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Ack! The Red Fabric Bled on The White Background

Ack! The Red Fabric Bled on The White Background

Old 12-11-2019, 07:30 AM
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Default Ack! The Red Fabric Bled on The White Background

I always prewash all of my fabrics with color catchers and have never had a bleeder... until now!

I spent months quilting a quilt with lots of red and white fabrics. I had basted it with Elmer's Washable School Glue so I needed to soak it in cold water to get the glue out. When I took it out of the washing machine, I started the blocking process and...

Oh, Calamity! There were red blotches all over the white fabric!

I was in so much of a panic that I didn't take a picture, but take my word for it. It was bad!!!

I did an internet search for a solution and found this from Margaret Solomon Gunn:


My bathtub leaks water out quickly so I put my quilt in the washing machine instead. I filled it with hot water and 1/3 cup Dawn Dishwashing Detergent. I let it soak and periodically rearranged the quilt. I was surprised that the water stayed hot the whole time. The water was very pink. After six hours I rinsed it twice and checked to see if there were still red blotches on the white. I would have repeated the process if there were, but there was absolutely no more red on the white fabric.

I feel like I've witnessed a miracle that I should share with you...
[insert the H
allelujah Chorus]
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Old 12-11-2019, 07:49 AM
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So happy that you were able to rescue your quilt. I can imagine the moment that you discovered the issue and the sinking feeling.
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Old 12-11-2019, 07:55 AM
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I have learned that "just washing" is not adequate - so that is why I've started soaking all my fabrics in hot water for hours before washing them.

So glad that you were able to get the red out.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:06 AM
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I have been going to try this on a quilt that I did pretty much the same thing. I used color catchers on the reds before using them. Used the fabric in a paper pieced quilt and the red bled through to the back of the white backing! This is hope for one of my favorite quilts. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:13 AM
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I am so happy you were able to rescue your quilt!

The one bad experience I had was so bad all the white in the quilt turned baby pink... it was a very bad fabric. I refused to use pure white fabric for a long time after that but I'm very careful now in checking but even still sometimes bad things happen.

I'm a big believer in Dawn dish soap. It works so well with so many things.

BTW, I had some modern all red flannel which is usually pretty stable, but it "crocked" that is, dye transferred onto the white background print it was next to. These were pieces I bought at an after Christmas sale and just stored for awhile. Now if I don't have time to prewash and if there is anything I'm really suspicious about (for me that's reds and dark blues), I'll wrap it in a piece of the acid free tissue paper I have in my sewing room.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:19 AM
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Wow! Thanks for sharing. I would not have thought hot water. I am so glad it worked!
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:45 AM
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♫♪♫[insert the Hallelujah Chorus]♫♪♫

... and I bet you let out one huge sigh of relief!
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:07 PM
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Thanks for sharing! Definitely a “good to know.”
I’m so glad it worked out (miraculously).
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Old 12-11-2019, 04:08 PM
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How wonderful!
I love red but shy away from it because of bleeding. Now I have hope!
Dawn is such an awesome product. I use it for a lot of things.
Glad you had a happy ending.
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:26 PM
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So very glad for you that you fixed the quilt. That was a close one!
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