Friday, March 4, 2011

Color Woes

Sometime last year I posted about my Baby Blanket in Dubonnet (red) that bled out so bad that it was unfit for sale.  So I swore off of the reds.  Well last week, I had a Couch Throw in Smokey Blue do the same thing!  I was heart broken, not only because of the hours spent weaving, but also because my Niece was supposed to take this throw to her boyfriends parents!  At the end of the day (after countless washes) I had to call my Sister-in -law, and tell her that I was unable to deliver what I had promised.  She was great about it, but I was brokenhearted!  I just had to be able to weave with the confidence that what I was laboring over would turn out in a final product that I could market!

I had heard of Synthropol, a detergent that will prevent these bleed outs of the dark color onto the light color, so I began to look for it online.  My Daughter showed me an online shop for tye-dyers that had the product and I was just about to order a gallon at about 22 dollars when I noticed that the shipping from California was almost more than the product!

I then did a google search to find it locally, and ran across an article that talked about an a cheap alternative to Synthropol.  Since I was all for saving money, I clicked to read the rest of the piece.  The author said that if you wash your dyed piece in cold water with no detergent the first time, you won't have any trouble with color transfer in the next wash in which you can use detergent.  (I had wondered if it would make a difference if I used a different detergent, just hadn't thought about no detergent, now that is cheap!)  It wasn't stated whether or not there was a trip thru the dryer between the 2 washes, but I thought that maybe the heat from the dryer would set the color.

I had a Baby Blanket in Old Rose that was ready to wash, but I really was scared to do it after those disasters.  Encouraged by this new information, I took the plunge and put the blanket in there with a color catcher for good measure.

This is what I got, vibrant color and virtually no bleed out!  I put it in the dryer, and then thru another cycle in cold water again but this time with a little orvus paste as detergent, again no bleed out.  The color catcher had just a blush of color to it from both washes.  Needless to say I am thrilled!

When I had such a time with the Smokey Blue throw, I had another one on the loom in progress.  Well, I had stopped weaving immediatly, not sure how to continue.  Now I think I will weave about 5 inches of all my colors, serge them apart and do some washing to see if this really holds true for the reds and the blues.  It will take me some time, but in the long run it will save me alot of time.  I already have a couple of Baby Blankets done, one in Copper and one in Parakeet, so I won't have to do those.

I had rethreaded the border just after the rose throw and before that blue throw to see if I liked it, but I think I like it better the old way, and I think I will make it wider to blend better with the pattern.

Until next time, I am hopeful, and Weaving in Tennessee, Tina


LA said...

I'm glad that worked for you. I was reading about some warp dyeing last night, and the lady said she added vinegar to the rinse to "set" the dye. That might be something else to try. But, those throws are just beautiful.

Linda said...

Whew, what a scare! I am glad to hear this new idea is working. Thanks for sharing!

Carol said...

Years ago they made them change how they dyed the yarn because of certain chemicals so the process isn't as color fast in all colors as they'd like. Helen Gairns had the same problems 20+ years ago when she was weaving handtowels using mainly white but adding accent colors. It was a sudden thing where til one point everything was colorfast and then suddenly not.
Red and blue are the main problems. I wove a ton of curtains for the lodge on Mount LeConte over the years. I ended up skeining the red and blue that I used, washing it til it was clear and then balling it again and weaving with it. That was how I made sure that it didn't run when I washed the curtains after weaving them.

Bonnie said...

Sure glad that works. Thanks for that tip.

Roxie said...

Those blankets are so beautiful! Glad you got a fix for the glitch.

Lynnette said...

I've had the same problem over the years with red linen and cotton. So much trouble in fact that I'll do just about anything to not use the red! I can't wait to give your tip a try and maybe I'll get red back into my weaving.

Theresa said...

Oh what a bummer! Well, here's hoping that the fix truly is. BTW, Dharma Trading also carries Synthropol, don't know about the price. I too have heard that vinegar in the first wash will set the dye