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Shop sent me stinking fabric - help!

Shop sent me stinking fabric - help!

Old 06-10-2021, 04:29 AM
  #21  
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As someone with a couple of allergies and many sensitivities, I can tell you that a lot of fabric stinks. Fortunately, most cottons can be cleaned. I'm a fan of prewashing anyway, part of that is to take away the scents and treatments applied to new cloth.

Fabreeze is perfect for this sort of thing, even without washing. I've found that when I have bought bags of scraps that turn out to be severely smoke infested, that just spritzing Fabreeze on both sides and letting it dry will help tremendously. If you wash after the spritz, it will take tobacco smoke out completely.

I still haven't found anything that completely removes moth ball odor. Maybe I'm just super sensitive to the odor, but I don't even try to salvage fabric with moth ball smell. I have a lovely shop near me that specializes in fancy fabrics and trims for saris and such, many of it is imported shipped with moth balls. I have to sniff test anything/everything in the shop before I buy.
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:09 AM
  #22  
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If where you bought it from doesn't do anything for you, I just wouldn't patronize that shop again.
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:35 AM
  #23  
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When I first started quilting in 1980 they used formaldehyde to set the colors in fabric. I could barely stand to be in the quilt shop for any length of time. The only solution is to wash them and then air them. I would put the fat quarters in a sink with Borax and color catchers and let them soak for 15-20 minutes. Rinse them with baking soda and then clear water. That should remove the odor.
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:45 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Iceblossom View Post
As someone with a couple of allergies and many sensitivities, I can tell you that a lot of fabric stinks. Fortunately, most cottons can be cleaned. I'm a fan of prewashing anyway, part of that is to take away the scents and treatments applied to new cloth.

Fabreeze is perfect for this sort of thing, even without washing. I've found that when I have bought bags of scraps that turn out to be severely smoke infested, that just spritzing Fabreeze on both sides and letting it dry will help tremendously. If you wash after the spritz, it will take tobacco smoke out completely.

I still haven't found anything that completely removes moth ball odor. Maybe I'm just super sensitive to the odor, but I don't even try to salvage fabric with moth ball smell. I have a lovely shop near me that specializes in fancy fabrics and trims for saris and such, many of it is imported shipped with moth balls. I have to sniff test anything/everything in the shop before I buy.
I have not been able to remove moth ball smell from fabric, either.

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Old 06-10-2021, 08:42 AM
  #25  
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I would definitely contact PayPal if you do not get satisfaction from the store. Start the process to get your money back. This process takes a bit but worth it in the long run.
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Old 06-10-2021, 12:22 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by sandy l View Post
I have heard, but never had to try it, that the charcoal that is used in fish tanks will clear up nasty smells.
It can, but be careful because it can also leave black dust and smudges on whatever it touches.
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:13 PM
  #27  
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I've heard that sometimes fabric is treated with pesticides (especially fabric that is printed overseas). Maybe this is what you are smelling?

Hope you find a solution to your stinky problem.
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Old 06-10-2021, 06:01 PM
  #28  
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Go to the grocery store and buy a bag of the cheapest clay cat litter you can find. Unfold your fabric and wad it up so there’s plenty of air space in the wad. Put it in a paper bag, then put the bag in a tote bin or box of some kind and cover it with the litter. Leave it for a few days. I have done this with old books and it takes every trace of smell out of them, including smoke.
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:26 AM
  #29  
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Thank you all so much for your helpful replies!

I contacted the shop and they said that I could send back the yardage and they would then send me replacements. However, considering how long it took for the order to arrive, coupled with the fact that we’re moving to a different state in July, I didn’t think that would be a great idea. I might end up with more stress than I need right now.

Luckily, I’ve been having some success with getting that awful smell out. I left both pieces of yardage on a new cutting mat that has a plastic-type smell and covered everything in brown packing paper. The fabric initially picked up some of that plastic smell but after airing it out the next day, seems to have removed the bad odour quite a bit. It hasn’t been eliminated completely but it’s definitely much better than it was before. Like some of you mentioned, I also wondered if it was something from the printing process. I can’t tell for sure. It didn’t smell like chemicals though. It was more like it was stored in the kitchen of a takeout restaurant!?! I’ll repeat the process a couple more times and may try some of the suggestions from the comments. I wrapped the FQ bundle in packing paper and that now smells completely neutral thankfully.

Last edited by sewexcited; 06-14-2021 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:32 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Fabric Galore View Post
When I first started quilting in 1980 they used formaldehyde to set the colors in fabric. I could barely stand to be in the quilt shop for any length of time. The only solution is to wash them and then air them. I would put the fat quarters in a sink with Borax and color catchers and let them soak for 15-20 minutes. Rinse them with baking soda and then clear water. That should remove the odor.
Back around 1970, I bought a set of sheets, orange with bright yellow flowers. (Hey, it was the 1970s!) They stunk to high heaven, even after washing several times. I have them in my miscellaneous fabric cabinet, and they still have a faint odor.
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