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  • Vicki Welsh

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« A non-Christmasy birthday card | Main | Quilt Glass »

January 03, 2014



Thanks Vicki! Great info.

Leslie McNeil

thanks vicki, for posting such thorough information, products, and results. i will be using dawn, too, and sharing your detailed information, too. thanks for your hard work!

Jeanne Marklin

Glad I have been using Blue Dawn for a few years. Thanks for doing the experiment and posting!


thanks for all the information Vicki - you sure did a lot of work on this.


VIcki--thanks for the wonderful information. I read it through and also your complete soaking process. I have a situation. I hand-dyed fabrics using Dharma dyes and PFD fabric. I made them into a quilt along with commercial "light" batiks. I used red, hand-dyed fabric for the border. When I had it finished and washed it, the red bled like crazy. It stained my light batiks, making them all vaguely pink. Do you think that soaking will help? Or more importantly, will it stain anymore if I try it? I live in Hampton Roads, Virginia and this quilt is due to go up to the Virginia Quilt museum for an exhibition this summer. Do you think I should try soaking it or leave it for now? Thanks!

Sally T

Thanks for the amazing work on this. I now have more confidence about washing the latest QOV where I know one fabric still wants to bleed and one fabric wants to catch (even after prewashing). It would be interesting to find out why some commercial fabrics catch the dye while others don't. Also, I will be adding an interesting variable--normally my well water is very acidic so the water system uses soda ash for the treatment.


Thank you, Vicki!

Cheryl K.

Sally T. brings up a couple of interesting points/questions - why do some fabrics catch the dye while other don't? And what might the effect be of a different water system? We can't control the water when we ship a quilt off as a gift, nor can we dictate what soap is used, so I want to get as much bleed out as possible myself. I soak even the pre-cuts I acquire. Thanks for all your help with my quilt, Vicki - and for documenting your tests. Fabric bleed is something we all seem to run into sooner or later!


Thanks, Vicki. I updated my file on this. I appreciate your diligence. :)


You are such a wealth of wonderful information. Thank you so much for posting your results.


Heaven knows I have dealt with this on at least one quilt! Good info. What is your thought on attempting to mitigate a bleed during blocking? While the soap suspends the dye in the water, would you want to use some soap in the blocking bath (which I would always do on super cold water)? And you are SO right about the blues. I was just soaking some Radiance pieces, so they give up their dyes now and not later. The teal bled like a cut finger-


Thank you so much Vicki. Yesterday I rinsed a red and gold, Xmas star placemat someone had spilt blackcurrant juice on and the red backing ran along the quilted seams and stained the cotton wadding which showed through. It could have been worse as it's not a quilt, but still upsetting. I had rinsed in cold water with a little soap. Tonight I will follow your excellent instructions and soak it properly.
I had washed the material before using it but some time ago, because red is so fugitive. I may make them all bibs for next Xmas!
Thanks again

Virtual Quilter


Thank you ... I have added all the links mentioned to a page on my blog so I can find them, and hopefully others will occasionally find them too.

I will also print out the document to take to retreats, meetings etc, so others can read it whenever the subject comes up ... as it does far too often.

Judy B


Great information!! Thanks so much for sharing it, Vicki. I hand dye fabrics and haven't had any problems with "staining," but now I know where to turn if I do. I'm also going to start using Dawn. I use it for dishes already and really like it so what could be easier. Thank goodness you have the desire, the knowledge and the energy to do this kind of very helpful research.

Jan O

Vicki, Thanks for the great information. Clearly you did a lot of testing to determine the best products, to help the rest of us. Thank you!

Candy Glendening

Wow Vicki, incredible work here! Thanks so much for such detailed info, I'm sure this was really stressful to deal with!

Debbie St. Germain

Great test and help with getting excess dye out. I sort of stumbled on it myself, I always use dish washing detergent, it really does work on a lot of things. I use it on my wools too, but i have ajax, would be fun to try that on some of my red wools and light wool piece and the two types of detergents.



Wow! Thank you for testing and sharing the results! I use both Dawn and Synthrapol (not together), but I'll stick with just Dawn in the future!

Marie Z. Johansen

Yowza ! This is great information. Thanks so much for sharing it all.
I'm surprised that Color Catcher sheets did not affect the quilt at all. I have found that they really catch a LOT of dye.

I am so happy that you were able to save this particularly wonderful piece of art.

Happy 2014!

Gene Black

Great info... I will start using the Dawn for washing my quilts too. How much per load/quilt?


Thanks for the research! I had been soaking in Synthrapol, but it's good to know that I can use the Kirkland Free & Clear that I already use for our regular laundry. I wouldn't have thought of the Dawn, though.


Thank you, Vicki, for sharing all of your testing here. I just started dyeing fabric this fall in preperation for my first hand dyed quilt. I haven't done any cutting or sewing yet so my fabrics will be getting re-washed before I go forward.

Debbie M

Thanks you for sharing your experiments in such detail, Vicki!


I have a slightly different bleeding issue. I made a wall quilt several years ago, quilted with a rainbow cotton variegated thread, wet blocked the quilt and the *thread* bled! Pink and cat-pee yellow all over the white areas. I used white muslin on the back, so you can imagine how that looks! Maybe soaking in Dawn will help; it's probably the only thing I haven't tried yet. Thanks for the information. I think I will be using the rest of my Dharma detergent to scour white fabric.


Dawn Ultra is on the list for this week.
Thank you for your posting and info that you worked out for the rest of us...

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