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Thread: Fabric bleeding

  1. #1
    Member Mummy Quilts's Avatar
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    Question Fabric bleeding

    I'm just wondering if anyone has any tips for prepping dark (especially red) fabrics?

    I always pre-wash my fabrics (warm wash, cold rinse, no fabric softener), and the last few quilts I've used red in I've soaked the red cottons in a vinegar/water bath, and the fabric still bled onto my adjacent white when I washed the assembled quilt the first time.

    Any tips? Is there a product I don't know about for this?

    TIA!!!

  2. #2
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    Prewash any fabrics that you think might run. Throw a " color catcher" in the wash and it will pick up any loose dye. Most times I will run a second rinse and add a half color catcher sheet. If that half sheet is still white then I know the color will not run anymore.
    Color catchers are found in the laundry section of your supermarket. It is a "Shout" project. ( I don't think it is sold in Canada.)

  3. #3
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    I like to use Synthopol (sp?) detergent. It's the same thing I use after hand dyeing fabrics, and is meant to remove all the excess dye. The dyeing book I have recommends using water that is at least 140 degrees (Very Hot), and soaking for 15 minutes. So far this has been working great for me.
    Wendy

  4. #4
    Senior Member pam1966's Avatar
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    I have used Retayne which I got at my LQS. It works quite well. I would still use a Shout color catcher on the first wash of the quilt just because I'm paranoid but it's never let me down.
    As you sew, so shall you rip.

  5. #5
    Member Mummy Quilts's Avatar
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    Oh my goodness, thank you SO much ladies!

    Off to the grocery store I go!

    THANK YOU!!!

  6. #6
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Agree with the very hot water and Synthrapol, but I'd recommend soaking it for a LOT longer than 15 minutes - more like 12 hours.

    http://vickiwelsh.typepad.com/field_...ness-post.html

  7. #7
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    fabric catchers work wonderful. i dont prewash my facrics and never have colors run.

  8. #8
    Super Member judy363905's Avatar
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    Timely post...I am just completing a child's floor quilt that I used a good amount of red... (prewashed)...I think I will include a box of Color Catcher with the gift...

    Judy in Phx, AZ

  9. #9
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    You won't find Retayne or Synthrapol in the grocery store, nor in many quilt shops for that matter. Retayne sets loose dyes, Synthrapol suspends them and floats them away. Do a search of the board for many, many discussions on these products as there are differences between them that you should know about before buying.

    Vinegar, for future reference, has no effect on the dyes currently used on fabrics. It used to work when they used acid dyes, but they no longer do that.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  10. #10
    Super Member quiltjoey's Avatar
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    I wash all my fabrics before I make my blocks. Reds and some dark greens, navies, and blacks fade badly. I wash them in very hot water, rinse x2, if the second rinse is clear, then their ok for my blocks. I'm sure everybody does it differently...

  11. #11
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    I actually "set" my reds in salt water. I don't use hot water though, I just use warm or cool (tap) water. I allow to soak for a few hours, then wash normally. I wear a lot of red and use a lot of red fabric and even embroider with red or dark thread so this is all I do with any thing red, be it clothes or fabric.

  12. #12
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    Here's another for what it's worth. My first large quilt (queen size) had red borders. I tested the fabric in just a glass of hot water, letting it sit for a while, then put in a piece of all-white paper towel. If the fabric bled (which this one did), I used a dye fixative, which I purchased from Rit Dye. You probably won't find it in any store -- I didn't. Had to order it off their website. They ship it Federal Express Ground. I just ordered three more bottles, and the shipping and product cost about $22. I don't have any ownership or interest in Rit Dye -- it's just a product I use. At any rate, after I used the product, I tested the fabric again. The all-white paper towel stayed all white!

    Just a "for what it's worth".

    Jeanette Frantz

  13. #13
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanamoms View Post
    I actually "set" my reds in salt water. I don't use hot water though, I just use warm or cool (tap) water. I allow to soak for a few hours, then wash normally. I wear a lot of red and use a lot of red fabric and even embroider with red or dark thread so this is all I do with any thing red, be it clothes or fabric.
    You've been lucky. Salt does absolutely nothing to set dyes. It is the washing that rids your reds of loose dyes, not the salt.

    The very best information on the issue of bleeding fabrics I have ever seen is found here.
    http://askville.amazon.com/stop-towe...uestId=9274753
    It covers Synthrapol, Retayne, dye magnets (e.g., Color Catchers), salt, vinegar, and plain water. Bookmark it!
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    You've been lucky. Salt does absolutely nothing to set dyes. It is the washing that rids your reds of loose dyes, not the salt.

    The very best information on the issue of bleeding fabrics I have ever seen is found here.
    http://askville.amazon.com/stop-towe...uestId=9274753
    It covers Synthrapol, Retayne, dye magnets (e.g., Color Catchers), salt, vinegar, and plain water. Bookmark it!
    Interesting- - -

  15. #15
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    you can also put 1/4 cup white vinegar in the water and it will set the color
    Patski
    always learning

  16. #16
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patski View Post
    you can also put 1/4 cup white vinegar in the water and it will set the color
    Vinegar only works on acid dye...and that's only used on silk, wool and nylon. Acid dyes are never used on cotton anymore.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  17. #17
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I gotta member to look for that color catcher stuff.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  18. #18
    Member Mummy Quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    You've been lucky. Salt does absolutely nothing to set dyes. It is the washing that rids your reds of loose dyes, not the salt.

    The very best information on the issue of bleeding fabrics I have ever seen is found here.
    http://askville.amazon.com/stop-towe...uestId=9274753
    It covers Synthrapol, Retayne, dye magnets (e.g., Color Catchers), salt, vinegar, and plain water. Bookmark it!
    Great information, ghostrider! Thank you so much. And good to know that you can't find it in grocery stores.

    I guess I'll be ordering some online!

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