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Thread: Seeing is Believing - Pre-washing

  1. #1
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    Seeing is Believing - Pre-washing

    There have been many posts about the pre-washing fabrics with opinions both for and against. Some say pre-wash everything, others say don't bother, and still others say that you only have to worry about colors bleeding in less expensive fabrics and in batiks.

    Today I tested 2 LQS pieces of predominately black fabrics from Moda before using them. You can see the result in the picture. After seeing the sink full of black water, I immediately used Retayne with good results. After the 20 minute treatment, I rinsed the fabric, and the water ran clear.

    This is my "show and tell" for the day.

    Dayle
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  2. #2
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Thanks for the photos. For those who believe it can't/won't happen.

  3. #3
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Wow, that is very interesting. Thank you.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  4. #4
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I wash mine with color catcher and if any fading time for Retayne before using.

  5. #5
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    That is what my pure white dishpan looked like when I hand washed over 200 pieces of batiks recently. I put some lukewarm water in the pan with a drop or two of liquid soap and about 50% of the pieces bled - I rinsed in cool water until it was clear. I had to throw away two pieces that would never stop bleeding - one was green and the other was dark blue. Not worth the trouble of using Retayne, etc.
    Nikki in MO

  6. #6
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    OMG, for the first split second that I saw the picture I thought there were FROGS in that sink, LOL!!!

    Jan in VA
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    Looks like a wringer washer with a load of denim in it.

    Some things are going to bleed no matter how many times you wash them or what you set them with. For me, it is dark flannels. I have a love affair with flannel and red in particular. That stuff always bleeds no matter who the manufacturer is and how you treat it.

  8. #8
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    interesting about the comment by MaryLane about the flannels- i've been an avid user of flannels for 40 years---and have never had one bleed---and you say all of yours do---i wonder what the difference is? mine shrink-but i've never had a color run using flannels- and as long as i buy lqs fabrics the only ones i ever really have a problem with are darks/ like red's & blacks- or handdyes/batiks- i've never had others bleed- i have though had some fade a bit with time.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I'm having a problem with burgandy flannel .I bought nice quality sheets rom Kohls.. and wanted to use them as backing for quilts.. I washed them about a dozen times, and then used Retayne.. and now I want to retest them..
    Barri

  10. #10
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    I've never heard of Retayne. Where do you find it? Do you use it for all fabric or just the ones that "run?"
    Fay

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  11. #11
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    OMG, for the first split second that I saw the picture I thought there were FROGS in that sink, LOL!!!

    Jan in VA
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  12. #12
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faykilgore View Post
    I've never heard of Retayne. Where do you find it? Do you use it for all fabric or just the ones that "run?"
    Fay,

    Retayne is a product that "sets" dye rather than "catching" it. The only place I have seen it sold other than on-line is LQS, and then sometimes I have to ask to have it ordered. Others on the board may be able to tell us some other sources.

    I use it on all reds -- I just do a whole washer load at one time. Other colors I test first and then Retayne if needed.

    Dayle

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    Thanks for the photos. I prewash fabric that I use in baby quilts so there are no chemicals, etc but don't prewash for my quilts. You've convinced me to just do it for all my fabrics.

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    A picture is worth a thousand words!!! Thanks for the visual - I'm going to prewash from now on!

  15. #15
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    Question.........has anyone had the colors ever run using cold instead of lukewarm water when washing?
    Blessed are they that can laugh at themselves, For they shall never cease to be amused.

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  16. #16
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lfw045 View Post
    Question.........has anyone had the colors ever run using cold instead of lukewarm water when washing?
    Yes, I have. Reds and blacks mostly, and a few darker blues...batiks particularly. I honestly believe it's the wet, not the temp. I test by just wetting with a Q-tip to see if the dye transfers before I go to the expense of treating with Retayne. If it doesn't, I just prewash as usual.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  17. #17
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    Yes, I have. Reds and blacks mostly, and a few darker blues...batiks particularly. I honestly believe it's the wet, not the temp. I test by just wetting with a Q-tip to see if the dye transfers before I go to the expense of treating with Retayne. If it doesn't, I just prewash as usual.
    Thanks, ghostrider. The reason I asked is that I generally do not prewash unless it is for a swap that I am a part of. I usually just complete the quilt and wash it in cold water with a couple of color catchers and have never had a problem. I like your Q-tip method. Thanks again.
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  18. #18
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I prewash all my fabric in at least warm water. Why? Because I want all the bleeding, shrinking, and possible fading to happen before I invest a huge amount of time cutting it and making it into a quilt. And really, I suspect any quilt that leaves my door will be going into a washer with warm or hot water in its future. I have no control of how the owner will care for it. So, I try to make sure it's toughened up a bit and won't self destruct once it leaves my house:>

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    Has anyone every used one of the color catchers they sell in the laundry isle? Not sure of the name brand

  20. #20
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    Oh wow; I think I should buy stock in Retayne!
    Joyce

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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    interesting about the comment by MaryLane about the flannels- i've been an avid user of flannels for 40 years---and have never had one bleed---and you say all of yours do---i wonder what the difference is? mine shrink-but i've never had a color run using flannels- and as long as i buy lqs fabrics the only ones i ever really have a problem with are darks/ like red's & blacks- or handdyes/batiks- i've never had others bleed- i have though had some fade a bit with time.
    I have had a problem with all Joann fabrics any darker than pastels, especially the solid flannels.

  22. #22
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    I use the Bounce color catchers and always wash in cold water and send instructions to the new owner to never wash in hot or warm water. What they do with it after they get it and the instructions is out of my hands....lol.
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  23. #23
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    I was talking about red flannels in particular. Mine are quilt shop quality but they run badly. I wash flannels and batiks. I have washed others in the past but never had any color in the water. I now use color catchers when I wash the finished quilt. I will say, though, that I don't use navy, black, purple or burgundy.

  24. #24
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryLane View Post
    Looks like a wringer washer with a load of denim in it.

    Some things are going to bleed no matter how many times you wash them or what you set them with. For me, it is dark flannels. I have a love affair with flannel and red in particular. That stuff always bleeds no matter who the manufacturer is and how you treat it.
    I'm a committed pre-washer.

    Your post reminded me of the time I was 16 and wore a brand new pair of jeans to a 20 mile charity walk. Back then you couldn't get them prewashed. Turns out it rained all day but we walked the full 20 miles. My legs were blue for a week.

  25. #25
    Senior Member cowpie2's Avatar
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    This would be one of the two reasons why I generally pre-wash everything. Color bleed tends to be less of an issue with lighter colors and when you wash in cool water. I've done a measured test on the shrink factor of Kona cotton and was surprised at the amount of shrinkage. I love the crinkled look, but that can be achieved just by using cotton batting.

    All of my quilts go to individuals who will be machine washing and machine drying. I always warn against hot or overly warm water, but I've seen enough colored water come out of my machine to encourage me to always prewash and except for the Kona cotton, I by all my fabric at the LQS.

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