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Thread: Question about bleeding fabric

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sharon - NC's Avatar
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    I washed some fabric last night, light colors. One was a white with small green shamrocks. I washed them with some other clothes because Ididn't think the light colors would be a problem, but one of my white towels came out with green blobs all over it from the shamrocks. The fabric, itself, had no apparent bleeding areas on it and the other clothes didn't either, but there was green in spots on the white towel. Question: if you have a fabric bleed when you wash it, should you wash it again? Also, is there something you can put in the water to help set the colors? I think I read on here somewhere that vinegar (or was it salt) in the water for a soak first helps. Thanks in advance for your advice. 8-)

  2. #2
    Senior Member HeatherQuilts's Avatar
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    I use vinegar to set the colors of my fabrics. I just toss a cup or two into the wash, I also use the cold water setting. I've never had a problem with anything bleeding. (Knock on wood!)
    :-)
    I would put your fabric through a second washing with the vinegar, just to be safe.
    Good luck!
    ~Heather

  3. #3
    Super Member mamaw's Avatar
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    Shout color catcher sheets are fantastic. I always use them to wash new fabrics. I also make a point to wash my fabrics by themselves. I don't think it will hurt to wash one more time to be sure.

  4. #4
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    One way to stop bleeding fabric is to add a cup of vinager to luke warm water and hand wash it.

  5. #5
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Vinegar or salt will not set modern dyes. Dyes used to be organic and vinegar and salt were mordants for some dyes. Modern dyes are chemical and vinegar and salt don't affect them in any way.

    Your white towel acted like a color catcher. Some types of fabrics will pick up excess dye in the wash water and some won't. It's not that the color is bleeding either. The fabric just has excess dye and the excess comes off the first time you wash it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member HeatherQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Vinegar or salt will not set modern dyes. Dyes used to be organic and vinegar and salt were mordants for some dyes. Modern dyes are chemical and vinegar and salt don't affect them in any way.

    Your white towel acted like a color catcher. Some types of fabrics will pick up excess dye in the wash water and some won't. It's not that the color is bleeding either. The fabric just has excess dye and the excess comes off the first time you wash it.
    That's good information, I had no idea! I'll be investing in some Color Catcher soon methinks! :lol: :thumbup:

  7. #7
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon - NC
    I washed some fabric last night, light colors. One was a white with small green shamrocks. I washed them with some other clothes because Ididn't think the light colors would be a problem, but one of my white towels came out with green blobs all over it from the shamrocks. The fabric, itself, had no apparent bleeding areas on it and the other clothes didn't either, but there was green in spots on the white towel. Question: if you have a fabric bleed when you wash it, should you wash it again? Also, is there something you can put in the water to help set the colors? I think I read on here somewhere that vinegar (or was it salt) in the water for a soak first helps. Thanks in advance for your advice. 8-)
    you can put regular table salt in the water.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sharon - NC's Avatar
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    Thank you all. I will be washing it again. Intersting about the dyes, scissor queen. I'll be getting some color catchers, and will probably do the vinegar, too, just to be sure. It's the first time I've had fabric that did that.

  9. #9
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    I have used both vinegar and salt (seperately) to set dye. Perhaps the dyes were not 'modern', because it seemed to work. I remember on item in particular. It was a pair of pants my DD brought home from a mission trip. It was made with fabric dyed by the garment maker. Using salt seemed to set the dye. She hasn't had trouble with the dye bleeding since we did that.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rachel's Avatar
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    Retayne has always been a lifesaver for me... You can buy it at most quilt stores.

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