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Topic: How to prevent color bleeding  (Read 758 times)
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angelbum
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« on: August 12, 2008 09:46:20 AM »

So I know I've seen a thread about this before but I can't for the life of me find it again.

I plan to do a bunch of embroidery on a baby quilt which has a gorgeous linen textured, pure white background. I think I'll have a heart attack if the colors from the thread bleed all over when it's washed.  Undecided

Is there a certain brand of thread I should buy or avoid? Should I prewash the excess color out of the thread like I do for the fabric? I refuse to use any color binding chemical rinses for quilts for babies, but there must be something just as effective I can do?!?

Thanks so much in advance for any insight!

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bookwormbethie
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2008 10:19:29 AM »

So far, I've only stitched on white tea towels and I use DMC embroidery floss.  I've never ever had a problem with any of the colors bleeding, I've even used reds and pinks and everything has been fine.  I toss my towels in the washing machine in warm soapy water and then put them right into the dryer.  But in general, DMC is has a great repuation.

...I vaguely remember the thread you are talking about.... I think that person was having some issues with the color "bleeding" a bit around the needle holes......
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angelbum
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2008 10:35:45 AM »

Thanks bookwormbethie, DMC huh? I'll do some searching around. I don't know very much about embroidery floss...

I've also perused the "big thread about stabilizers" and I have to admit I'm at a loss over what to use for my project.

Here's a picture of what I have so far:




And I plan to embroider the eyes, surface details and contours of the creatures, fishing line from the boat etc. Do I use tear away, water soluable? Eeek, I didn't even think about this until a moment ago...
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bookwormbethie
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2008 11:25:18 AM »

I think DMC is a fairly popular brand and should be easy to find.  Some fabric stores sell knock-offs so be careful that you are buying the right brand. 

Hhhm, so it looks like you have 4 separate pieces (boat, octopus, clam?, and starfish) that you are going to applique onto your fabric and then embroider as well?

I really don't know a lot about stabilizers.  In my experience, stablizers are used when teh fabric is hard to stitch on like t-shirt or onesie materials cuz it's all soft and spongy.  If your applique pieces are cotton and the stripey fabric is cotton too, I don't think you'll need any stablizer......  But I'm no expert, so maybe someone else will reply soon and can help you better. 
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angelbum
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2008 12:10:36 PM »

I'll actually have about a dozen or so sea creatures, seaweed, words, etc. appliqued and embroidered.  I suppose that over the base fabric, and appliqued piece the embroidery would be well supported, but over just the white fabric, I'm not so sure...

Thanks for your help!
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2008 08:56:57 PM »

I've had problems with my thread bleeding but only when I embroidered on linen. I would probably use tear away on linen and not water soluble. I used DMC thread too so I know it's not the thread-I've had this happen to me twice on just linen, not any other fabric and I washed it in cold water. Maybe embroider on another fabric and then put the applique on the linen?
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2008 08:53:40 AM »

Thanks for the tip kittykill!

I've just bought some DMC stuff and I'm going to prewash it in hot/warm until a cold water rinse is clear like I do for my fabrics.
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Quilterkittie
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2008 01:40:40 AM »

I, usually, use DMC thread.  I've never known it to run.  But... when I do Brazilian Embroidery, which requires different threads from DMC, I also get some liquid "stabilizers" to boil the threads in.  For the life of me, I can't remember the name of it, but know it comes in a clear plastic bottle that I can get at some of the quilt shops.   It's to help keep the colors from running.
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angelbum
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2008 05:20:10 PM »

Thanks quilter kittie. I have that bottle of dye stopper stuff. I was going to use it but the label has some toxicity warnings on it and I'm just not comfortable using it on materials for a baby blanket.

In the end I ended up buying a pack of DMC varigated thread which I handwashed in hot water. Only one color ended up running, the mustard. Everything else was colorfast.
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2008 06:15:44 AM »

It's not usually the fabric that causes thread to bleed. It's the dye in the thread not holding fast.

DMC is good for non-bleeding threads, but their reds and more brilliant, deep colors have been known to run.

There are lots of "home remedies" to making a thread color-fast. For example, fill a bowl with lukewarm water, and dump about a teaspoon or so of salt in the water, let it dissolve, then soak your thread in for 10 minutes.

You can do the same thing with white vinegar.

Either way will set the color of the thread....

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