behind.
Things You'll Need
Wash the t-shirt. Make sure you wash the shirt prior to using the fiber etching solution. This is to remove any dirt, impurities or sizing that may interfere with the burnout process.
Draw your design directly on your t-shirt. Make sure the designated burn-out areas are far enough away from one another to avoid compromising the integrity of the fabric.
Prepare your work area. Lay out all your supplies prior to starting the project. Lay the t-shirt flat and place a thick layer of plastic wrap inside the shirt to prevent the burnout solution from bleeding through to the other side.
Apply the fiber etching solution. Carefully read the instructions of your fiber etching solution. Use a paintbrush to apply the solution to the fabric on your design. Let the solution dry completely. It is usually wise to treat one side of a t-shirt at a time to avoid bleeding and mistakes.
Apply the fiber etching solution according to the instructions. Use a paintbrush to apply the solution to the fabric on your design. Let the solution dry completely. It is usually wise to treat one side of a t-shirt at a time to avoid bleeding and mistakes.
Rinse the t-shirt. Running the t-shirt through water should remove the burned out fibers. If washing does not remove all of them, remaining areas can be trimmed carefully using embroidery scissors.
References and ResourcesDevoré Paste and Fiber Etch: Devoré Paste and Fiber Etch Instructions
Dyeman: Fabric Etching
WeaveZine: My New Favorite Yarn: Polyester?