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Thread: My Greens are fading

  1. #1

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    I wonder if anyone else is having this problem. I began pulling fabric for a new quilt and I found several pieces of green fabric, from several sources, are fading around the edges. I keep them in a closed and I wash them as I use them, but it seems to be on 4 or 5 pieces out of the dozen or so that I have. Is there some other way to store them.
    I also checked a couple of my quilts that have green in them and sure enough, one of them has some fading in the green.

  2. #2
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    my friend lost most of her reds and greens because she kept them in a clear plastic tub but it was still exposed to the sunlight that came into the room (she kept the blinds up all the time).

    the red and green tubs were the only ones hit by direct light all the time.

    she has since moved all fabric into the closets and no longer keeps anything on open shelves.

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry to hear that!!! My room gets light all day and my fabrics are stored in a closet and I keep the door closed at all times...the few clear tubs I have sitting out with fabric in them are on a shelf that has a dark curtain covering the front and sides...

  4. #4
    Junior Member Lainee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info...I just got back from putting my small stash of fabric in the closet and closing the door!!!!

  5. #5
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    What a shame. Fabric is too expensive to have fade this way. I thought manufacturers would have cracked this problem by now. After all, greens used to fade in the 19th century, and they have had a bit of time to get it right since then.

  6. #6
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I think I'll be moving my little stash to behind a curtain or into the deadend hallway! I hadn't given it any thought and I've been keeping the blind open in the room since I have to climb over the bed to close it. :roll:

  7. #7
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Most of mine isn't in clear totes and what is I put in the hall. It never gets any sunlight. It's always dark and spooky.

  8. #8
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I have always worried about fading, so I do not open the blinds in my sewing room. It is a little darker than the rest of the house, but I like it like that any way.

  9. #9
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I guess I had never thought about fading... Thanks for the heads up :oops:
    Sharon

  10. #10
    Senior Member quiltswithdogs's Avatar
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    Good to know, thanks.

  11. #11

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    I thought I had the storage and fading problem fix. Years age when we became "empty nesters", I took everything out of a walk-in closet. Added a lower dowl rod all the way around and begin hanging my fabric on plastic coat hangers. I sorted them by color and have not had a problem until now. I started checking and find only the greens with fading. The closet door is always closed, so I'm at a loss. I'm also afraid of using any of the greens now.

  12. #12

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    I love old things, I've had the same husband for 46 years, but I sure hope that the fabric I have does not go back that far, but I'm like you, I thought that this problem was a thing of the past.

  13. #13
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    the very first quilt I ever made (queen size) for my bed faded on one side where the sun came in the window. Lesson learned!!! All my fabric is in the cupboard with doors closed. And my cutting table gets the afternoon sun so I have a large bath towel draped over that to protect my cutting board and any fabric that is on that. Marge

  14. #14
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    What a great topic! My first thought was that a change in the chemicals that fabric manufacturers are allowed to use was responsible - the older stuff (what ever that was) was deemed unsafe so alternatives had to be found that were safer but probably didn't work as well. My second thought was whether or not the manufacturers use some sort of treatment to prevent fading (after all, it sits on bolts in the shops for months or more) and that maybe by pre-washing we wash that treatment out. Mind you, I have absolutely no firm source for either thought, just things I've heard along the way.

    In my quest to find a firm source, I came across yet another must-have book for my quilting library: From Fiber to Fabric by Harriet Hargrave. Even if the answers I'm looking for aren't in there, it sure seems like a very good reference book to have. Since it was published in 1997, that may be a bit of a hunt :wink:

  15. #15
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    I've also had blues fade alone the fold lines

  16. #16
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    and a couple of fabrics that I purchased had a fade line at the fold - they'd been around in the store for some time, I guess

  17. #17

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    I have had fabric cut and then discovered fade lines so before I take it out of the store, I unfold it and go to the window or door and check it. They are very good about replacing or discounting it to a little of nothing when this happens. The problem is that if it has the fade lines in the folds, it that a sign of things to come?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roben
    What a great topic! My first thought was that a change in the chemicals that fabric manufacturers are allowed to use was responsible - the older stuff (what ever that was) was deemed unsafe so alternatives had to be found that were safer but probably didn't work as well.
    I believe this is true. A while ago (maybe 20 years?), DMC sent out notices that their red floss would no longer be colorfast because they weren't allowed to use the old standard mordants anymore. I think it was an environmental hazard or something??? Anyhow, they have new fixatives for that now, but some embroiderers are still boiling and/or setting it with vinegar or salt water before use.

    I read this newsletter back in 1998:

    In a newsletter generated by a special Keepsake Quilting mail order catalog in Spring 1998, Jinny Beyer, the famous quilt entrepreneur and designer of fabrics, reveals the following:

    The industry standard for light fading of 100% cotton fabric is 20 hours! This means that an 'apparel fabric' (the industry category that 100% cotton falls into) must hold its color up to 20 hours in direct sunlight; after that time, if it fades, the industry is not held responsible.

  19. #19
    Super Member SharonC's Avatar
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    I am so glad I saw this post. I have material in clear containers and I have the blinds OPEN....guess you plans on rearranging this afternoon (have already closed the blinds). I have way too much $ invested in fabric to run the risk of fading/losing some. Thanks for the information--I never thought of it.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    How long is the closet light on? Any type of light -- not just sunlight -- fades fabric. This includes flourescent lighting.

    If the industry standard for fading is 20 hours, it may be that the time the closet is light is on is adding up over time. If, for example, the light is on for 10 minutes a day 6 days a week, the 20 hours would be up in less than half a year.

    Some dyes are more colorfast than others, so there is quite a variation in colorfastness among colors. Some are much better than others. Sounds like greens and blues may be among the least resistant to fading.

  21. #21
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    A store that I visit keeps its lights (flourescents) off when there is no one in the fabric department browsing... the lady there told me that their fabric fades along the folds that are towards the outside.

    I told her she should lower her prices so the fabric doesn't sit there so long! She just laughed at me. :-(

  22. #22
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    I store my folded fabrics in wicker baskets, by color and/or subject. The room has skylights and 2 dormer windows and I have never found any fading. But bleeding reds are still a frustration!
    I wonder if this is indirect (diffuse) lighting. I'm thinking indirect lighting must be less damaging than direct. Not sure how to differentiate between direct and indirect lighting, though.

  23. #23
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    bumping this thread about fading fabric

  24. #24
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I keep all of mine in closed dark chests, no light can get to them.

  25. #25
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    Thanks for bumping, Cathe. I guess it makes sense to expect fabric to fade over time and with use and washing as well. I did think the colors were being made longer lasting. Oh well.

    It's one thing to preserve fabrics we haven't used, but once it's on a bed or even hanging on a wall, I expect it to wear out eventually, like any other object. Still, I would hope a qult would last and look nice for several years.

    So I gather there's no way to lock in colors?

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