vvesperAugust 15, 2012

I am new to quilting and have a question for you all. What has been your experience of color fastness to benzoyl peroxide/acne medication?

My experience of towels and sheets is that the blues and greens tend to be the worst offenders. But even that varies by brand or perhaps shade. I've had some expensive sheets fade out immediately from the very first contact and other cheap ones (in blue, yet!) never fade over years of use. Pinks and yellows tend to do better, but I've had multicolor sheets and comforters fade over time, too. I really don't want this to happen to my handmade quilts!

Any ideas? Do the higher end quilting fabrics tend to be more stable? Is there any kind of pretreatment that will help set the color? Thanks!

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Have no idea about fastness to a particular chemical. But, in fabric dyeing, we treat first with Retayne to set colors so you might try that. You can get it at dye vendors such as Dharma Trading.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:59AM
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Interesting question. I never thought that might be an issue, but since so many of us make quilts for kids, grandkids, etc it certainly could be a problem.

Good advice from toolgranny! (as always!)


    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:36PM
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Thanks - I think I will do some testing with Retayne. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has made lots of quilts for teenagers.

I'll let you all know what my testing turns up!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Well, the update is that I emailed ProChem to ask about Retayne. Bad news. They say, "Retayne is designed to help lock color in to the fabric and improve washfastness, but I'm afraid it will have no effect on protecting a fabric from bleach or any other discharge chemicals."

So I guess I'm just back to whether some brands or colors hang in there better than others. Anyone have experience with this? Anyone made a bunch of teenager quilts and found their quilts NOT to fade in this situation?

I may go ahead and try the Retayne anyway, and I will probably do some spot testing when I'm testing for general dye bleeding. If I find anything else out, I'll report!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 12:50PM
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I have no experience with quilting fabrics and acne medication, but I know that medication is powerful stuff. My stepson ruined a brand new set of pale green towels. He didn't realize it would happen, nor did I. I can't imagine that any 100% cotton fabric, regardless of cost, would stand up to that medication. Better use mottled fabric.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 2:32PM
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Mottled fabric is a good idea! I've been thinking lots of pattern would be a plus, too. Oddly enough, I have found some towels and sheets to be quite colorfast (even cotton!) so I'm going to test some to see which are the worst offenders and plan usage accordingly.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 3:50PM
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I do have some experience with benzoyl peroxide, and Retayne isn't going to do anything to protect the fabric from it.

It is a powerful chemical, and it will bleach out most fabrics. As Loisf suggested, a mottled fabric would be your best bet.

Even more important - WASH HANDS well after application. Keep the quilt away from the face. Use white towels, sheets, and pillowcases, and fold the quilt down.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 3:51PM
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