The Markham Spring 2016 range is about lightening up your wardrobe – stepping away from the dark military colours, the black on black and the dark denim. The range features a palate that you’d see if you were bleaching your clothing, so we’re delving into how and when bleaching came to be.
So what is bleach?
In short, bleach is a chemical that we use to whiten clothes and remove stains.
What’s the deal with using it to remove colour from your clothes?
In the 18th century, scientists stumbled upon the current chemical mix . The main compound of bleach is chlorine. However there are different types of bleach includes ones that don’t contain any chlorine but rather peroxides. Bleach is also broken down into oxidizing bleach and reducing bleach.
How does it work?
There are 2 ways that bleach removes colour from fabric.
- Oxidizing bleaches work by breaking down the chemical bonds that make up the colour pigment. This changes the molecule into a different substance that either has no colour pigments or contains a colour pigment that does not absorb visible light.
- Reducing bleach converts double bonds in the colour pigment into a single bond. This eliminates the ability for the colour pigment to absorb visible light.
What fabric works best?
- Natural fibers
Cotton, linen and rayon are great as you’ll be able to get up to 100% of the colour pigments out of these fabrics. If the fabric contains polyester, the colour may not change as polyester fabrics are colourfast (once the pigment is in there, it’s not coming out).These fabrics are used to make knits, broadcloth, denim, pique, gauze, velveteen, corduroy and jacquard.
The darker the fabric, the more dramatic the result will be. But be warned, not all fabric lifts the same, meaning that some could turn out a rust colour or off white.
So, if you are brave enough, here’s a nifty tutorial on how to bleach your gear:
Otherwise, head into your nearest Markham store or shop it online at www.markham.co.za