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Thread: It's official......I'm allergic to fabric.............NOOOOOOOOO

  1. #76
    Senior Member JackieG's Avatar
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    You can also air it out by setting it outside. The formaldehyde should dissipate after a while. At least that's what I do and one of my daughters has asthma. She doesn't have any problems when she enters my sewing area anymore.

  2. #77
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    SOOOOO sorry to hear about your allergy!!
    Sewing the fabric before washing is way to much work. I just wash and while I am ironing I cut off the threads.
    As far as damp or dry it depends on if I remember to take the fabric out in time.
    If not I use my spray bottle on mist and spray starch then iron.
    Works fine.
    I have a rule. The fabric does not come in the house till it gets washed.
    I drive into the garage put the fabric on top of the washing machine. Then when I get a full load I wash.
    Unless I think they may run. Then they get washed alone with a color catcher.
    Good luck.

  3. #78
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    Well Ladies, I am surprised to hear that there is some formaldhide still in the fabric. Ck to see where it was made, and how long ago. I have managed a retail store that sold fabric and clothing that had so much formaldhide in it that I had to remove some product for the benefit of my employes. It made us all very sick when we got a new shipments in, and they sit in the boxes in the stock room.
    Yeas ago, formaldhide was added to yarns to discourage millebugs, and moths that ate the yarns before it was woven into fabric. Of course we all know now that Formaldhide is what is put into the human body to preserve it after we die, right? It also is the liquid that hairdressers use to sterlize their combs and brushes and anything that comes into contact with the public. We used to put some on a piece of cotton and then put that in a drawer or a container that houses our implements.
    All of this is old news,,,,,,, and new news,,,,,, Wash everything that you buy, that is going to be in contact with the human body. I even do the Dog and Cat items. Sometimes I wish I did not have to because it takes the "New Crisp look and usually the brightness out of the fabric,,,,,,,but the yelps and the iching is not very pretty.
    There many Dies that have chemicals (to make them not fade) in them that not only smeal bad, but are a problem for those of us with very sentive skin and noses. Watch for those too. I have to limit the time I spend inside a fabric store or a large store that has alot of product that is shipped into the country. I cannot breath after aprox. 30 min. So watch for this and then you will KNOW that you will have to wash the fabric before you handle it.
    In Tayloring Classes that I took, we had to wash the fabric and then straighten (pull a welt thread) and then we folded it selvage to selvage and hang long way to dry naturaly. If you do not spin the fabric dry and use the Delicate on the washer you will have much better luck. Good luck ladies......; )

  4. #79
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    Oh so sorry! But knowing that the fabric can be washed and the allergen removed should give you a sigh of relief.

    I agree, have someone else wash the fabrics for you so you don't have to touch them or breathe in the formaldehyde ... maybe invite a few friends over for tea/coffee/lunch/desert and some laundering /ironing of your fabrics. What are friends for? I think it would be fun myself and would come over and help if you were local to me.

    warm quilt hugs, sue in CA

  5. #80
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    As a side note, I forgot to add, I have a dust allergy and going into my sewing studio gives me the sniffles and makes my nose run so I keep a big box of tissues handy. It is most likely a combo of fabric lint and dust. The same thing happens when I vacuum any room of the house.

    warm quilt hugs, sue in CA

  6. #81
    Super Member leiladylei54's Avatar
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    SVS about your fabric allergy. I can relate and sympathize because I also have the same thing. Mine was diagnosed a couple of years ago but it was through some backtracking of things I had done, where the little pimples started (on my lap where fabric sits when you're at the sewing machine) that I realized it was the fabric that caused it. After about 2 months of itching and looking like I had some dreadful, contagious disease which had escaladed to huge welts all over my body; steroids and ointments were the only help for my problem besides staying away from a "particular" fabric. I am very cautious now about what touches my skin, where the product (or fabric) is manufactured (China) and things of that nature. Sorry to say....it is something we have to live with but on the plus side, we can still quilt.

  7. #82
    Super Member Lady Jane's Avatar
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    It isn't really the fabric, it's the chemicals they put in the fabric as you said. I have the same allergy, so I wash my material, and I wear washed cotton gloves. Where there is a will, there is a way, so don't give up!!!

  8. #83
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    Hello Natalieg, sorry to hear of your allergic reaction to fabrics - I hand wash all fabrics up to 4-5 metres long before use and hang them in the shade to drip dry, then iron when quite damp, thus removing all wrinkles.

    My granddaughter is allergic to dust mites and I had severe reaction to antibiotics a couple of years ago so needed to be 'challenge tested'. At same time bought woollen underlay for bed which was made in China so there was concern as to where I might have picked up anything (we had learned about laminate in baby milk powder etc in China then).

  9. #84
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    You can try leaving them partially folded and pouring boiling water over them, said to remove the sizing etc. Willalso let you know if the colour is fast!! LOL. CB

  10. #85

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    Do you drink or eat anything "sugar free?" Aspartame in sugar free products turns to formaldehyde at 86 degrees F and then turns to formic acid, that is the poision in the ant sting. Check it out with your Dr.

  11. #86
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    If you clip all the corners on the diagonal before putting in the washer, the fabrics won't ravel...I did not believe it until I tried it...

  12. #87
    Junior Member Sharoni's Avatar
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    I'm allergic to fabric too...but..I take an allergy pill daily and keep on quilting!!

  13. #88
    Member distar2's Avatar
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    hi there. i know your dilemma. i too am allergic to certain types of fabric but you know what? - i worked in a fabric store for 25 years and am still going! i refuse to let that stop me! :) i've learned i'm most sensitive to metallics, wools, burlap and batiks. washing with soap right after working with those fabrics helps immensely if you can't avoid those you are particularly allergic to. also using those gloves on both hands like you see on fons and porter shows helps. or using vinyl or if you're not allergic to latex, then the latex medical gloves works as well for me. and yes, of course washing the fabrics when i get them home helps. hang in there and keep on sewing!

  14. #89
    Super Member G'ma Kay's Avatar
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    Your husband bribed the doctor to tell you that. Just ignore it.

  15. #90

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    So sorry about your allergy! When I wash fabrics, I just dry them all the way and handpress them as I fold them up. That works pretty well. Then I will just iron before I cut.

  16. #91
    Super Member RugosaB's Avatar
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    Are you ok when you walk into a fabric store? My mom's breathing started to be affected by the smell of formaldyhide in the old Minnesota Fabric store. I don't know why it was just that one store, maybe it was their carpet? Just know that if allergic to something, it's affecting your whole body, maybe not in ways you can perceive it.

  17. #92
    Member stitchinfrenzy's Avatar
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    I have chronic eczema on my hands that is constantly irritated by many different things. The latest outbreak started in Feb. and shows no signs of letting up so I know how you feel. My problems started more than 40 years ago and each outbreak appeared to be caused by something different. After many different specialists and tests, I was told I was allergic to my own body chemistry. With each outbreak, my hands became more sensitive to everything I touched, formaldehyde being one of the worst offenders. Household cleansers, fabric, most hand lotions, pet hair, metals of any kind, latex or vinyl gloves, and incredibly my own sweat will cause it to worsen. Unless I end up with both hands bandaged like mitts, I continue to quilt. Washing fabrics first is a good idea for anyone. You can develop a sensitivity or allergy at any time. I don't buy a lot of yardage, but am addicted to fat quarters. I've found the best way to wash them is place them inside a mesh laundry bag like you would delicate lingerie. I toss several of these bags in the washer at a time. This prevents tangling and fraying. I take them out of the bags before drying. Don't over crowd your dryer. The less you put in, the faster they dry and the fewer wrinkles you'll have. I've dried as many as 4 bags of fabric, one at a time, in one timed dryer cycle. I also use Mary Ellen's Best Press when ironing them. It works great and doesn't attract bugs. I use simple cotton gloves when handling unwashed fabric. I've also found that a hand cream designed for "wet work" can protect your hands from allergens almost as well as rubber gloves. Hope this helps.

  18. #93
    Junior Member joyceinoh's Avatar
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    could you wear gloves? (I personally hate wearing them) I know a gal who works with craft stuff and says she has special gloves that she wears to keep her hands from blistering.

  19. #94
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    do wear gloves when you handle it before it is washed. there are cotton gloves to be had that would protect you. even old dress gloves from the thrift store would help. nitrile gloves are what we wear at the hospital--they are about 12-14 bux for a huge box, and they have saved my hands and my sanity from latex allergies. and if you continue to have problems, use them when you sew. takes a little getting used to, but a correct size really doesn't interfere--and even gives a little better control.

    if you wash it twice, it should get most of the nasty stuff out. formaldehyde sets the color--it is a preservative used in most labs for tissue preservation (formalin is the most common formulation), but every one of us should be aware that it is a carcinogen--it can cause cancer after prolonged exposure. it is added to fabric made in asia, to prevent mildew during shipping. any of us who sew should be aware that it is best to wash our "goodies", and prevent exposure we don't need.

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/f...k/formaldehyde

    http://dermnetnz.org/dermatitis/form...e-allergy.html


    i'm just sayin'.....

  20. #95
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
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    Allergies are a real pain. Just do whatever is recommended by your allergist. A simple allergy can turn into a nightmare, so take special care. And good luck

  21. #96
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    Oh my. This is the first I've heard of this. So sorry for you.

  22. #97
    Dee
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    Super Member Dee's Avatar
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    I wash everything. That certain smell makes my alergies run rampant.

  23. #98
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    Sorry to hear about your allergy. Some time back someone posted this on their way of washing their fabrics, sew the two ends together and wash them that way, only one seam to have to sew. Sure hate that you have to mess up your new arrangement. I've been working on reorganizing my sewing stuff off and on all summer, and it is a job. Take care and good luck. Maybe if you are in a guild, you could take some of your fabs. on a meeting date and some of you quilting buddies would help you get them sewn for washing. Just a thought.

  24. #99
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    I am so sorry. I dry mine all the way, then hand press, and fold. God bless.

  25. #100
    Junior Member Shermy's Avatar
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    WOW, what a bummer to be allergic to fabric. I usually bring my fabric right into the laundry room as soon as I bring it home from the store and wash it on prewash. All I want it to do is to get the sizing out of it, so the aggitation of the machine does that for me. I don't use soap or anything else. Then I dry it in the dryer on a low setting (knit setting) until it is dry and it comes out almost wrinkle free. Then I fold it until I am ready to use it, then I iron it with steam and then starch if needed. I never overload the dryer or else you will get wrinkles...

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