Friday, March 16, 2012

The Trouble with Red

It's a sad fact that red dye is really hard to wash out. No matter how hard I try, red and fuchsia dyes are persistent. And may back-dye or stain light colored fabric if you get them damp. That's why you'll see this note on my website regarding red dyes:
Although we wash our fabrics by machine multiple times and our threads over 25 times by hand, there may be excess dye that will wash out under certain conditions. Some colors (fuchsia) will back-dye a light colored background fabric. Test the bleed factor of a thread by stitching to a test fabric and washing in hot water.

That's what happened to Debbie's cute little quilt using my hand-dyed thread. After completing the top, she attempted a light stain for the background muslin fabric by getting the fabric wet. Wetting it made the red dye in the thread run and back-dye the surrounding fabric. My apologies to Debbie. How aggravating!
But being a brilliant woman, she was able to fix it! By washing the quilt in a bit of dish soap the red washed away. Then she added her brown stain to antique the piece. Thanks for your patience Debbie. Love that stitchery!


Sequana said...

Here's how smart I am about colorfast fabrics. I usually wonder about it *after* I have made the project and get ready to launder it. :(

So then I do a colorfast test with pieces of each fabric and hope, hope, hope for the best. That's really dumb, isn't it?

YankeeQuilter said...

I am super careful about testing everything before I use it so why is it I am the unofficial guild designee for quilts that behave badly?!

Janelle said...

It seems to take me forever to wash out all the leftover red dye, but these colors are so pretty I would never stop using them.

Anonymous said...

use Shout color catcher sheet in the wash cycle.

WoolenSails said...

I have heard of color catchers and wondered about them. But, wouldn't they grab the other colors too?

I will use the threads on things I won't wash, next time. I still have my dog piece and the colors around the pieces are dark enough, so maybe this color would be nice on the butterflies.


Trulka said...

Try to use vinegar when you wash your fabric or thread last time.

Faith said...

Just as we now "spill" tea on our fabric for effect, one day the back staining will be considered an effect. I actually thought it looked interesting on Debbie's angels... another aged effect.