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Question about red fabric

Question about red fabric

Old 06-26-2018, 04:13 PM
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I am a Color Catcher fan and wash my completed quilts before I gift them. I want to know what it does in the wash. I also prewash my fabric. I got burned once with a dark blue batik...I learned my lesson. When I gift a quilt, I give a brief page of instruction on the care and feeding of a quilt. I add in some Color Catchers. Sometimes I put a care label I make and sew it into the binding on the back.
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Old 06-26-2018, 05:16 PM
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I'll join in on this one. I am asthmatic, so I prewash EVERY FABRIC that comes into this house. I have also gone through the "bleeding" with fabric, and I have tried every home remedy from Oklahoma to Florida and back again. The problem is that the dyes used in our fabrics are no longer organic, they are chemical dyes. Some of them bleed, but they are no respecter of color -- blues will bleed. I test my fabrics by cutting a 1/2" wide strip about 6 inches long and placing it in a glass of hottest tap water available. If the fabric is going to bleed, that color will show up in the water, or you can lay the wet strip on a solid white paper towel. If the fabric is a bleeder, it will show up on the paper towel. I found a product I use which is a laundry treatment product -- called Ritz Laundry Treatment - Dye Setter. The product was originally intended to set the dyes in hand-dyed fabric. I ordered some online and used it on the "bleeding" fabric -- it stopped the bleeding and/or "set" the dye. After treating it, I re-washed it both with some white fabric and a color catcher. Neither the fabric nor the color catcher showed any of the previous bleeding so I continue to use the product. I make it a policy to test every colored fabric simply because, like Coopah, I don't want to waste time and money making a quilt to have it ruined the first time it's washed by bleeding dyes -- I cannot afford to do that. So I use a product that I know works.
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Old 06-26-2018, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeanette Frantz View Post
I am asthmatic, so I prewash EVERY FABRIC that comes into this house.
Forgive me if I should have started a new thread to ask this question. Why wouldn't you wash fabrics before you work with them? Isn't there chemical residue, with carcinogens such as formaldehyde, from the factory in retail fabrics? I quoted Jeanette because she happens to have a noticeable reaction to the chemicals but some reactions are silent and dangerous.

I have made more garments and draperies than quilts and in order to avoid surprises in fit, I always wash those fabrics that can be laundered. Do people not launder quilts before making them so that the cotton shrinkage makes the quilt pucker? I happen to like the way it looks but, in general, is that considered desirable?
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Old 06-26-2018, 06:48 PM
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What I can never quite figure out is, why do some people have reds bleed and others not?

I use a lot of red. Other than baby quilts, I don't remember a quilt that didn't have at least some red in it.

I don't prewash, nor do I use color catchers. I wash when they are done, in a front loading washer with warm water. I've only had one quilt that had any bleeding that migrated onto other parts of the quilt - and that wasn't actually from the wash, it was from being sprayed by the long armer. (Who returned it to me folded nicely so that spot did not show. Note: Always open the quilt when you pick it up!). Washing a couple of times with Synthrapol removed all but the tiniest of traces; if you don't know where to look, you'd never notice it.

I'm not sure if bleeding has happened in the wash and just didn't settle back onto other fabrics (as is what happens with dirty laundry) as they were washed with regular detergent? In other words, if I had had a dye catcher, perhaps it would have caught any dye that is dispersed in the water as they are treated to do just that?

Anyhow - since the one that came back with a bit of spotting, I have randomly checked reds with a damp white washcloth, but have never had any more that have bled.

My reasons for not washing are three-fold. 1, I like the "crinkly" look - although I wonder if prewashing fabrics for bleeding would still allow this to happen, as it would still allow batting to shrink up. (Aside: for those who was due to allergies/asthma, do you also wash the batting then?) 2, I like the crispness of the unwashed fabric for piecing; if I washed, I would then have to starch everything before cutting and 3, I guess the easiest way to explain it is laziness... I don't want to do the extra laundry and pressing!
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Old 06-27-2018, 03:28 AM
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I'm not a pre-washer except when it comes to red. I love red but have the worst luck with it bleeding. I buy quilt shop quality fabric too- doesn't matter.
I always pre-wash red.
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:24 AM
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Having just started quilting about 2 years ago I never suspected it was something to worry about. My first project was a red and cream log cabin. After completing the flimsy I washed it in cold water. I ended up taking 'logs' out of some blocks and taking out complete blocks that were so stained with bleeding. One of my worst bleeders was one of my most expensive fabrics, all were quilt store quality.
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:49 AM
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Sometimes I pre-wash, sometimes I don't. I always use Color Catchers even when I wash new clothes. The difference in colors bleeding may be the water. I have city water but my parents have well water. I really don't know why some colors bleed and others don't.
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Old 06-27-2018, 12:38 PM
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I was leary of using this red as sashing on my red, white, and blue swap, but I washed two yards and it it fine. Studio 8 by Quilting Treasures.

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Old 06-27-2018, 12:56 PM
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Joann's has free shipping today (6/27) on Rit 8 oz. Liquid Dye-1PK/Dye Fixative.
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Old 06-27-2018, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Battle Axe View Post
I was leary of using this red as sashing on my red, white, and blue swap, but I washed two yards and it it fine. Studio 8 by Quilting Treasures.

About two years ago, I attended a showing of Quilting Treasures fabrics and the factory rep had a slide show of how their brand of fabric is produced. After it's printed and is being rolled onto the bolts, the fabric undergoes a HOT water bath! So their fabrics are already preshrunk and excess dye (if any) washed out of the fabric. I look for QT fabric as I figure I can just do a rinse and spin instead of a complete wash. Good to hear that their red didn't bleed!
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