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Thread: O.K. I blew it! Can you help?

  1. #1
    Senior Member antylu's Avatar
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    O.K. I blew it! Can you help?

    Am new quilter and I did pre-wash all my fabrics and used a color catcher; one of my main fabrics (bottom of a block for 12 blocks) showed very little color bleed in the catcher so I thought it was good to go..........that was until having several blocks completed, I needed to wet spray a part to get wrinkle out, well you probably have guessed, it bled onto the sheet covered board I was using. My questions: How does retayne work? Would it be possible to use in a spray bottle to treat the bottom parts of these blocks to prevent further bleed or should I just tell recipient to be sure and use color catcher, there are all sorts of colors on the blocks and a lot of white too. Any other suggestions? Thanks so much for your input.

    Sincerely, Antylu

  2. #2
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    NO, it must be used in the washer! It is like a soap!
    Do read the directions carefully!

    http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/1981-AA.shtml

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    You absolutely should *not* use Retayne at this point. Retayne should be used only on yardage, before it is ever pieced into a quilt. Once a bleeding fabric is in a quilt, washing with Retayne can permanently set bleeds.

    Your best bet is to wait until the quilt is finished, then wash with Synthrapol in hot water in either a top-loading home washing machine or a large front-loading machine at the laundromat. Synthrapol will suspend unset dye particles in the water so they can be rinsed away instead of settling into other fabrics. It requires hot water and lots of it (so the dye is sufficiently dispersed in the water). I would do this before giving the quilt away, and advise the recipient to use color catchers afterwards (or even give it two washings in Synthrapol before giving the quilt away).

  4. #4
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    If you have a top-loading washer, you might try washing with the Synthrapol as others have recommended, but stop the washer before it drains and let it sit overnight. I read an article written by a woman who hand-dyes all her fabrics, and she did extensive testing to find the best way to release the dye particles from fabric, and it turns out she had the most success with simply letting the dyed fabric sit in water for 12 hours. After that, the fabrics were colorfast.

    I think you may run a risk of having your dyes settle in some of the lighter colored fabrics, but hopefully using Synthrapol will minimize or eliminate this risk. Another alternative would be to separate the fabric that is bleeding from the rest of the quilt and make it colorfast, depending on how much ripping out that would be for you.

    Whatever you decide, good luck and let us know what you did and how it turned out.

    For anyone who is curious, here is a link to the article I'm talking about.
    http://vickiwelsh.typepad.com/field_...d-fabrics.html

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    That was a very interesting account by Vicki Welsh that you posted Peckish. Sorry about your bleeder antylu! I don't have anything new to add to the advice already given. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Yes, I should have mentioned the dyer, Vicki Welsh, by name, thank you Tartan.

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    How big of a job would it be to change out the offending fabric in the blocks?

    Most fabrics that have colored the water would eventually quit releasing color - when the rinse water was clear, I was fairly comfortable using the fabric.

    HOWEVER, I've had some fabrics that bled and bled and bled and bled. After over 20 changes of water, the water was still fairly brightly colored.

    Another HOWEVER - not all fabrics pick up stray dye - some seem to be resistant - and some aren't - maybe you could try soaking one of your blocks and see what happens?

    I would not knowingly give a "problem child" to someone else.

  8. #8
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    Many of us have had similar problems in our quilting life. Certain colors seem to be more suseptible(sp) to bleeding so over the years I try not to use them or wash them multiple times before I use them in a quilt. GREAT IDEAS from our QB
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyElisabeth View Post
    Many of us have had similar problems in our quilting life. Certain colors seem to be more suseptible(sp) to bleeding so over the years I try not to use them or wash them multiple times before I use them in a quilt. GREAT IDEAS from our QB
    From my experience - of soaking and washing HUNDREDS of different fabrics -
    I've had some darks - reds, blues, blacks, greens, purples, whatever - not put out any noticeable color in the water.
    I've also had some others - in just about every color - put out some color and eventually the water rinses clear.
    I've also had some stinkers- and the colors varied - I remember an orange, a blue, a purple, a navy, a yellow, a teal -

    I'm not able to tell just by looking how a fabric will behave. I'm getting better at making educated guesses, but I prefer to not take unnecessary chances.

    I have not used Sythropol and/or Retayne. I feel I should not need to do any additional treating of a commercially dyed fabric to make it usable.

    I also think using vinegar and/or salt on a commercially dyed fabric to set the dye is about as useful as clapping my hands to keep the hippos away. (I've clapped my hands - and I haven't seen any stray hippos here in Minnesota - must work!)

    There are those that feel the soaking and washing of fabrics before cutting them is a waste of time, effort, water, detergent, and electricity. I've had enough "surprises" to convince me that it's worth the effort.

  10. #10
    Senior Member antylu's Avatar
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    I want to thank you all for advice and tips; re: ripping out, at this point I don't think it would be a good idea as I have hand appliqued a lot of stuff on top of the blocks already. My guess would be to just keep going and then as suggested use the synthrapol in wash and also use color catchers in the event of bleed. In case I wasn't clear on that part, there is no bleed in the actual quilt block yet, it was just a part of the block that bled onto the iron board but that showed me that it will indeed bleed, I did pre-wash but evidently not enough, lesson well learned, from now on there will be no fabric that has the slightest bleed left ever go into a quilt that I make. I will advise recipient also to use cool water as I would think that would help. Again thanks all.

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    Senior Member mhollifiel's Avatar
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    This thread really points out how valuable the QB is to all of us. Quilters have nearly all the solutions for every catastrophe and the voice of experience to back them up. More importantly, they are willing to share those experiences and solutions sometimes in lengthy directives. Here's a salute to all those who take the time to share and "save" the rest of us.
    Now all that is left is a solution for uncutting fabric!
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    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhollifiel View Post
    Now all that is left is a solution for uncutting fabric!
    I have a solution - go shopping for more fabric! hee hee

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    I have a burgandy and white quilt that unfortunately the maker did not prewash. It really needs cleaning but I'm leary of the dyes running. From my understanding of your comments, I need to use synthropol and hot water. Is this right? Gosh, it makes me nervous.
    LaDonna
    asisterlyconnection.blogspot.com

  14. #14
    Senior Member antylu's Avatar
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    to Quiltbabe: I really do not know, have not bought nor read the instructions on the synthropol yet; my feeling with mine is that I would rather use cool water, but as I said have not read the instr. on the synthrapol. Another thought I had was that maybe washing in cold water and using the color catchers would work too. Wish I was more knowlegable, but am new to all of this and am learning (mostly the hard way) perhaps you could inquire at a/some local quilt shops, taking your quilt with you and they could be of more help. Good luck! Sincerely, Antylu

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    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltbabe View Post
    I have a burgandy and white quilt that unfortunately the maker did not prewash. It really needs cleaning but I'm leary of the dyes running. From my understanding of your comments, I need to use synthropol and hot water. Is this right? Gosh, it makes me nervous.
    Why don't you try testing the Burgandy to see if it bleeds first? If it doesn't, I'd still go with cold water, gentle quilt soap, and only a little time in the dryer. If it does bleed, well. . . . ? Our grandmothers used to vacuum their quilts to get dust and dirt out, spot clean them using Fels Naptha Soap or Polident Powder and a toothbrush, and air them out on sunny days to make them smell nice. It's a suggestion.
    MacThayer

  16. #16
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Antylu, it sounds like your blocks are not yet sewn together into a top? If that's the case, just hand wash the blocks in a sink, add a couple Color Catchers and swoosh it all around for a few minutes. Keep it moving. If there's any color trapped in the catchers after, say, 5 minutes, gently squeeze out the blocks and do it all over again.

    Keep doing that until the Color Catchers stay white. Sometimes it takes three or four washings. You don't need to add soap, so you don't have to rinse them. You don't need Synthrapol (it's the same as Color Catchers anyway, and you can't use it for hand washing). Do not dry them between washings.

    Chances are the offending fabric will stop bleeding after a couple more trips through the hand washing process and it's a whole lot easier to do before they're all sewn into a quilt. When done, spread them flat on towels and let them air dry or use a hair dryer to speed it up (they get wicked wrinkled in the dryer).

    I've been known to take blocks out of a finished top just to wash them three more times to stop a bleeder before sewing them back into the top again. It's well worth the effort and it means you'll never have to worry about the quilt bleeding in the future. Much easier, and cheaper, than having, or gifting, a 'high maintenance' quilt.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  17. #17
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltbabe View Post
    I have a burgandy and white quilt that unfortunately the maker did not prewash. It really needs cleaning but I'm leary of the dyes running. From my understanding of your comments, I need to use synthropol and hot water. Is this right? Gosh, it makes me nervous.
    Yes. Synthrapol requires hot water to work.

    You *really* want to have as much water as possible to keep any free-floating dye particles diluted, so I would opt in this case to take the quilt to a laundromat and use their *largest* front-loading machine. Because it's burgundy and white, I would also run it through the machine twice or even three times in a row with the Synthrapol. Watch the wash water and see how red it is. If it is still obviously colored, as soon as one wash cycle stops I would start another one with new hot water and new Synthrapol.

    Also be careful not to let the quilt sit while damp. That can allow the burgundy to transfer color to the white fabric. If you do more than one wash cycle, start up the new one immediately after the old one stops. If tossing in the dryer, do that immediately also. I'm not sure how else I would dry a quilt like that, as you definitely do not want to fold it while damp in order to transport it home. I would dry it as much as possible at the laundromat, then bring it home and lay it over a railing to finish.

    I don't normally pre-wash my fabrics, but I would definitely have pre-washed a burgundy before making a burgundy and white quilt!!!

    Edit: I do think the suggestion to test the burgundy first is a good one. Just be careful when you do it. Pinch a piece of the burgundy fabric, dip it in water, then rub it against some white fabric to see if any color transfers. If nothing transfers, I'd still do the Synthrapol in hot water in laundromat thing, but only once (and with much lower blood pressure!). The problem with not doing Synthrapol is that if it bleeds just a tiny bit, it can turn all of the white fabric pink, and you cannot know for sure from the test if that might happen. This is because fabrics pick up stray color differently so, even if the test white fabric is okay, the white fabric in the quilt might not react as well.
    Last edited by Prism99; 04-18-2012 at 06:38 PM.

  18. #18
    Super Member chuckbere15's Avatar
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    When pre-washing, I always turn my hot water tank thermometer up to to hottest setting. I have read that dies require boiling hot water to set the dyes to prevent bleeding. And I only do this for certaing colors: blacks, reds, and purples.

    Anyways, when I give a quilt I tell the recipient cold water for washing and dry on low heat. And in the summer to hang outside. And I mention the color catcher thing to prevent mishaps.
    The Quilting Bear

  19. #19
    Senior Member antylu's Avatar
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    Thanks so much chuckbere, that makes sense! Probably most of us beginners are too "fraidy cat" to start out that way; I do so appreciate the response and all the help tips received from my question. Happy quilting all. Antylu

  20. #20
    Member quiltbabe's Avatar
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    MacThayer, thanks for your suggestion. Yes, the burgandy fabric bleeds. Spot cleaning it would take forever! It has been with us on so many military moves over the past 2 decades that it really needs a good cleaning.

    Prism99, thanks so much for your detailed answer. I will be looking for a laundromat with large front loading machines! When I get the courage to actually do it, I will post about it!
    LaDonna
    asisterlyconnection.blogspot.com

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