Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why you should always pre-wash...

Now, I know that some of you swear that you never pre-wash fabrics. In various quilting forums, I have heard that pre-washing is a "waste of time," "unnecessary," and just plain "silly." I have always questioned this wisdom, and have always pre-washed my fabrics, especially solid colors. I was just too worried that the dye would run later and ruin all my hard work. As you may remember, Mattie's quilt featured some of Patapri's lovely hand-printed fabric. In pulling out my accent colors, I knew that I wanted to use the bright, lively, chartreuse. I embarked on my usual thorough search for a quilting solid in such a color. All local fabric stores were visited, and alas, no chartreuse... really nothing even close. Kona samples were ordered... the greens were a bland disappointment. But then, out of the corner of my eye, in the red-dot clearance section of Jo-Ann's (gasp!), I saw the perfect color. Eye-poppingly bright and vivacious-- CHARTREUSE!!!! I quickly checked the fiber content-- yes!!! 100% Cotton. My one concern was that the fabric was dip-dyed, so I was worried about color consistency. I decided that I would only use strips from the end, which would ensure that all strips were the exact same shade. Now, as I explained above, I ALWAYS pre-wash. Suspicious of the dip-dyed fabric of uknown origin, I prewashed it not just once, but TWICE!!! Apparently, twice was not enough. Although it is hard to see in this picture, the greenish-yellow fabric in Tilda's quilt has bled (twice now), turning the white sashing to more of a yellow. It's not too bad, but it is disappointing none the less to have something that I worked so hard on turn out to be less than perfect. The moral of the story... always pre-wash. Although maybe the true moral is not to trust Jo-Ann's clearance offerings, no matter how perfect the color!

6 comments:

Sarah said...

You're right it's hard to see from here...total bummer though that the color bled! It IS horrid when all your hard work ends up less than perfect...

Dani said...

Quilts are meant to be loved. Once Tilda pukes on it for the first time a small bit of dye bleeding wont matter. It looks beautiful.

Doris said...

I always pre-wash...habit of starting out sewing clothing. Greatest invention ever: Shout Color-Catchers. Miracle workers those things are. Not sure if they would work to remove the bleed now, but for future projects...

There is a way to remove red dye bleeds, if I find it, I'll forward it to you!

Gorgeous quilt, btw!

2ndAvenueStudio-Rachel said...

omg.. .im so sorry to hear that it bled. I have a commercial color setter I use(not sure the name) and I don't use batiks or hand dyes with white ever. my voodoo.
have you tried vinegar in that first wash?
With quality quilt fabrics I never pre wash. -- that's my wild risk taker talkin'! :D

jacquie said...

my vintage windows quilt bled...i just about died. i've been able to get most, not all of it out. now i use those should color catchers. not a problem since.

mrmonkeysuit said...

I am in love with this quilt. Simply stunning. Your color choices are perfection and I love the detail in the quilting. So very beautiful.