A quilter should keep in mind the possibility of bleeding in some quilting
cottons. This is important considering the negative impact such bleeding
can have on the other fabrics
that are in contact with
it and most especially, it can form color patches on a finished quilt.
Bleeding is the transfer of the dye in a cotton fabric
onto other materials that come in contact with it. It is a common occurrence
in cotton fabrics that have vivid color dyes like red and purple. In all
fairness not all fabrics
with vivid color do bleed.
Those cotton fabrics
produced by companies that cater
to the needs of quilters rarely bleed. Yet, to be on the safer side, it
is better to be very sure that these specially made cotton fabrics
do not bleed before making use of them in prewashing. How can
that be done, you may ask? It is done by performing what is referred to
as bleeding test as described below.
Soak the cotton fabric
to be tested for bleeding in
adequate soapy water.
Allow the fabric
to remain soaked in the soapy water
for up to thirty minutes, after which you should check to see if the water
is discolored or not. The fabric can be said to bleed if the water becomes
discolored by the color of the dye on the fabric
You can give the fabric
under testing a second chance
by re-soaking it in soapy water for another thirty minutes stretch.
If this discoloration persists after the said time, then you will need
to forget about using this particular fabric
because it will definitely cause damage to other fabrics.
In case the soapy water in step two above remains uncolored by the dye
on the cotton fabric
, dont think all is well yet. You
will need to check further to see whether the dye on the fabric
is capable of staining other fabrics
with which it comes
in contact with.
Remove the cotton fabric
from the clear soapy water
without rinsing it and place it on a clean white towel.
Allow the cotton fabric
to remain in contact with the
white towel for a while. Then check to see if the dye on the fabric
had been transferred onto the white towel.
If the white towel is stained, then you can be quite sure that the cotton
will stain other materials with which it comes in contact
In case the quilter still insist on using such material then it is better
to make use of a commercial dye fixative, this prevents the dye on the
cotton fabric from staining other materials with which the fabric
comes in contact.