How to prevent bleeding of red fabric into the white in your quilt?

When piecing quilts with white and other strong colors like red, you need to be careful not to have the strong colors like red bleed into the white during washing.

What are the time tested methods you have used to prevent colors from bleeding into the lighter colors?

(Please vote up the methods you feel work the best.)

asked 11/10/2013
Mary Cheek6
Mary Cheek

6 Answers

I don't prewash all strong colors but I do test for color fast prior to putting in a quilt.  Sew a small square of the fabric to a piece of muslin, soak in hot water.  If the color migrates to muslin, treat the yardage with Synthropol.  I also treat for fading by throwing this test piece in the back window of my car.  It doesn't take long in New Mexico to see how quickly it will fade.  Sometimes, you just need to pick a different fabric.

answered 5/14/2015 Linnea Egbert 2
Linnea Egbert

Wash your red fabric in synthrapol bf you cut and do your piecing.  Then wash finished quilt with color catchers the first few times.

answered 3/6/2015 Shirley Brown 2
Shirley Brown
Retain works very well to help set the colors. I too will sometimes use shout color catchers. Although, I use up to three at a time to make sure it does not bleed. May be over kill, but better safe then sorry.
answered 2/7/2014 TW0515 2
I agree that Shout Color Catcher is the best!  Try it.
answered 1/6/2014 Sandy Lueth 2
Sandy Lueth

Synthrapol.  It takes the excess dye out of the fabric so that you won't experience bleeding into light fabrics later.

answered 11/30/2013 Jill Voyles 2
Jill Voyles
I like to throw a Shout Color Catcher sheet in with a quilt that I fear may bleed like this.  I also wash/rinse with cold water only.  So far, so good (knock on wood!).
answered 11/12/2013 Peggy Benjamin 2
Peggy Benjamin

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