The Bleach Effect
Bleaching cloth, especially cottons or cotton blends, add a look of age and wear to a costume. The bleach will fade color instantaneously so you need to be a little careful how much bleach you use. I recently bleached some LINEN cloth and I had to mix up only 3% bleach to 100% water to distress the cloth the amount I wanted. Sometimes I use a 50/50 mixute of bleach to water. Always test the bleach solution on a scrap piece of the cloth.
Saltwater will distress and eat away clothing too. I have not tried the technique yet, but I have heard it being used in the theater a lot.
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