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Newbie Mistake, fabric colors running!

Newbie Mistake, fabric colors running!

Old 08-03-2021, 06:18 PM
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Default Newbie Mistake, fabric colors running!

A couple of years ago I bought a christmas quilt kit and put it on the shelf and finally dug it out to celebrate christmas in july. This was my first true quilt kit and not just a collection of fabrics selected for a pattern, most of the pieces were already precut into small rectangles. I decided not to prewash, because I was worried about how much of a mess that many small pieces would make in my washer, even in lingerie bags, and I didn't want to spent months untangling them to discover that I'd lost enough fabric to fraying that I couldn't make the kit. (the kit did not call for prewashing anything, btw)

The issue I am having is that this quilt has a large panel appliqued to the front of the quilt, and the panel has a significant amount of red in it. When I starched it, the red ran. Not very much, and the way i hung the fabric to dry after starching honestly makes it look like a deliberate shadow. My dilemma is this...do I prewash the panel and risk it shrinking at a different rate than the quilt when it is finally washed to remove the little bit of loose dye? Or do I go ahead and press my panel flat and set the dye into the fabric and live with it? Is there a product that can take that color out even after setting?

advice please, and thank you!
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Old 08-03-2021, 07:12 PM
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You can buy 'Colour Catchers' from the laundry aisle, and use one or two in the wash. They will collect any loose dye, in some cases may need more than one wash. Some quilters wait till the quilt is finished to wash, so any shrinkage is the same all over.
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Old 08-03-2021, 09:05 PM
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There is a point where we can do nothing but go forward and see what happens! I would use the color catchers and wash the project after completion and I would not really worry about the shrinkage. Sometimes I find them at the dollar store and feel they are just fine, usually I just grab a bigger box of Carbona "Color Grabber" sheets when I see one and am getting low at home.

Some color cast is to be expected, it's why jeans fade. If you are really worried, take a white coffee cup filled with boiling water and dunk a corner of the red in there, just a couple of inches. If the water does not immediately look like something you can dye eggs in, you are probably ok. If it is maybe a bit pink after 5 minutes, you are definitely good to go in my book. Any where in-between that should mean a prewash.

When I bought the bag of hand dyed (but not set) fabrics I used in the Bonnie Hunter Frolic project I became an even bigger fan of plain blue Dawn (just a few drops) with rinsing and then a heat seat in the microwave. Using a safe glass bowl, submerge the already wet fabric into plain water, cover nicely with plastic wrap, and heat at high for 7-15 minutes (depending on size of bowl). That's all it should take on a commercial fabric. Those hand dyes took a bit more...

I'm a prewasher by nature and habit and have really only had one time where the dye ruined the project and ruin it, it did! Part of the reason I prewash is because I am sensitive to the various treatments of the fabric and don't starch either, that's actually the biggest reason. The dye cast is two, and shrinkage for a modern produced piece of fabric like a panel is well down on the list of concerns. Depending on the feel of the panel, raveling might be...
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Old 08-04-2021, 03:42 AM
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I prewash everything, I suggest you put the panel in the sink with hot water with color catchers and wash it by hand. If it were me I'd do the same with the rest of the pieces in the kit. It sounds like a lot of work but it really isn't. You just need to swish the pieces around and rise them. I usually lay the pieces on old towels that I've placed on my kitchen counter.
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Old 08-04-2021, 04:09 AM
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Thanks for all the responses! I will admit I don't prewash often because I have major plumbing problems at home that limits my water usage and I once ruined a significant amount of yardage with bleach residue in a laundrymat washing machine. I always use plenty of color catchers and if there is a fabric I suspect of bleeding I will spot test, and have always been fine between those two methods.

The quilt itself has already been made, all that is left is to applique the panel down. I think I've decided to just roll with it and see what I get. The amount of bleeding is very minimal, so I'm going to carry on with the panel and just use a lot of color catchers when I wash the finished product.
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Old 08-04-2021, 06:17 AM
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First I would iron it with steam as that can set colors well, mimics washing and drying.
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:07 AM
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How unfortunate that you have plumbing issues at home that limit your water usage, because that was going to be my best ask-me-how-I-know advice. I have fixed many a bleeder by using Vicki Welsh's technique. https://www.colorwaysbyvicki.com/upl...edingquilt.pdf

My experience with color catchers is I wash and wash and wash, and even with color catchers the fabrics bleed and bleed and bleed. I prefer Vicki's one-and-done method.
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:35 AM
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also product called Synthropol removes excess dyes. then there is one product for older quilts that works well, Restore or restoration. used well to get stains out of antique quilts. Good luck. do not put in dryer until all colors you want are removed. that will just set them.
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Old 08-04-2021, 01:41 PM
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I pre wash all my fabrics before adding them to my stash. I reuse color catchers until the fall apart. I put in a new one if I suspect one that will bleed. I also wash finished quilts with color catchers.
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Old 08-05-2021, 10:32 AM
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Color catchers for the bleeding and wash as a single quilt when all is done. It sounds like you could hang it outside this time of the year to dry and not have as much shrinkage (maybe).
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