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Testing Fabric for Colorfastness

Category Fabric
Prior to using a new cut of fabric in a project it is a good idea to check for colorfastness. This particularly important with reds. This guide offers a great process for testing and also some thoughts on setting fabric dye.
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March 10, 2011

Remember, before starting a project, newly purchased fabric should be washed and dried prior to use. This will pre-shrink the fabric. You will also want to test for colorfastness at this time (reds in particular).

You can do this by filling a glass or bowl with water and a drop of liquid soap. If the water turns colors it is not a colorfast dye. As an alternative test, you can wet a piece of fabric and press between two pieces of white fabric or a paper towel to determine if the dye transfers.

If it does, you can either not use this fabric in your project or attempt to set the dye. You can soak the fabric in cold water with a handful of salt. Or you can soak it in hot water with white vinegar, but only if the fabric can be washed in hot water. You may want to recheck colorfastness after doing either of these options to make sure it is fully set.

Taking the time to set dye at the beginning will help prevent bleeding in the future that may ruin the entire project.

By lalala... from Port Orchard

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February 27, 20120 found this helpful

How do I stop red material from bleeding onto white material? Do I soak in salt or vinegar?

By Lila M

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