Sunday, November 17, 2013

Prewashing woes

So I've been stashing some red solids lately and wanted to prewash them. I don't normally prewash, but reds scare me just a little bit.

I got some Michael Miller cherry, paprika, cranberry, and Kona ruby. I found a little strip of what looked like Kona Crimson in my stash and went ahead and threw that in as well.

Reds

I washed them with my last color catcher (the first time I've ever actually seen any color on one, so it's a good thing I still had one), and threw them in the dryer. Pulling them out was a delightful experience - look at how vibrant those reds are!

Reds

I just shifted them around for awhile, reveling in the color and gleefully imagining what I might make with them. Throw in some Essex linen? Yes please!!


WHAT. WHAT IS THAT.

Reds

Gahhhhhhhhh..............

The Kona Crimson. Or the Kona Crimson look-alike. Frankly, I bought this solid at a store that isn't a straight-up quilt shop, so their solids section is a bit of a mixed bag. Lots of Kona? Yes. Lots of other things? Yes.....so who knows what that was. Could have been Kona Crimson. Could have been something else.

Sigh.

So I went to my LQS and bought a chunk of (for sure) Kona Crimson, as well as some Retayne to pretreat the fabric and hopefully lock the dye in there. We'll see how it goes....

21 comments :

  1. Yikes, this makes me glad I prewash! If you hadn't found this out beforehand it could've run all over a quilt.

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  2. so good you prewashed, thought the colour catcher was meant to catch any runs so that it does not effect other fabrics so wonder what went wrong. Must admit I quite like the new fabric though!

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  3. Oh dear! What a shame! At least it wasn't a quilt though...that really would have been a disaster!

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  4. Eek, good job you pre-washed it. A good cautionary tale. I have taken note!

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  5. That's such a bummer. I use reds a lot and never pre-wash..but I usually toss 2 or 3 Color Catchers in with most of my quilts. You just never know. I read somewhere that a 1/2 cup of salt in your wash cycle will prevent bleeding too...and it does. I add it with and without the color catchers and it seems to be working. One more thing...you may be able to get some of that crimson bleed out of that other red by using vinegar. Vinegar is amazing.

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  6. Yikes! I am a dedicated pre-washer, and now, I know why... You just never know...

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  7. Yep, that's why I'm a strict pre-washer of fabric. As soon as I buy it I wash it and then I know all my stash is pre-washed. I never use less than 2 colour catchers though and for reds I would use 3. You could try re-washing it with 3 colour catchers and see if the colour run comes back out, no loss if it doesn't work!

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  8. Oh no! I'm so glad it wasn't a quilt! I don't usually prewash, but I just washed a batch of Kona Garnet with three Color Catchers and the Color Catchers came out almost as dark as the fabric! I'm so glad I had the uneasy "maybe I should wash this" feeling before I started the quilt!

    On another note, the reds are so gorgeous and I love the shot with the Essex Linen on top. Very striking!

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  9. Oh no! Good thing you did decide to prewash... On the upside you now have a two toned red fabric truly unique to you. I look forward to what you make I love the essex linen with the reds - great choice!

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  10. Oh No! I just started the Prism quilt and used my reds from a jelly roll. I haven't sewn the blocks together yet. I've done about 22 blocks. I will definitely prewash my Kona red yardage now. But, now if I prewash my blocks... I guess that they will shrink and this may affect my seams being sewn together. And, if I don't prewash the whole quilt could be ruined. Guess I will have to just prewash and hope for the best. Thank you so much for this post. You may have just saved my quilt. Any advice??

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    1. When you hand wash your blocks, squeeze excess water from them then block them to the size you want - I would use my big board ironing board covered with some scrap batting and pin the blocks onto the board cover. If you do it this way, it the blocks bleed onto the batting scraps it is not a big deal and the blocks should dry to the proper size. I would also use color catchers in the cool water and make sure there are washing instructions on the quilt to use cold/cool water to wash the quilt.

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    2. Deep breaths! Like you said, I would definitely hesitate washing now due to shrinkage issues. Plus, you don't want raveling to occur along those edges! Once they are in a quilt, they'll be more protected by the quilting and the quilt sandwich, so I would definitely avoid washing now (personally). Honestly, my tester used the exact fabrics listed in the pattern (so she used this Kona fabric I'm discussing!) and hers came out beautifully. I do think it is probably an issue of me not having an agitator in my washer - this fabric probably got stuck on the other one and never separated, leaving little room and opportunity for the dye to get washed through and away instead of just sitting there. If you have a washer with an agitator (or a front load washer), I would just wash it once it's all together and quilted/bound. If you don't, or if you're worried, I would hand wash it (again, once quilted and bound) in the bathtub where you can keep your eye on it and easily move it around - as long as the pieces aren't smashed up against eachother, the loose water should just pull the dye away. Use some color catchers and maybe look up some other tricks online - lots of people use salt or vinegar or stuff like that! Then just throw it in the washer on a regular cycle after the handwash, and I think the majority of the dye should be out and fine by then. Personally I would only wash fabric once it's completely sewn up into a quilt or before starting piecing at all - I wouldn't want to risk messing with raveling along those 1/4" seams! Not to mention, handwashing them as blocks is honestly not that different than handwashing it once it's together as a whole quilt (as far as dye issues go). Like I said, my tester threw her finished quilt in the washer with no problems, so try not to stress about it!!!

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    3. Thank you so much for the help. So much to think about here. My washer is front loading with no agitator. So, I think I will wait until it is finished and handwash in the bathtub; along with 3 color catchers. Then place it in the washing machine on the cold cycle with more color catchers. Yes, I can finally breathe. Just need to hope for the best.

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  11. on a positive note, the mottled solid post-washing is really pretty. surely you can still use it for something.

    i don't prewash, but i generally throw in at least 2 (sometimes 3) color catchers with my finished quilts. the problem is that now i have a washer without an agitator and the load doesn't move around as much. i've had some bleeding problems since i got my new washer even with the color catchers. :-(

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    1. Oh I never thought of this! I've been looking at those top loaders minus the agitator for when my front loader conks out. Can you at least lift the lid and rearrange the load during the wash cycle? I wonder.

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  12. I'd try rewashing that piece as others have suggested. But also as others have said, it still looks pretty!

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  13. red has faded on my quilts so it's best to wash

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  14. I always prewash and I've had this happen on occasion, even with color catchers and Retayne. I've had dark blues and greens do this as well as red. I always buy my fabric from good shops, I think it is sometimes just the luck of the draw. It is exactly why I always, always prewash even though its a pain to have to press everything after washing. I would be so sad if a piece like this made it into a quilt that I pieced and quilted and bound before washing.

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    1. Is recently learned my lesson the hard way. After being quilted and the binding sewn on I washed my beautiful yellow and grey quilt only to have the grey bleed all over. I tried everything to reverse the mess only to make it worse. Boohoo!

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  15. I pre-wash almost everything now and even before they go in the machine, I rinse them to see if any are really dye laden. It's saved me a few times.

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