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Thread: When/How to Use Retayne and/or Synthrapol

  1. #11
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  3. #13

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    My understanding is that once you use the Retayne to fix or set the colors, the final owner of the quilt can wash normally. Perhaps someone else can chime in here to correct me if I'm wrong?

    I'm asking how to get the water up to 140 degrees as I have a batik quilt with purple and aqua and I forgot to wash both fabrics before quilting, so I want to use Retayne to set the colors, so my quilt and all my hard work won't be ruined! Plus its a wedding gift for my niece....ack! I can't believe I forgot to wash the fabrics!

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltincin
    My understanding is that once you use the Retayne to fix or set the colors, the final owner of the quilt can wash normally. Perhaps someone else can chime in here to correct me if I'm wrong?

    I'm asking how to get the water up to 140 degrees as I have a batik quilt with purple and aqua and I forgot to wash both fabrics before quilting, so I want to use Retayne to set the colors, so my quilt and all my hard work won't be ruined! Plus its a wedding gift for my niece....ack! I can't believe I forgot to wash the fabrics!
    I found that article to be quite informative.

    Have you taken the time to read it yet?

    If the quilt is already made - I think Synthrapol is the product to use.

  5. #15

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    I have read the article instructions, my biggest question is how to get the water hot enough! I did exactly as instructed with the boiling water and I could only get it to 130 at the hottest...

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDB
    Becky at my LQS (Sunshine Stitches) explained it to me this way:

    Use Retayne to prevent fabric from bleeding. Use Synthrapol (or other fabric catchers when your fabric has already bled. If you think a fabric might bleed, prevent it by using Retayne. If you have a 'surprise' of bleeding, Synthrapol will help remove the runs.

    She always knows how to break down a matter for a dumb newbie!
    This is not really accurate.

    Retayne should not be used on any completed quilt, only on fabric before it is combined with any others. You only need to treat with Retayne once, but the quilt made with treated fabric should be washed in warm water with a cold rinse in order to preserve the “lock” on the dyes. Do not wash the quilt in hot water.

    Synthrapol will keep floating dye from setting in the wash, but it will not remove dye that has previously run and set (in the dryer for instance), so it will not 'fix' any oopsies of the past. It is the same as a Color Catcher. You add Synthrapol to each wash as long as your fabric keeps bleeding.

    Simply put, use Retayne before you sew things together, not after. Use Synthrapol after you sew things together.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    http://www.prochemicalanddye.com/store/home.php?cat=323

    The directions for both say to use HOT water (140 degrees F., 60 degrees C)

    The instructions for Retayne suggest treating the fabric BEFORE cutting it.

    Retayne - soak fabrics for 20 minutes in hot water, then rinse

    Synthrapol - soak 10-12 minutes in hot water, then rinse.

    As far as I can tell from that info, they are NOT interchangeable.
    You do not soak for 20 (or 10-12 as the case may be) minutes, you stir or agitate for 20 minutes. Both products must be actively moving through the fabric.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    Retayne - soak fabrics for 20 minutes in hot water, then rinse

    Synthrapol - soak 10-12 minutes in hot water, then rinse.

    As far as I can tell from that info, they are NOT interchangeable.
    No, they are not the same substance and they are not interchangeable.

    Retayne is composed of molecules with a positive charge. These molecules are attracted to the negatively charged dye molecules. When the two molecules stick together, it makes them larger, so that they stick between the fibres of the fabric more effectively (think Winnie the Pooh).

    Retayne is applied using hot (over 140 degree F) water. Once you have treated fabric with Retayne, washing the fabric in hot water will wash out the Retayne.

    According to Paula Burch, Retayne has two main drawbacks: a) it contains a small amount of formaldehyde and b) there is growing evidence that fabrics treated with Retayne are less lightfast. In effect, it is possible that what you gain in washfastness, you lose in lightfastness.

    Everything in life is a trade-off and there is never a single answer that is right for every person in every single situation.

    Synthrapol is a neutral detergent which contains no optical brighteners. The neutral pH means it is good for protein fibres (which prefer acid environments) and will not create a wash environment alkaline enough to affect fabric dyed with fibre reactive dyes. For a long time, Synthrapol was believed to be somehow better at suspending loose dye particles in solution, rather than letting them settle back down onto the fabric but this has been largely disproven (even though there are still advertising claims to that effect).

    Synthrapol does not have any optical brighteners in it, which are special dyes that convert UV light to make light colours appear lighter. Manufacturers include them in most detergent formulations because they make the detergent seem more effect at getting light coloured items cleaner (we've been carefully taught via advertising that whiter equals cleaner).

    Optical brighteners also make dark colours appear lighter or washed out, so a quilt that relies on the richness of dark colours for its impact may appear less dramatic.

  9. #19
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    Don't know the answer - our grandma's used to have these big "wash boilers" that they cooked their laundry in.

    I had one, too, when we were first married.

  10. #20
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    Try this address now - the one in my original post is not working.

    http://www.prochemicalanddye.com/home.php?cat=323


    I should have stated that the fabrics can't just loll around in the water and chemicals. Some agitation is required.

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