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Thread: How do you treat fabric that bleeds?

  1. #1
    Junior Member copycat's Avatar
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    Red face How do you treat fabric that bleeds?

    The Quilting Article today about pre-washing new fabric stated it is important to treat fabric that bleeds with a salt or vinegar rinse to insure colorfastness.

    I would like to know how to make the vinegar and/or salt solution that is used to treat bleeding fabrics.

    ANY RECIPES OUT THERE IN QUILTING LAND TO SEND TO A NEWBIE TO QUILTING??? Thanks for your help!

    copycat

  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Salt or vinegar won't do a thing to stop chemical dyes from bleeding. They were mordants for organic dyes but organic dyes aren't used anymore.

    Bleeding dyes are only a problem if another fabric picks the dye up.

  3. #3
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Use Retayne, available at many quilt shops and online, for instance:
    http://www.amazon.com/Retayne-Color-...ywords=retayne
    Treat the fabric as stated on the label, then wash again. If it still bleeds (rare, but it happens) discard it or use it in a wall hanging!
    I agree that vinegar, salt etc. worked in the past on the dies that were used then. Most new chemical dies are not affected by any home made treatments.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  4. #4
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    Wash fabric before it is in a quilt with Retayne. If it's already in a quilt, wash with Synthrapol. I put Colour Catchers in with any quilt's first wash also.

  5. #5
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    I've always used vinegar and it's worked every time. I even made a red and white quilt with JoAnn's Country Classic solids and I've machine washed it since I've finished it and there is not one single spot of red on the white. I just fill put the fabric in the washing machine, dump in half a gallon on white vinegar, fill the machine with cold water just to cover the fabric and let it sit for at least an hour. I then empty out the water, and wash with laundry soap on hot. I throw in a piece of white fabric just to be sure and I've never had a color transfer to the white. I'll probably get flak for this, but, just saying, it has worked for me for years.

  6. #6
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Wash fabric before it is in a quilt with Retayne. If it's already in a quilt, wash with Synthrapol. I put Colour Catchers in with any quilt's first wash also.
    This is what I do, too!
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  7. #7
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I follow the instructions on the Retayne bottle, which includes using very hot water for 20 minutes before rinsing in cool water. With a small piece, I sometimes cheat and do it in the sink without much agitation. However, I do let it soak for at least 20 minutes.

    Dayle

  8. #8
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I soak the fabric in 140 F water, with Synthrapol added, overnight. This is what a lot of fabric dyers do.

  9. #9
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I've not used Retayne yet (have not found it yet) but have had good luck with Synthrapol.

    (note: retayne "sets" the dye, Synthrapol will let the fabric bleed but the off cast dye is held in state where it won't adhere to other fabric).

    I also wash a second time (without synthrapol) and add a color catcher, then I continue to wash until the color catcher is clean.

    I've not found any real rhyme or reason to what colors bleed more, and what fabrics bleed more. I've had reds that bleed a lot, and reds that didn't bleed much (including a red batik). I've had solid black Kona that bled not one bit, and a solid black from Northcott that bled for 3 washes. I've had a stripe bleed for several washes. I've had some batiks not bleed at all. So I handle ALL fabric the same - as if it will bleed, and I keep washing until I have a clean color catcher. I had one bad experience with a multi-colored print from Cothworks that I washed once, added to a quilt, then it bled all over the yellow border. I won't be fooled again.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    I use Rit Dye Fixative. It is not carried by JoAnns, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Hobby Lobby or any other store -- and I've been to all of them in Marion County, Florida. I went online and ordered it directly from the company. The first time I ordered it, it cost me more to ship it than the product actually cost, but that's okay! After putting that much work into a quilt I sure don't want to lose it due to bleeding dyes!

    Jeanette Frantz

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