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Thread: Antique Feedsack Squares/how to wash

  1. #1
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
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    I bought a package of antique 5-inch feedsack squares. I want to use them in Sun Bonnet Sue applique blocks. Can any recommend what I should wash them in before I cut them into the applique pieces? There are some red squares so I want to make sure they don't run. I usually wash my fabric in the washing machine, but these pieces are too small for that. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    In the sink with woolite?

  3. #3
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    Gently to prevent fraying. Good luck.
    Welcome to the quiltingboard.

  4. #4
    Pam
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    Welcome from Southern Illinois.

  5. #5
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I would try in the sink with woolite, or Dawn, too! Good Luck, I bet they are cute!

  6. #6
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Welcome from central Illinois. I'd just wet them in the sink and lay them out on a towel. If you dissolve a handful of salt in the water it will help set the dye. You could also get a Color Grabber and put in the sink. I always use one when shrinking fabric. Got it at Hancocks. It looks like a rectangular white washcloth with black stitching around the edges--until you use it then it turns colors. It's good for 30 loads.

  7. #7
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    do those things really work?

  8. #8
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    do you wassh them to get the color out or what?

  9. #9
    Super Member LoisN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clem55
    do you wassh them to get the color out or what?
    If the fabric bleeds, the color catcher sheet catches the dye and it doesn't get on other fabrics.

  10. #10
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    If it's old fabric and especially red fabric I would wash it in the sink.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    You can hand wash them using Retayne to set the dyes, or using Synthrapol (which suspends unset dye particles in water so they can be washed away instead of settling into the whites).

    Test colorfastness by dipping a corner into a glass of water. Look for dye release into the water. Also rub the wet area with a white cloth to see if any dye is taken up by the white cloth. If the fabrics pass both of these tests, I would hand wash in Synthrapol.

    Synthrapol and Retayne are widely available in quilt stores or online. Amazon has Synthrapol; not sure about Retayne.

    You can Google for more information, but here is one website I found:
    http://www.quiltbus.com/retayne.htm

  12. #12
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    if they have not been washed, which the sacks probably were, washing handles the shrinkage. Always to be safe Usually wetting and pressing water out and ironing takes care of the shrinkage.
    They most likely were washed to get the flour or sugar or grain out of them. Most that I have don't continue to run color but better to be safe.

  13. #13
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of your ideas. They are really helpfull. I'll let you know how it turns out and post pictures of the blocks when done.

  14. #14
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    When I buy feed sacks I run them through the washer on hot with bleach to get the 50 years of stain out of them. It really brightens up the colors. Of course you can't to that with a 5" square. Try swishing them in a bowl or basin with what ever you wash your clothes in.

  15. #15
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    thanks for all of the comments, I learn something every day reading this message board!

    You quilters are awesome!

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