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TOPIC: Washing/Not Washing Fabric for Art Quilt

16 Jan 2009 19:14 #31056

  • EditorAnne
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I recently heard a fabric expert (but darned if I can remember who) say vinegar only works to affix dyes in some parts of the world. Something about vinegar being made differently in different places, and something about its being acid versus alkaline. Or something. Gee, I'm really helpful, aren't I?

The message I took away is that vinegar does not work as a fixative in North America. It used to, but either the fabrics or the vinegar is different now, and it doesn't work anymore.

I don't think it matters whether you wash your fabrics or not if you never plan to wash the finished artwork.

Anne in Vancouver, Canada, sure I know something, but not sure exactly what!

in Vancouver, Canada
Last Edit: by EditorAnne.
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16 Jan 2009 06:58 #31038

I was all my fabrics including my own hand dyes. I do art quilts that will not be washed but sometimes other projects that will be washed. I have never had any problems making art quilts with washed fabrics. Maggi
Last Edit: by margaret5368.
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16 Jan 2009 06:05 #31033

Brink thanks for the 'recipe'. Will try it. Its 36 degree's here in N FL, which is 16 degrees higher than they originally forecast for this morning. Sandi in FL
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15 Jan 2009 22:34 #31026

  • cutup
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Great idea, speaking of temperatures it is -32 in Kenosha, Wi
with wind chill -10 air temp. burrrrr...Jean
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15 Jan 2009 08:45 #31007

sanann wrote:
How much vinegar do you add? I've been prewashing mine since I started. My Mom really stressed that. She had a friend who had a major disaster from not prewashing. Is it cold in Norway? Sandi in FL

White vinegar comes in different strenghts, If using 7% vinegar I add 1/4 of a cup. If it is stonger I use the excact meassurement of a "splash" :lol:
Cold..no its just 19,4 F today (-7 Celsius) so its not bad at all :D . Bodoe has all kinds of weather in the same day so I really miss Narvik!! :cry:
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15 Jan 2009 05:57 #31002

How much vinegar do you add? I've been prewashing mine since I started. My Mom really stressed that. She had a friend who had a major disaster from not prewashing. Is it cold in Norway? Sandi in FL
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15 Jan 2009 02:38 #31001

As Ann said, red and black bleeds easily!...but do not forget green too :wink: Red and green are the colors which needs more pigments to get the colors. Black will bleed because it has red/green in it :shock:

If you prewash your fabric or your finished quilttop...use vinegar (for hand-and machine washing), the vinegar will fixate the colors!

I have to admit, I do not prewash my fabric, but after its done.With some vinegar (white) added I have never ruined any quilt :!:
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14 Jan 2009 17:55 #30993

Cleta I would love to see some of your work :lol: :lol: I too am an artist painter, previously doing landscapes, portraits and decorative painting. I am fairly new to quilting, starting as an art quilter but now do some traditional quiltling. I am in the process of rinsing and drying all of my stash fabric. I did not know which fabric had been washed and what hadn't. When I want to start a new project I don't want to stop and wash and dry. I want to jump right in and get started. This way it doesn't matter what I use the fabric for, painting, art quilt, applique or traditional quilts. Yes, fabric needs the sizing washed out of to be painted on. Try Jacquard fabric paints. They are fabulous.
Carolyn
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09 Jan 2009 01:52 #30811

I've always been more concerned with reds bleeding--Ann had some good advice. I hope you'll show us your work when it's completed. :)
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08 Jan 2009 23:50 #30809

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Thanks, everyone. I think my question was a bit confusing because I am not going to paint on the fabric - I will be using a canvas mural (all paint layers dry and cured), and the fabric will be stitched into the mural as more/different color. this is just in the super-preliminary stages so I actually don't have a fully-formed idea at this point...just randomly thinking out loud about what challenges I might encounter.

Ann, I think that is what I am looking for - what fabrics would bleed easily if I needed to dampen any part of the project? And I don't anticipate using glue...but who knows where this will take me? It does make sense to wash the darker fabrics or any hand-dyed.

I appreciate all the thoughtful advice.
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washing fabric for artquilts 08 Jan 2009 12:31 #30791

I do not normally wash my fabric (because I hate ironing it afterwards) but if I am using hand dyes or hand done batiks, I do wash my fabric. Sometimes more than once depending on the intensity of the color. I use color grabbers and wash until the one I put in comes out white or an extrememly pale shade of the color of the cloth. This summer I did some discharge bleaching on some fabric and for those fabrics even if they were commercial, I washed them first. Sometimes sizing in the fabric can affect the flow of the bleach. And the other exception to my no wash rule is deep red/burgandy or black fabrics. They cause the most problems. Ann
Last Edit: by snowplow3840.
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08 Jan 2009 09:37 #30783

Plus I seem to remember from years ago that the paint will stick better without the sizing in the fabric.
Last Edit: by Franceslovesfabric.
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08 Jan 2009 06:08 #30774

Sandy, I was thinking the same things, also with any glue that you might use.

Maggie in E Central Illinois
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08 Jan 2009 05:23 #30773

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On the other hand if you are painting with water colors on a fabric that does happen to run wouldn't the water needed for the paint cause the dyes to run? I would think it would be best to test the fabric regardless of what method you do so you wouldn't get any surprises.
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