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Thread: Vinegar as a color fixative

  1. #1
    Super Member bamamama's Avatar
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    Vinegar as a color fixative

    Someone told me to add 1 cup of white vinegar when washing fabrics and it was the same as Retayne. Do you know if that is true? It helps easter egg hold the color so maybe....
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Sally J's Avatar
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    I did this before they came out with Color Catchers, now I just use them. I've been told that the newer fabric is done differently and vinegar may not work, I don't know if this is true.

  3. #3
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    no- it is not true- back in the (old days) dyes were acid dyes-and vinegar set them- now days pretty much only wools are still dyed with acid dyes-
    the dyes that are used on cottons are not acid dyes-
    the vinegar will soften/freshen your fabrics but will do nothing for (retaining/setting) colors.

    visit Dharma Trading Post- they have free information sheets & tutorials that will explain/teach you pretty much anything you need to know about dyeing fabrics/setting colors/making batiks/fabric painting---they also carry all of the supplies needed for the various techniques.
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  4. #4
    Super Member bamamama's Avatar
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    I just bought a vivid Red Kona Cotton and when I washed it with a color catcher the color catcher came out clean but the Red cotton has blueish/purpleish streaks all through it. I thought Kona was a really good brand of cotton and was suprised it did that. I'm just glad that I washed it before I put it into a quilt. I am not sure what to use to prevent that.
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  5. #5
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    ckcowl is correct.

    Regarding the Red Kona, is this the Kona made by Kaufman or the one made by Kona Bay? They are different brands. It sounds as if the color was not set properly in the factory. Did you use detergent in the wash? I'm thinking that some chemical in the water probably interacted with the dye to create the streaks. I would contact the manufacturer.

  6. #6
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamamama View Post
    Someone told me to add 1 cup of white vinegar when washing fabrics and it was the same as Retayne. Do you know if that is true? It helps easter egg hold the color so maybe....
    Don't know how it compares with Retayne, but back in the olden days of wringer washers, I learned to put vinegar in the rinse water to help kill soap suds and to help prevent fading. There's a gallon of vinegar beside my soap in the laundry area. I don't use it for every load, but I do a lot.
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  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    ckcowl is correct.

    Regarding the Red Kona, is this the Kona made by Kaufman or the one made by Kona Bay? They are different brands. It sounds as if the color was not set properly in the factory. Did you use detergent in the wash? I'm thinking that some chemical in the water probably interacted with the dye to create the streaks. I would contact the manufacturer.
    Or perhaps ... was there some othe fabric or clothing in the wash that let out some colour that stained your Red?
    Or some colour left behind from a previous wash?
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  8. #8
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    no- it is not true- back in the (old days) dyes were acid dyes-and vinegar set them- now days pretty much only wools are still dyed with acid dyes-
    the dyes that are used on cottons are not acid dyes-
    the vinegar will soften/freshen your fabrics but will do nothing for (retaining/setting) colors.

    visit Dharma Trading Post- they have free information sheets & tutorials that will explain/teach you pretty much anything you need to know about dyeing fabrics/setting colors/making batiks/fabric painting---they also carry all of the supplies needed for the various techniques.
    This is spot on! Using vinegar will NOT set dye on cotton fabrics. Many beleive it will and wash using vinegar , but the only benifit to the dye is the water wash to carry off the unset dye. A real bleeder can continue to runbleed in subsiquent washings.

  9. #9
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    What else could we use other than Retayne?
    It's very hard to find here ... and I keep wondering what it is made from and what we could use otherwise?
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  10. #10
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    There really isn't anything I know of that substitutes for Retayne. Retayne is widely available online from sources such as Dharma Trading and ProChem. Here is a link to it on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/Retayne-Color-...0276151&sr=8-2

    Here is a really good informative article by Paula Burch. Retayne does contain a small amount of formaldehyde:
    http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/FAQ/fixative.shtml

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