How to Prevent Fabric Bleeding

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Duration: 4:23

The debate of pre-washing or not pre-washing your fabric comes down to personal preference. However, when it comes to a fabric you are worried might bleed, you should probably pre-wash it. Toby Lischko explains how to know if a certain fabric color is going to bleed and how to prevent fabric bleeding on an already constructed quilt.

Prevent Fabric Bleeding

Types of Fabric That Tend to Bleed

Toby begins by talking about some of the different types of fabric that tend to bleed more than others, like batiks. She then goes on to talk about the colors and patterns of batik fabrics that can tend to bleed more than others. Toby further explains that it is important to test the fabric ahead of cutting and constructing your quilt so you know beforehand if the fabric will bleed or not.

Testing Your Fabric

Toby shows any easy way to do this with a small piece of fabric and a small bowl of warm to hot water. She shows how to submerge the fabric and then squeeze out the water several times. If the water starts to change color in any way, you will definitely want to pre-wash it before using it in a quilt.

Fabric Wash Products

Toby then talks about products that can be used in the wash with fabrics that you know are going to bleed, like Synthrapol and Color or Dye Catchers. While the main purpose of these products is to prevent fabric bleeding on color to another fabric, it is still a good idea to pre-wash like colors of fabrics together as opposed to throwing everything in all at once.

Learning these tips and what you need to know about quilt fabric in terms of pre-washing or not will help your quilts stay beautiful for a long time. And get more tips on caring for your quilts!

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6 Responses to “How to Prevent Fabric Bleeding”

  1. Ross

    By doing that procedure, the fabric will not run any more? I heard that adding salt or vinegar will also help, what do you think?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Ross. If you pre wash your fabric, using this solution (or another, if you’d prefer) and do it until the fabric no longer discolors the water, then yes, you should be safe from fabric bleeding.

      I have personally never tried salt or vinegar, so I can’t comment on those methods.
      Ashley
      National Quilters Circle

      Reply
  2. Devika

    After confirming washing is not required how do I proceed to dry the fabric

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Devika. If you are doing your testing on small scraps of fabric, as shown, you can simply leave them out to air dry.

      Ashley
      National Quilters Circle

      Reply
  3. Alisa Breese

    Is there anyway to get the bleed out of a quilt once it has been washed and dried? I had some red and brown bleed on to am off white background.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Alisa, Thanks for contacting NQC. The issue of color migration when a quilt is washed has been a topic of much conversation over the years. In some instances quilters have successfully re-washed the quilt after pre-treating the affected areas and had the dye come out, others have not. I personally haven’t had much luck in that regard. Those who did, used a mild dish soap like Dawn to pre-treat the areas and then re-washed the quilt using products like “color catcher” in the machine to absorb the loose dye. I realize it is very disheartening to have this happen after all the work we have done creating a quilt. Know in your heart the quilt is still a lasting, tangible reminder of the care you took to create it. It’s comfort and warmth it can provide is priceless.
      Colleen
      National Quilters Circle

      Reply