Thursday, March 31, 2011

Front Load Washers & Homespuns or Hand Dyes - NOT GOOD!

Blue Kindle 3 Cover

(Gorgeous new fabric line of hand dyes in aqua, teal and Mediterranean blue.  Also comes in magenta, red and purple. Couldn't resist making Kindle covers out of these.)
 I had a nightmare for a time surrounding my new front load washer.  I have never had a problem with fabrics bleeding as I am meticulous about washing fabrics before I work with them - particularly homespuns. 

However I learned a valuable lesson this past week that I'd like to pass along.

While all the fabrics I was working with were pre-washed, I had a blue nightmare when I washed the tops for the two baby quilts I have been working on.  Because front loaders are particularly "water" efficient - they use very little water.  And although all fabrics had been prewashed - the blue dye in the homespuns still bled out (as expected) - HOWEVER.... due to the lack of water volume in my front loader, decided to redeposit into the white fabric centering the nine patch blocks I used, as well as the white border. ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? 

Peace Sign Market Tote
 I have made these same quilts at least 3 or 4 times with absolutely no problem (using my old top load tub washer).  I was shocked and horrified. All of those hours upon hours of piecing and quilting.  Sheesh.  NOT a good week.   But with lessons learned and a fresh outlook unearthed - it's time to forge on. At first I had sworn never to make another homespun quilt again - but I just can't do that as the liquidity of those fabrics make for the most delicious quilts.  One bad (scratch that.... HORRIBLE) experience can not destroy the love I have for homespuns.  We just have to re-evaluate our relationship - and reassert that I am the BOSS and I will not be defeated. End of story.

NOTE TO SELF: Hand wash quilts made with homespuns in a tub FULL of cold water (at least twice) prior to washing in the machine - in SYNTHRAPOL.

UPDATE:  Thank you to all of those who commented with suggestions and sympathy!  Since posting this piece, I have ordered THREE containers of Synthrapol!


shannon said...

i use a soap made for dyers called Synthapol. it is available from Dharhma Trading. it neutralizes the chemical bond a dye particle has so it won't stain another fabric.

i swear by it. i don't prewash fabrics....i wash the quilt with the syntahpol when i'm done.

also, i had a vintage quilt that a customer brought me and it had a deep purple that had bleed on the white and i washed it with some synthapol and it came out!

i also use Shout Color catchers..they work too.

sorry- i know how horrible you feel- trying to offer some suggestions to help turn the situation around...

tongfengdemao said...

Tip for front loaders... Sometimes a second rinse is worth trying. Actually, I always use the second rinse to get all the detergent out. There are also some kind of washer sheets that attract color so it doesn't redeposit on what you're washing. If you haven't put the quilt in the dryer, they might help clean it up.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

That means you won't be 'blue' for long then Cathie!

Have just spent some enjoyable moments scrolling down through the side bar pics and smiling at the captions. Lesley x

Lynn said...

Oy Vey, but look what you've taught the rest of the world. Thanks for the info.

Carol said...

Drats! But Shout color catchers DO work. I swear by them.

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

Try the Synthrapol in hot water and some Color-Catcher sheets before re-making the quilts. Maybe it will take out the bleed.

Michele Pacey said...

Ohhh sorry to hear about your homespun-quilt-bleeding issues. that would have been so frustrating! good for you for not letting it get the best of you and for figuring out how to prevent it in future.

I've never heard of synthrapol... thanks for the info.


Did it work? I hope you got rid of the blues. Happy weekend, lots of love xo

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