September 10, 2014

An Experiment

Bleached nylon cord.

Well, that could have gone better.  This mess of sickly colored cord is not what I was hoping for.  Let me fill you in:  I got a wild hair last week and wanted to make a micro macrame bracelet with the look of soft, worn denim.  I wanted cord in a really faded blue color and I really was hoping for a bit of mottling in the color instead of even color on the cord.  I took some bits of cord (both c-lon and s-lon nylon bead cord) and stuck them in some diluted bleach for a while and got this:

Outcome of first cord bleaching experiment.

There was one major flaw in that first experiment, though, as I had forgotten to keep a control group.  I figured I would remember exactly what shades I'd started with, silly me, and ended up clueless. I do know the one that looks sort of mustard yellow was a green color to start with, but I'm not sure which green.  *sigh*  So I started over, and this time I took a photo with the original colors.  There is again a mix of c-lon and s-lon cord, all in the .5mm size.

C-lon and S-lon bed cord in assorted colors.

I left the cord to soak in some bleach, diluted a bit, but still pretty strong (and no, Clorox isn't paying me anything for showing this photo of their product).

Bleaching experiment with cord.

I came back to check after half an hour and found that the lighter blue cord I'd hoped would look like worn denim had turned into this:

Bleaching experiment with cord.

After only 30 minutes!!  You can still see traces of the original blue, but most of the color is completely gone.  I continued checking on the remaining cords at hourly intervals.  After almost six hours, I took them all out and rinsed them well.  This is what I got:

Outcome of cord bleaching experiment.

The colors didn't change after drying, either, so here's what I discovered: The light blue cord bleached out in a heartbeat into a totally undesirable shade of yuk.  The mint green cord also bleached some and ended up a ugly shade of mucus green.  The four remaining cords, bright blue, orange, teal and purple, didn't change at all.  Even after six hours of soaking in bleach, there was no change in color!  

I'd say even though I didn't achieve my intended goal, this experiment was a partial success since I still learned something valuable.  It looks to me like there's a 67% chance your micro macrame bracelet won't change color even if you get bleach on it.  And that, as we say in Nebraska, is the rest of the story.

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