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August 18th, 2009 at 00:36 am

Fibers Smudged Bleeding or Murky?

One question asked fairly often has to do with fulling, felting and other things that result in color smudges, runs and as mentioned today at Crochet Partners – Murky colors – Last weekish, it was a Quilt Thread bleeding conversation in QuiltArt group

Really the question has two “sections” how to prevent this from happening, and what to do when it does
Next, now is as good a time as any to give another Tuesday Tip aka/ Stock Answer for often asked questions

If you are having this problem consistently or hope to prevent it in the future – there are several things you can try. The easiest precaution and sometimes the antidote is use something like Carbona Dye Grabber in the first (has soap) run thru the felting process – well to be honest, it is the only one I have found which works consistently well – Its box is picture to your right.
Carbona Dye Grabber
Carbona Dye Grabber

This might be a good time to disspell the age old solution, Lemon juice probably will NOT work – yes, it gets recommended all the time for everything from clothing to beads and sometimes seems to help… So let me repeat LEMON JUICE is NOT really a solution ot the Color Run problems. Although some will continue to claim it words for them. And, yes, some will believe it works for them so as a libertarian – they are equally entitled to their opinion.

Lemon Juice no longer usually works for Fabric/Yarn/Fibers is that the the “traditional” lemon juice/citric acid originated BEFORE Polyester and the EPA did not exist back in the day when this method was first (possibly centuries ago) stumbled upon. Today’s dye formulations are often not responsive to the “lemon juice” method of dye stabilization.

Almost any fiber will, at the first washing or two, “leak” a bit of color – that is not all that abnormal for a small amount of “color blending” and in fact that is often one of the “charms” of felting, the merging/melding of colors.

It really becomes a problem in felting when the yarn used has not been properly finished and so has far too much excess/loose dye. And, there are colors (Blacks – Red – Jewel Tones – and others) that are more likely to be a problem. Ask any Counted thread person about Running Reds …

Happily there are some products out there that can/do help and are easily available.

As a person whose close predominates with Red, Pinks, Black, Denim and other Darker colors, I use these all the time. It also helps to “train” children and others to use them ALL THE TIME. As any wife, mother, gi or college student doing their laundry for the first time… Failur to sort is just asking for trouble – however if the situation requires, well, Dye Grabber can save a heap of unhappiness.

Carbona Color Run Remover
Carbona Color Run Remover

For your already completed projects or are guy who did not intend to have pink jockey’s but did need to get that great Red Sweatshirt clean, it may be worth giving Carbona’s Color Run Remover a try. It has especially worked well for me if I had not yet machine dried the fabric (felt, cotton, wools, whatever – a QuiltART List acquaintance recently saved a wonderful project where some Red thread had “run” (even before washing) It also seems to work well on pretty much any plant based fiber.

Hope this helps keep your colors less murky, whether felting or laundering


NOTE: I do not sell these products (but I probably should and will have to look into that for my e-tail store http) Nor, do I receive any benefit other than a free sample package at a trade show (CHA) 5 years ago. Although If they offered me a few coupons, I would not refuse


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