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Thread: Is it possible I'm allergic to fabric shops?

  1. #1
    Super Member Podunk Princess's Avatar
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    Went on a shop hop with some friends the other day and after a very short time in the first shop I became congested and started coughing. Tell me it's not true.....a quilter with fabric allergies!!!!

  2. #2
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    Yes..lots of us are allergice to fumes on fab and develop breathing issues. I can breathe ok but have to wear doc exam gloves till I wash the fab three times. For me not cureable but manageable.

  3. #3
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    it might not be the fabric but elements in the store. there are some stores that have animals or strong smells or a certain cleaning product that can be problematic for people with allergies.

  4. #4
    Super Member crafty_linda_b's Avatar
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    Rita it might be some chemical they treat the fabrics with. A lot of it has fire retardant chemicals on it now. Just take an allergy pill when you plan to go and then make sure you wash your hands & fabric as soon as you get it home. Allergic to fabric is NOT a good thing for a quilter!! Happy Stitchin' crafty_linda_b

  5. #5
    Senior Member pineneedles4's Avatar
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    I have that exact reaction but only in one particular quilt shop and one yarn shop. I know the owner of the yarn shop sprays Fabreeze all over her shop and that is what I can't tolerate.

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Many quilt shops also have store pets in them. Could be a critter causing you distress too.

  7. #7
    Junior Member scrappycats's Avatar
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    Hubby has that problem with fabric shops, candle shops and bath and body works. It means I get to go inside by myself and he is not there to hear the total bill. LOL

  8. #8
    Super Member Podunk Princess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineneedles4
    I have that exact reaction but only in one particular quilt shop and one yarn shop. I know the owner of the yarn shop sprays Fabreeze all over her shop and that is what I can't tolerate.
    Maybe that was my problem. This particular shop has a section of high dollar hand-dyed wool yarns and I spent a lot of time near that section. I'll have to experiment next time I visit that shop. Thanks for the "clue."

  9. #9
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I would never take a baby or toddler to a fabric store. The fumes of the fabric sizing used may not affect older kids or shoppers but for a baby it could cause life long allergies. Just like not giving eggs to a baby under the age one. Clothing stores are okay, the fumes have long gone in the making of the clothes. Bolts of fabric are wrapped in plastic and not opened until in the store. Some shops with poor ventilation the fumes can be overpowering to many.

  10. #10
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    Some do that to me too. Probably the dyes, etc used in making the fabric.

  11. #11
    Super Member athomenow's Avatar
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    I have a problem with JoAnns at times. Sometimes I just have to leave because I'll get a headache and feel nauseated.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Kristin in ME's Avatar
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    It could be from the chemicals in the fabric. Also, Febreeze, scented items, perfumes, these are all made with petroleum. Not good for anyone to be breathing or absorbing through their skin, and some people display sensitivities more obviously than others. Physical problems, as well as attention, learning, mood issues can all be attributed to these chemicals, as well. We don't use scented or dyed anything at our house, and commercials for all the scented stuff to keep your laundry or home smelling "fresh" just drive me nuts- that stuff is SO bad for you (and the people around you who have to breath it, too!). Don't even get me started on all the petroleum and other chemicals that are FDA approved and added to processed food more often than not.

  13. #13
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The only manufactured scent in my home is in my laundry. I like the smell. And family is not sensitive to it. I don't use candles or scented bath soaps or air freshener. I do love fresh flowers. For clean fresh air in my home I boil vinegar and take the steaming pot around in each room. The vinegar smell goes away in minutes and the air has been disinfected and all odors are gone, even when my dog comes in wet. My grandmother did the vinegar air treatment every evening. She said that kept the germs out of the air that all us kid brought in everyday.

  14. #14
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    well sometimes it could be the dyes they use i get that way if im in there a long time but it doesnt stop me lol keep going

  15. #15
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    Yes, the dyes and finishing on material bother me a lot. After it is washed and dried it is okay.

  16. #16
    Super Member jdiane318's Avatar
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    It is the chemicals and the lint and dust from the fabrics. People seem to forget that fabric is made from thread and thread has lint If there isn't a good exhaust system in place in large warehouse areas, sneezing and coughing starts. My hands and arms will sometimes breakout with a rash. Your sneezing mechanism in is the corner of your eye by your nose and keep washing and rinsing to keep that area clean and that will help.

  17. #17
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    If you have those issues, and are touching fabric, remember not to touch your face, neck or chest at all until you are able to wash your hands. Might want to consider carrying a wet washcloth, etc.

  18. #18
    Super Member kiffie2413's Avatar
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    I often have a flare up after I have been to quilting group, or worked with un-washed fabrics...the sizing/chemicals in the fabrics, and or dust that can collect can cause it...I also sometimes have problems after being under the fluorescent lighting...really can wreak havoc with auto-immune diseases...but, I love my quilting hobby, so I try and take measures to minimize any side-effects.
    Kif

  19. #19
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    I have that problem too - and I have asthma. But my fabric addiction is so much stronger! I just use my inhaler and prepare for the sneeze-a-thon!

  20. #20
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie in NM
    Yes..lots of us are allergice to fumes on fab and develop breathing issues. I can breathe ok but have to wear doc exam gloves till I wash the fab three times. For me not cureable but manageable.
    I have the same issues. Not respiratory but definately skin allergies. It's not only unwashed fabrics that will affect me but lots of things in the environment. I take medication every day and shots 2 times a month to maintain. I have prescription creams that I have to apply to my hands after being around and touching fabrics. I have to wash my hands and apply the creams everytime I go to a fabric store, sometimes while I am still there!!

  21. #21
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    The LQS in a neighboring town tears the fabric instead of cutting. A person I know that worked for them had to quit because the tearing releases particles into the air and it caused her asthma to act up.

  22. #22
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athomenow
    I have a problem with JoAnns at times. Sometimes I just have to leave because I'll get a headache and feel nauseated.
    Me too, but it could be because of the prices! ;)

    (a little levity)

  23. #23
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    With my youngest son, it is definitely something on the fabric because it happens to him even in the clothing aisle at Wal-mart. It's like instant migraine for him. School shopping has to be done in 15 minute intervals--we can stretch it to 30 minutes if he takes an allergy pill and ibuprofen an hour before going in. He uses the most overpowering body spray & air fresheners so I know his problem isn't fragrance--it's the dye or stiffeners in the fabric. He actually likes the laundry powder & air freshener aisle in Wal-mart. Hubby & I have to hold our breath in it--grab what we're after and get out--LOL.

  24. #24
    Senior Member yayaquilts's Avatar
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    It's probably due to the chemicals the fabric manufacturers use to make and set the colors. That's why I pre wash all my fabric first.

  25. #25
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Now you get to be a 'detective' and try all the suggestions.

    Not touching your face is a big one as is washing your hands right away after being in the store.

    See if it is the yarns or not. I can't get near wool.

    Please share the result with the owners/management of the store. It may be something simple like dusting the floor multiple times a day that will help.?.

    Years ago they used to use formaldehyde to preserve thread. I was pregnant with my now 44 year old son at the time I learned this. My hubby was horrified and made sure I didn't put the thread in my mouth when threading a needle [I didn't and still don't.]

    ali

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