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Thread: Need Advice on 2 projects: Wash before? After? Which materials & products?

  1. #1
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    Cool Need Advice on 2 projects: Wash before? After? Which materials & products?

    Hello everyone I need advice on my next 2 projects. #1 is "Bargello in Summer" by Ruth Blanchet for Arbee Designs. My DDIL picked this to use the dark green batik I used to make the reception tablerunners for her and my son's wedding. [pic #1] All the materials are batiks except for the white Fairy Frost. This bargello is a lap size that will be on the bed so it will get washed periodically. Do I wash all before or after? If before all the greens together & the blues together or darks/lights? Do I need to wash the Fairy Frost? Do I use Synthrapol or Retayne and do I also use color catchers with both of these products? The 2nd pic is a group of batiks and Asian fabrics along with the white Fairy Frost that will be a string quilt. The large floral is the backing fabric. This will be a lap quilt on the couch so again washed periodically. Same questions and do I wash all or just the batiks? I don't want the white ruined after all the work that will go into these, but I do like to contruct before washing when I can. I'm a starcher too. My quilt buddy and I are taking the class with another friend who is a sewer and now wants to be a quilter. She wanted to take a class, but not by herself, so we are taking it with her at our awesome LQS Country Quilts & Bears in Clearwater, FL. [Gotta stop in when you visit our beaches!] All help and advice is appreciated!
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    Last edited by Cybrarian; 01-05-2013 at 10:52 AM. Reason: Yikes!
    Come to Me and I will give you rest--Jesus.

  2. #2
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I would wash before & if you wash one fabric, I would wash all. I would do like hues and colors together, so all the dark greens, then the light greens, etc. If you get a bleeder, you will have to either figure out which one it is (wipe damp fabric on a piece of muslin to see if the color transfers) and treat that one fabric or just treat the whole batch with Retayne.
    Lovely fabric selections!
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  3. #3
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    I'd wsh too. You could wer a corner of each fabric color before putting the hues together, that way you could tell which one is a bleeder. LOve all the colors.
    Love to quilt and play with the great grandkids

  4. #4
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    I would wash like colors together with a Color Catcher. Check the color catcher, and wash a couple of times. Or use retayne with the directions, then wash with a color catcher to see what happens. I have had trouble with batiks not working with retayne, so I now do a 2 step wash. I also now hang dry fabric as I wash in warm/hot water, I like the crispness after ironing and before cutting.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  5. #5
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I would simply test all the colored fabrics to see if they are colorfast. Drop a small piece (maybe 2 inches square) in a clear glass of water and wait a few hours to see if any dye bleeds into the water. After that, rub the still-damp fabric on a piece of each light-colored fabric to see if any dye transfers that way. (Not all light fabrics pick up all dyes, so even if a dark is not absolutely colorfast it may not be a problem if the white you use does not pick it up.)

    If a fabric does not pass the colorfast test, I would wash that fabric in Retayne (which permanently sets dyes) and re-test. A few fabrics require two passes with Retayne. Any fabric that is not colorfast after two washings in Retayne should not be used in a quilt.

    Color transfer is what I would worry about. Shrinkage is typically not a problem, so it doesn't matter if some fabrics are washed and some are not. Once the top is quilted, it is the batting that determines shrinkage. IOW, a fabric will not shrink more than the batting will allow. Any slight differences in shrinkage among fabrics will be unnoticeable in the quilt. (This does not work if the quilt is tied, or if quilting lines are very far apart. In those cases, there is enough space for a shrinkage-prone fabric to shrink to its max.)

    After the quilt is finished, make the first wash one with Synthrapol. Synthrapol suspends any unset dye particles in water so they do not settle in other fabrics.

    Both Synthrapol and Retayne need to be used in *hot* water. Synthrapol requires a lot of hot water in order to keep dye particles adequately diluted. For that reason, it is not recommended for use in domestic front-loading washers (which do not use enough water for the Synthrapol to be effective).
    Last edited by Prism99; 01-05-2013 at 12:16 PM.

  6. #6
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much this is great information and very helpful! I knew there would be members with just the answers I needed.
    Come to Me and I will give you rest--Jesus.

  7. #7
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    Got the greens & blues done only one other besides the dark green didn't pass the soak test but I did the dark blue & medium green too just to make sure. Now on to the purples, thanks again! Eliminating the worry of bleeding colors will allow me to focus and enjoy the process.
    Come to Me and I will give you rest--Jesus.

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