Definition of Burn Out

A process whereby a chemical (often sulphuric acid, mixed into a print paste) is printed on the fabric, instead of colour. The chemical eats away the fibre and creates a hole in the fabric in the printed design. Can be used to simulate eyelet effects the fabric is then over-printed with a simulated embroidery stitch. Burn-out effects can also be created on velvets made of blended fibres, in which the ground fabric is of one fibre like polyester, and the pile may be of a cellulose fibre like rayon or acetate. In this case, when the chemical is printed, it destroys the pile in those areas where the chemical comes in contact with the fabric, but leaves the ground fabric untouched.

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