Prewashing Fabric

by Jamie Hammons
(Compton, California)

I have washed several blue print 100% fabrics in Woolite. The water is still a light blue. What can I use to set the color in these quilt pieces so they don't run onto my photo pieces that I am planning to insert in a wedding quilt for my daughter?


Trying using Retayne. It removes dyes that weren't properly set into the fabric. This should take care of the bleeding problem. And, you get a lot of bang for your buck. You can wash up to 24 yards of fabric with a 4-ounce bottle! Many quilters swear by this product.

Just so you know, Retayne won't work on natural plant dyes. For that you'll need to use Synthrapol. It removes excess dyes (natural and man-made) and sizing from your fabric. It works especially well on hand-dyed fabrics.

Just add a teaspoon to a hot water wash and rinse. The hot water loosens the oils and chemicals that cling to the excess dyes. When your rinse water runs clear, you're set to go!

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