Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > Main
Preventing dye bleeding >

Preventing dye bleeding

Preventing dye bleeding

Old 11-27-2019, 03:43 PM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 60
Default Preventing dye bleeding

I'm sure there's an answer here on the forum, but I can't find it. (Operator error, definitely!) 😉

How does one prevent colors from bleeding out of heavily-dyed fabrics into neighboring light fabrics in a quilt? I usually pre-wash all my yardage and fat quarters, but what about when you're using precuts? How do you prevent them from bleeding into other fabrics?

Thanks in advance for any tips!
PiedPiper is offline  
Old 11-27-2019, 03:45 PM
  #2  
Super Member
 
patski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,104
Default

color catcher helps or put 1/2 cup white vinegar and it will stop the bleeding
patski is offline  
Old 11-27-2019, 04:00 PM
  #3  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Near Seattle, WA
Posts: 3,862
Default

It depends on how much it is bleeding. I'm typically most suspicious of dark reds and blues, you can dunk a piece in to a coffee cup with a white inside, fill with hot/boiling water, swish around with a fork, and see if the water changes color or not. If it's just a little, nothing to worry about. If it looks like you can dye an egg... well then that's bad and we'll have to take you through it. Other ways to test, you can dampen a corner of the fabric and rub it on a white paper towel as well and see if there is cast off, but that usually results in those little crumbles of paper fiber.

I very rarely buy precuts but I do buy a lot of bags of yardage at the thrift store and so I'm often washing/testing small pieces. If it is fat quarter or above and I feel relatively confident about it, I just put it in with like colored normal laundry. Smaller I put into lingerie bags.

I don't think I could stand to wash a thing of jellyroll strips... but I'm pretty sure we have people here who at least dunk them.
Iceblossom is offline  
Old 11-27-2019, 04:38 PM
  #4  
Power Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 38,165
Default

​Color catchers, cold water wash and keep your fingers crossed.
Tartan is offline  
Old 11-27-2019, 05:18 PM
  #5  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 6
Default

I was told to use Synthrapol. It’s available on Amazon. I’ve bought some but haven’t tried it yet. It’s supposed to be better than color catchers.
Nooker is offline  
Old 11-27-2019, 05:29 PM
  #6  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Near Seattle, WA
Posts: 3,862
Default

Synthrapol, Retayne or the Rit Dye fixative can all be used on fabric, but the easiest way is in the washing machine or by hand dipping so is again easier with yardage than precuts.
Iceblossom is offline  
Old 11-27-2019, 05:37 PM
  #7  
Power Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: MN
Posts: 22,914
Default

One can soak the strips in hot water - some people add a few drops of Dawn dish detergent - let them soak for a couple of hours - rinse - and hand on racks or hangers to dry - or lay them out on towels.

So far - no one has come up with an adequate response for my question/statement:

If a large piece of fabric has characteristics that suggest that washing it would be a good thing - wouldn't a small piece/strip have the same characteristics?
bearisgray is offline  
Old 11-27-2019, 05:56 PM
  #8  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Near Seattle, WA
Posts: 3,862
Default

In general I agree with you, Bearisgray, but it depends on the issue. I'm still a big believer in prewashing for all sorts of reasons but I also recognize practical considerations especially in precuts. In shrinkage for example, I think the problem is magnified by the number of repetitions. So like if our seams are off just one thread it isn't that big a deal, until you double that by one thread each side and 100 repetitions over the length of a quilt it can add up. So yardage and width add up but that 2" square that is stabilized by our seams and the surrounding fabrics might shrink a teeny tiny bit but not enough to cause trouble -- as a 2" square. As a 12" alternate block, there may be more issues.

Likewise, for dye running, most of the time that isn't a huge issue. Yes, I've had the rare really bad experience but that has just happened only once in my career -- of course, I went to great lengths to make sure it didn't happen again!

But I like working with batiks with black as a neutral instead of white partly because of the potential for dye running even though I have tested and prewashed my fabrics.

I have a large stash and so it's sort of easy for me to not buy precuts. It's not so easy for other people to afford the variety they want at the prices we have. Again, I just can't see me ever prewashing jellyroll strips, I'd cross my fingers and hope for the best and see what I get after the top is made.

So I'm not so worried if the combos are of similar colors/values, mostly if there is high contrast between the lights and darks. But something to keep in mind is that if the lighter fabrics are also printed (as opposed to solid white for example), chances are they have been treated with dye resists or other treatments in their manufacturing process. That's why they tell us they worth the higher prices anyway...
Iceblossom is offline  
Old 11-28-2019, 04:31 AM
  #9  
Power Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: MN
Posts: 22,914
Default

Those of us that think every square inch of fabric should be soaked/washed before putting it into a quilt will figure out a way to do it.

Those that don't, will also figure out reasons to skip/omit that step.

As has been said many times - our quilts/items, our processes.

I had bought some cut strips at a yard sale - the brand was Hoffman or Kaufmann - they were 2-1/2 inches "before" and 2-3/8 inches "after" - and this was from my "gentle wash by hand in tepid water is adequate" era. They did not ravel. I was surprised by that amount of shrinkage. Washed and rinsed in a basin and dried on a wooden drying rack. I

Also - my Mom had bought some 5-inch charm squares from ? - some of them stayed about the same size - one of them shrank to 4-1/2 by 4-3/4 inches. Seemed noticeable to me.

As I have also stated numerous times, I have measured "before and after" many pieces of fabric. Shrinkage has varied from almost none to over two inches in width (Michael Miller black) and/or two inches in length (Legacy muslin from Jo-Ann)

So far, I have not been able to tell by looking how the piece will shrink - if at all - or in which direction - before it is "treated".

Just sharing what I have learned.

If I wanted to go for the puckery look (which I don't) - I would go for even shrinkage caused by the batting and quilting.

I agree that it is "a bother" to wash fabric before cutting/using it. Most fabrics, if treated gently, come out looking nice after being washed.

I once bought some chamois type flannel (through e-bay) - beautiful stuff - the shrinkage on a 6 yard piece was less than 1/4 inch per yard. i was amazed!

My overall points are:
fabrics vary in how much they may shrink
The dyes vary - from being very stable, to "excess dye" which is manageable after a few washes, to never stop releasing dye (a bleeder)
Brand name or color is not an accurate predictor of fabric behavior

When I say "hundreds" of measurements - I do mean hundreds.

Last edited by bearisgray; 11-28-2019 at 04:46 AM.
bearisgray is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
bearisgray
Main
4
05-17-2018 02:50 AM
Mrs Finch
Main
34
07-12-2014 07:25 PM
Elliotsgreatgrandma
Main
26
10-07-2010 05:14 AM
bee quilter
Main
3
08-29-2009 08:27 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


FREE Quilting Newsletter


SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.