Massive red fabric bleed

mary1960August 18, 2013

Oh NO! Help!
My son's blue and white log cabin quilt has deep red squares in the center of each block ( very traditional New England design) the deep red was also used as a binding. Just washed it and when I took it out my heart broke. The red has bleed. Not just in a few spots into the adjacent fabric..oh no this has bleed ALL over! One of the mostly white fabrics is a blue and white toile, in fact it is the BACKING as well as one of the fabrics used in the blocks. ALL the toile fabric has picked up the red and is now pink and blue toile....all of it?! How do I get this out? CAN it be gotten out?
Just can't believe this is happening. Crying. :(

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Hopefully you haven't dried it. Take a deep breath... I would re wash using a BUNCH of shout color catchers. Repeat using fresh color catchers. Hopefully this will pick up all the excess dye. Do not dry until you resolve the problem. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 5:52PM
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Thanks. Have not put it in dryer, hung it up inside so it wouldn't bleed with ' contact'' will re- wash with the color catchers. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 9:11PM
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It might take several washings with the catchers. If it still comes out too pink, you could try a light dye to change the pink to something closer to beige. Don't despair!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:07PM
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Mary1960, Please let us know how this worked for you.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 8:10AM
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I had this problem once and the only thing that fixed it was Rit dye remover, which is really just a bleach. It took all the bleed out but also faded some of the colors. It's a last resort but does work if fading the other colors isn't a problem. I consider my quilt ruined but others don't seem to know.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 11:56PM
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So sorry. Hope the fixes work. There's lots of expertise in this forum.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 1:02PM
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Try washing in cold water with Clorox Stain Fighter & Color Booster aka Color Safe bleach in the blue bottle with orange lid.

But on future quilts I would suggests that you soak for a short period of time in cold water individually all red fabrics. Just submerse it in an inch of cold water and you can tell really quick if it is going to bleed or not, just splash it around for a couple of minutes. The ones that bleed soak in 3 cups white vinegar and 8 cups cold water a yard at at time soak for 24 hours (that will bleed out the excess die) and then rinse in cold water ring out and then wash in washing machine in cold water and detergent and a scrap piece of white on white fabric or just white fabric to make sure it is not still bleeding when washed.

Best to you,

This post was edited by quiltingfox on Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 17:34

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 12:04PM
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I love red but after reading this post and other previous ones of bleeding, I seriously doubt I'll succumb to using red. I wonder why more bleed-resistant red dyes can't be developed?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 3:42PM
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Sorry, I forgot to post this earlier:

'Synthrapol' and 'Retayne' have good reports. I've not used Synthrapol. It's supposed to "float away" excess dye. According to a couple of other quilters, you can use it after sewing the fabric. Retayne is used to prep fabric to prevent dye running. I've used it with navy: the large swatch kept its color without bleeding; and small piece of the same material was still coloring the water after 20 wash/dble rinses! One thing to note is that water temperature is *very* important when using either product: use a thermometer to check and be sure!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:46AM
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I would try Synthrapol too. YOu can buy it at most quilt shops.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 9:02AM
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Had a hugely busy week getting 3 grown (?) children off to college and semester abroad. No chance to deal with the quilt trauma!
Got back to the quilt today. Have just washed it, cold water with oxi-clean powder and about 6 color catcher sheets. When it was done the color catchers were the color of grape juice! No kidding, never seen anything like that. The white and blue toile is much much less pink! Huge sigh of relief. It's back in the wash with another dose of the same.
About that Synthrapol, doesn't that 'fix' the colors so they don't bleed anymore? I used it once years ago when doing a massive tie dye project with above mentioned boys. I remember the instructions were to wash the tie dyed garment/ fabric with the Synthrapol before wearing. I did and I have to say a few of those T shirts are still hanging around, passed down twice and have, over the 8 years, faded some but have never bled into the wash! So, I think once I'm satisfied that I've gotten as much of the pink out as I can I'll wash one last time with Synthrapol. You think that will prevent further bleeding?
Thank you for all the support!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Synthrapol does not fix dyes. It removes all unfixed dyes. Retayne is the product commonly used to fix dyes and prevent fading.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 5:43PM
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Shout color catchers are AMAZING!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 11:55PM
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I had a beautiful red fabric I bought on sale from a well known quilt shop. I washed it so many times with color catchers and treated it twice with Retayne. It never did stop bleeding! I was amazed after all of the washings that it wasn't white lol. I was on a mission to tame that red fabric, but it beat me. I finally used it in a denim rag quilt rather than throw it away.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 11:43AM
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