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Thread: Batik colors bleeding!!!

  1. #1
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    Batik colors bleeding!!!

    I usually only pre wash medium to dark colors, but thank goodness I attempted to prewash some batik strips before setting them aside for a new quilt project. The light multi tones are turning my water pink, after 3 times (warm water in sink, these are fat quarters) and retayne in hot water! And then I tried bright greens - ugh -even my nails have a green tinge. What am I doing wrong? Some are bali batiks by Hoffman. How do I control the bleeding?

    This batik bleeding has me worried. This is my first time doing a batik project, is this normal?

    I also have a Hoffman bali pops strip set that I want to use in another project and I am worried about bleeding and I am frustrated about paying so much money on this strip set. How do I wash the 2.5" strip sets? It is the green tea color set, and I will be setting them with bright white using the "blue Lagoon" pattern from my Jelly Roll Quilt book. Has anyone used this fabric? Any troubles with bleeding? Thanks in advance for all your help.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  2. #2
    Junior Member maggy's Avatar
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    I wash my fabric with vinegar mixed with the water, never had the problem with batiks bleeding.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Angellight's Avatar
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    There is always discussion on here about washing VS not washing. I wash evey batik I bring into my house. I use hot water, detergent, and color catchers, and sometimes vinegar which is supposed to set your color. Generally I only wash once, however, on a couple of the in-expensive batiks, I have had to wash again.
    I have a friend who thought she had washed a batik she used, (mottled purple/green/burgundy). When she washed the quilt, the burgundy ran into her white. She spent many hours working to "clean" her quilt. She was mostly successful in getting it out, but if you look hard you can still see where it ran.
    I had a LQS employee tell me the manufacturers boil the batiks to get the wax resist out of them, which should make them not run color, but my experience has been different.
    If I am washing a fat quarter, or smaller, I use my lingerie bag to help protect them on gentle cycle, hot water, etc. Also, I may start them out in the dryer to help them dry faster, but DO NOT run them the entire cycle. They fray terribly. With your 2.5 strips, I might just hang them and press.
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  4. #4
    Super Member alwayslearning's Avatar
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    Do you have a salad spinner? It is perfect and gentle for washing smaller pieces like charm squares, fat quarters and strips.
    "Only those who know enough is enough can ever have enough." Lao Tzu

  5. #5
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    Great idea, I will use it with the bali pops when I pre wash them.

    Quote Originally Posted by alwayslearning View Post
    Do you have a salad spinner? It is perfect and gentle for washing smaller pieces like charm squares, fat quarters and strips.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  6. #6
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    Most all batik's bleed some if not a lot. I always wash mine with a color catcher. If the color catcher comes out very dark they get a second wash. I have had some that got several washes before I used them.

  7. #7
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    you can use a mesh laundry bag to wash your strips- you should wash them with detergent- can toss in a couple 'color catchers' ---and wash them until there is no more color coming off- most batiks, hand dyes (can) be bleeders- you can also put synthropol in the water after the quilt is done (as a just in case) to keep any dye from getting on your whites---it keeps the dye suspended in the water. vinegar freshens & softens laundry---has no effect of setting colors---way back in the 70's dyes were changed (by law) and vinegar has nothing to do with setting the color- it only works on acid dyes that are no longer used on cotton fabrics.- so although it may help with smells & freshen the fabric- it is just a (wasted step) when it comes to any bleeders. sometimes one wash will take care of the problem- sometimes it is necessary to wash 2 or 3 times- (normally) it is excess dyes that were not adequately rinsed during the dyeing process-
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  8. #8
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    I "Retayne" all my batiks, I haven't found one yet that didn't bleed.

  9. #9
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I would never trust a batik not to run. Retayne is effective but the water MUST be 140 degrees..most hat water tanks are not set that high. One treated with Retayne COLD water wash only or the retayne will be removed and the bleeding will start again. Batiks are beautiful... but high maintainience.

  10. #10
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    Bleeding.that's the reason I pre-wash EVERYTHING. I have used vinegar if a second washing is necessary.
    http://www.oregonquilting.net
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  11. #11
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    vinegar is a mordant(color fixative) for acid base dye's. salt works best for vegetable dye's. sometimes I use both. I put them in the washer and if I don't think the water is hot enough I boil water on the stove and add it to the washer. Your water MUST be hot enough to set the color. It's generally cheaper than color catchers here but it is more work. Good luck!!
    don't stop!just keep trying and something usable will turn out!!

  12. #12
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    If no other fabrics pick the dye up, what's the problem?

  13. #13
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    My accent for this quilt is white, and white is notorious for picking up dyes. This is a gift for a gd and I know it will be washed frequently. So far, I have set most of the Hoffman Green Tea batik jelly roll strips. Right now I am going through the deep turquoise/blues, heating water now for the last wash with retayne. Lots of prep with this quilt, but it will be worth it when I am finished. I hate to say never again, but right now batiks are not my favorite for quilts. I don't do many wall hangings, so frequent washings with batiks can be an issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    If no other fabrics pick the dye up, what's the problem?
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  14. #14
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhweaver View Post
    My accent for this quilt is white, and white is notorious for picking up dyes. This is a gift for a gd and I know it will be washed frequently. So far, I have set most of the Hoffman Green Tea batik jelly roll strips. Right now I am going through the deep turquoise/blues, heating water now for the last wash with retayne. Lots of prep with this quilt, but it will be worth it when I am finished. I hate to say never again, but right now batiks are not my favorite for quilts. I don't do many wall hangings, so frequent washings with batiks can be an issue.
    So have you tested to see if the white picks up the dye? That would be the logical thing to do. If the white doesn't pick up the dye there is no problem.

  15. #15
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    I have been soaking a piece of fabric off and on all week as I want to use it. I washed it once and the color catcher came out pretty dark (a pretty teal color) and so I just started soaking the fabric in the tub/sink (back and forth) until eventually I'm hoping the water will be clear. Right now I'm down to a very, very light bluish green tinge in the water--so there is hope.

    I don't know what else to do to hurry up the process. i don't want to run that many loads of laundry! Glad I didn't. I may wash it once in the washing machine once more with a color catcher but I know that I want to make my daughter's memory quilt with this as the sashing. I'm sure that there will be a few squares with some white fabric in it and we don't want this fabric to ruin the quilt.

  16. #16
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    I feel your pain. I paid a princely sum for the hoffman bali pop 2.5" set, the manufacturer should take care of the bleed before they sell the fabric.

    White picks up everything, or the colors turn the white a grey dingy color. I am doing the orange/yellows, and have added a piece of the white cotton to see if the loose dye is picked up by the white. when I did it with the turquoise, it turned the white a dingy dirty white/grey color.

    Quote Originally Posted by justflyingin View Post
    I have been soaking a piece of fabric off and on all week as I want to use it. I washed it once and the color catcher came out pretty dark (a pretty teal color) and so I just started soaking the fabric in the tub/sink (back and forth) until eventually I'm hoping the water will be clear. Right now I'm down to a very, very light bluish green tinge in the water--so there is hope.

    I don't know what else to do to hurry up the process. i don't want to run that many loads of laundry! Glad I didn't. I may wash it once in the washing machine once more with a color catcher but I know that I want to make my daughter's memory quilt with this as the sashing. I'm sure that there will be a few squares with some white fabric in it and we don't want this fabric to ruin the quilt.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  17. #17
    Senior Member quiltin-nannie's Avatar
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    Oh no!! I am working on a quilt called "Harvest" and am using the "Green Tea" batiks. I never gave a thought to these bleeding! I am almost finished with the blocks, so it's too late to prewash now. They are set with white on white fabric. Would you gals advise washing with Retayne or washing and putting a color catcher in when I've completed the quilt. Sure glad I read this thread, because I have been buying lots of batiks for my stash, and I am not a prewasher of fabric. I sure will be now with batiks!!
    Julie
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