How to Prevent Fabric Bleeding

Toby Lischko
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Duration:   4  mins

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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4 Responses to “How to Prevent Fabric Bleeding”


    Use Retayne before you cut and piece your quilt or garment. Synthrapol is used after the project is complete and washed. It keeps loose dye particles of dye in suspension so they don't stain other areas of the fabric.

  2. Alisa Breese

    <strong>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.

  3. Devika

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

  4. 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?

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