Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 49

Thread: formaldehyde in fabric?

  1. #1
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    1,740

    formaldehyde in fabric?

    I was at Joann's yesterday and noticed they had a warning sign over the Keepsake calico section. It said to beware, that the fabric had formaldehyde in it. Do all fabrics have that? I mean, LQS fabrics also? How many times do you have to wash it to get it out, or does it never come out? Just thinking about baby quilts. If you don't wash it all out, can it hurt you when you are working on a quilt, or a baby lying on it? And for those of us who do not prewash, is it harming us, handling it so much? I am cringing at the thought!

    Know someone here knows the right answer. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,385
    Yes almost all do ... thats one more reason to prewash.

    http://www.800mainstreet.com/formaldehyde/Fabrics.html

    http://www.dermnetnz.org/dermatitis/...e-allergy.html
    do scroll down the page .. they recommend several washings.
    Last edited by Lori S; 06-06-2012 at 09:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Spokane, Washington
    Posts
    344
    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    Yes almost all do ... thats one more reason to prewash.

    http://www.800mainstreet.com/formaldehyde/Fabrics.html
    Agreed. Prewashing is mandatory for me - especially if it's for a baby or child quilt.
    -Chris-
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Blessed are the children of quilters, for they shall inherit the quilts....

    It does not do well, Harry, to dwell on the dreams....and forget to live. - Albus Dumbledore

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1,513
    Honestly, i don't notice it as much in the stores now as I used to. Years ago, when fabric stores were all in the Malls I couldn't stay in one for more than a few minutes. Now that most (around here) are free-standing buildings the formaldehyde smell doesn't seem as noticable. Better circulation maybe?? I knew it was formaldehyde even back then-recognized the smell from disinfecting stuff at work.

    I wonder if they got a particularly strong shipment in and got complaints?

  5. #5
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    3,588
    Blog Entries
    3
    I'm not a prewasher--chemicals don't bother me--but I always, always, always wash my quilts before they are given to anyone!
    Bernie

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    4,614
    Chemicals don't generally bother me either. I am a pre-washer though, guess it's a holdover from my early garment sewing days. And I also wash everything before it's gifted for a variety of reasons.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Eastern Washington
    Posts
    26,789
    I do pre-wash everything. I can't stand the chemicals. I am curious about the sign, as I haven't been to Joann's in a while.
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    4,983
    Blog Entries
    1
    I'm just going to throw this in here. People are worried about formaldehyde in their fabric (which they should be, that and all chemicals) but still they drink diet sodas. Diet sodas have aspartame in them which has 3 ingredients; one of which is formaldehyde. Go figure. I think the reason there are so many sicknesses is because of all the chemicals in things all around us.

    I'm glad that JoAnns put a sign up to warn people; that is a good thing.
    Judy

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Bosque County, Texas
    Posts
    3,028
    My SIL who is a Hazardous Waste Fire Chief tells me that if someone ever succeeded in getting a totally air tight house so that they could save on their HVAC cost, it would kill them because of the fumes from the chemicals in their carpets, drapes, walls and building materials. The drafts in our houses save our lives. Hard to get excited over our quilting fabrics when we have lethal carpets, etc. around.

  10. #10
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,385
    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg View Post
    I'm just going to throw this in here. People are worried about formaldehyde in their fabric (which they should be, that and all chemicals) but still they drink diet sodas. Diet sodas have aspartame in them which has 3 ingredients; one of which is formaldehyde. Go figure. I think the reason there are so many sicknesses is because of all the chemicals in things all around us.

    I'm glad that JoAnns put a sign up to warn people; that is a good thing.
    Just a note aspartame contains: aspartame's three components are phenylalanine (50 percent), aspartic acid (40 percent), and methanol (10 percent).

  11. #11
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Florida - formerly Montana
    Posts
    3,480
    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    Just a note aspartame contains: aspartame's three components are phenylalanine (50 percent), aspartic acid (40 percent), and methanol (10 percent).
    Just a fyi: when ingested, methanol breaks down into formaldehyde.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  12. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,385
    Quote Originally Posted by QandE2010 View Post
    Just a fyi: when ingested, methanol breaks down into formaldehyde.
    AS does fruit pectin. There have been several studies that refute this hypothisis.
    http://whatdoesthesciencesay.wordpre...-formaldehyde/

    I do not wish to side track this any further.

  13. #13
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    I don't think a quilt is finished until it's washed. I noticed when my DGD was little and would go with me to fabric shops her eyes would tear up and get red. It was the chemicals from the fabrics. She isn't sensitive to it now but I made sure I pre washed all my fabric when she was small and stayed around my sewing room a lot. I would never take a newborn or infant to a fabric shop and if you notice most infants seem to be fussy and crying in a clothing store.
    Got fabric?

  14. #14
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Posts
    1,880
    I read somewhere that any fabric imported (just about all the fabric in our stores) is sprayed with insecticide before being shipped. Our country has laws requiring that most products be sprayed so insects are not imported into the country with goods.
    I don't want to brag but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    701
    Quote Originally Posted by GagaSmith View Post
    I read somewhere that any fabric imported (just about all the fabric in our stores) is sprayed with insecticide before being shipped. Our country has laws requiring that most products be sprayed so insects are not imported into the country with goods.
    I have a dress that I paid a lot of money for from a well known online clothing store. Lo and behold the thing was made in India and when I recieved it, it stank so badly of insecticide I couldn't wear it. Today I washed it for the third time and included baking soda in the wash in the hopes that would get rid of the awful smell. I realize that imported fabrics and clothing need to be sprayed but really!! The dress smells like a whole bucket of insecticide was dumped on it. I rather pay even more and have my clothing made in the USA out of cotton grown in the USA. It would be better made and without the smell.

  16. #16
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4,662
    The formaldehyde is added for wrinkle resistance primarily, not insect control, though that is a side 'benefit' of it, as is the crisp feel that many give as the reason they do not pre-wash. Manufacturers work long and hard to create non-wrinkling fabrics so the odds of washing out the formaldehyde are really pretty slim...especially in clothing. Once it 'cures' and stops smelling, it's still there. More than you want to know about it can be found here.
    http://oecotextiles.wordpress.com/20...-your-fabrics/

    California has been posting warning signs for at least 4 years (probably way before that, but that's when it started showing up on quilting boards).
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  17. #17
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Live Oak, Texas
    Posts
    5,728
    A lot of the smell in fabrics that are shipped from the Far East is a product used to keep mold from forming as it is so humid there. We lived over there a lot when my DH was stationed there and had to hang small bags of it in our closet's. When I got home and walked into fabric shops it was the same smell, sometimes so strong I could not stay long.

  18. #18
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,639
    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    The formaldehyde is added for wrinkle resistance primarily, not insect control, though that is a side 'benefit' of it, as is the crisp feel that many give as the reason they do not pre-wash. Manufacturers work long and hard to create non-wrinkling fabrics so the odds of washing out the formaldehyde are really pretty slim...especially in clothing. Once it 'cures' and stops smelling, it's still there. More than you want to know about it can be found here.
    http://oecotextiles.wordpress.com/20...-your-fabrics/

    California has been posting warning signs for at least 4 years (probably way before that, but that's when it started showing up on quilting boards).
    Just read the article. Scary!!!!

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    356
    I had a friend that ordered the insulating material (cant think of the name) from Nancys Notions. The smell was so bad she had to put it in the garage, washing did not cut it. She called customer service and was told that they used formalehyde to kill the bed bugs that is such a problem over seas. So that is the alternative if companys stopped using that chemical.

  20. #20
    Super Member DebsShelties's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    2,856
    Blog Entries
    1
    I wash my fabric to get the smell out, also I do not want my pets to get sick from licking the fabric. Made my cats catnip bags, they lick them as well as kick with hind feet etc.
    I use warm water, delicate wash, color catchers and if the fabric is super stiff, fabric softener.

  21. #21
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,119
    I've known people to have developed a rash if it is over-done. I always wash new linen and clothes, before use, because of this. My quilts are generally displayed, so I generally don't pre-wash.

  22. #22
    Senior Member calicojoan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    473
    Blog Entries
    1
    I know people who had to quit their beloved quilt shop jobs because of allergies to the formaldehyde. I would definately prewash if its for a baby, or someone with allergies.

  23. #23
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Horse Country, FL
    Posts
    6,181
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by jitkaau View Post
    I've known people to have developed a rash if it is over-done. I always wash new linen and clothes, before use, because of this. My quilts are generally displayed, so I generally don't pre-wash.
    In the last year, my mother and I have had to wash any new clothing, especially blouses made with cotton. If we don't, we end up looking like lobsters! Not where the fabric touches, but where it doesn't!! We have had red, itchy faces and necks and sought medical help. Now I use unscented washing detergent and NO softener!! AND I wash my quilt fabric before using with a color catcher and also after it's completed, before giving away.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    729
    Gee this is scary but according to my friends husband which is an externimatior bed bugs are prominent right now so i just wash all things first clothes fabric for quilts and use my stash mostly

  25. #25
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,587
    I have contact dermaticis (SP). Doc gave me med for my hands and suggest I was fab 10 yes 10 times but I just wash everything twice. I wear exam gloves when I'm sewing the edges together before washing. Guess I'll never have pretty hands cuz I sew so much.

    If you do sew alot, buy hand CREAM not lotion. Cream has more of the good stuff that we need to put the moisture back into our skin.
    If you don't work on it you'll never finish it.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.