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Thread: ?s on how to stop the dye from running in fabric strips

  1. #1
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    ?s on how to stop the dye from running in fabric strips

    I bought a few jelly rolls of hand dyed fabric at the Tucson quilt show in January (the "bright color wheel" - aren't they gorgeous?? http://www.joysfabrics.com/handdyed.html). I'm getting ready to sew them into strata for a bargello. As I was ironing the strips, I sprayed all of the folds to iron the crease out of them. For the pink fabric, just the one spray was enough to leave pink dye on my ironing board. So now I'm wondering what to do, since I feel like it would make sense to deal with this now rather than after it's a finished quilt

    I was thinking of soaking the pink strips in the sink. I wasn't sure if I should soak them with anything (vinegar, Retayne, etc). I wasn't sure about hot/cold water or how long, if I should let them set or if I should agitate them, etc. I know I don't want to be too rough since they're strips and I don't want them to start fraying. Also, should I do this to all of the fabrics? The pink was the only one to leave a mark on my ironing board, and it was only 1 of the 3 pink strips.

    Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
    Nothing's a mistake. It's a learning experience. Some experiences, you learn more than others.

  2. #2
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    It is so sad to find dye running in pre-cuts, but it is better to find out about it now rather than after they are sewn.

    I would recommend filling a sink with hot water and dipping the strips of the same fabric into it. You can pre-test by dabbing damp white fabric on a sample, but I like to get them completely wet. If the water turns color, then add little Retayne and proceed with very hot water, soaking for 20 minutes (as stated on the label), and gently mixing so that the water flows through the fabric. I don't stand there and mix for 20 minutes, but I come back every few minutes and mix some more. When finished, rinse in cold water and see if there is any more bleeding.

    Others have stated on the forum that although vinegar was used to "set" dyes years ago, it is ineffective with the modern dying methods.

    Best wishes!

    Dayle

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I agree with the previous post. Soak in the sink with hot water and Retayne. If the color is not stable after one treatment, repeat the treatment. If the strip still transfers color after two treatments with Retayne, I wouldn't use it.

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Since these are hand dyes, would Synthrapol be a better choice than Retayne? I don't know, just asking. I know when I took a dying class, years ago, I was told to wash the newly dyed fabrics in Synthrapol.

  5. #5
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    Since these are hand dyes, would Synthrapol be a better choice than Retayne? I don't know, just asking. I know when I took a dying class, years ago, I was told to wash the newly dyed fabrics in Synthrapol.
    Syntropol can be effective in removing the excess dye, but not always a final cure to a serious bleeding problem. Retayne is a better choice for setting the un set dye. But do note once treated with Retayne only wash in cold water or you risk the removal of the Retayne and the fabrics will bleed again. I have used both products prior to cutting on hand dyed fabric . I found that some hand dyes the sythropol removed so much the fabric was dull in appearance, but with Retayne I had more color retention.
    Yes it is much better to deal with a bleeder/runner prior to cutting or construction as once cut or assembled there are fewer options.
    Last edited by Lori S; 03-06-2012 at 04:52 PM.

  6. #6
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    Love this thread. I haven't used either Synthrapol or Retayne. My life has revolved around white vinegar for just about everything from cooking to cleaning. QB is teaching me many things.
    http://www.oregonquilting.net
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  7. #7
    Senior Member AnitaSt's Avatar
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    Thanks for this discussion. My guild is doing a batik strip swap and none of the strips have been washed. I definitely want to do this before I use them!

  8. #8
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylesewblessed View Post
    It is so sad to find dye running in pre-cuts, but it is better to find out about it now rather than after they are sewn.
    Exactly my thought. A pink spot on my ironing board is significantly preferable to a ruined quilt. Right now, I'm thrilled to find out they're running rather than after the quilt is finished
    Nothing's a mistake. It's a learning experience. Some experiences, you learn more than others.

  9. #9
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    Syntropol can be effective in removing the excess dye, but not always a final cure to a serious bleeding problem. Retayne is a better choice for setting the un set dye. But do note once treated with Retayne only wash in cold water or you risk the removal of the Retayne and the fabrics will bleed again. I have used both products prior to cutting on hand dyed fabric . I found that some hand dyes the sythropol removed so much the fabric was dull in appearance, but with Retayne I had more color retention.
    Yes it is much better to deal with a bleeder/runner prior to cutting or construction as once cut or assembled there are fewer options.
    Thank you so much. Great to know that the Retayne isn't permanent... I never would have thought about that. Thank you.
    Nothing's a mistake. It's a learning experience. Some experiences, you learn more than others.

  10. #10
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylesewblessed View Post
    I would recommend filling a sink with hot water and dipping the strips of the same fabric into it. You can pre-test by dabbing damp white fabric on a sample, but I like to get them completely wet. If the water turns color, then add little Retayne and proceed with very hot water, soaking for 20 minutes (as stated on the label), and gently mixing so that the water flows through the fabric. I don't stand there and mix for 20 minutes, but I come back every few minutes and mix some more. When finished, rinse in cold water and see if there is any more bleeding.

    Others have stated on the forum that although vinegar was used to "set" dyes years ago, it is ineffective with the modern dying methods.

    Best wishes!

    Dayle
    Thank you so much for all of the specific information. I will get a-washin'
    Nothing's a mistake. It's a learning experience. Some experiences, you learn more than others.

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