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Fabric color uneven after washing
Is there a way to fix it?
Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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Date: 2/10/13 3:09 PM

I have some navy linen-cotton -- a lot of it -- all of which has been washed and dried several times. I got a piece of it out to use to make some pants, and washed it with another piece of navy fabric. The laundry detergent I used was pretty cheap, so maybe that's why, but after the fabrics were dry, I noticed that the linen-cotton had splotchy patches on it where the color had faded slightly. I don't know how to fix this, or if it's even possible. I'm tempted to buy some color remover and try to get it all one even color, then maybe redye it. (What a pain.) What do you think?

I won't use that detergent on colored fabric again, but I'm puzzled about why one of the fabrics got damaged and one didn't. Weird.

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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 2/10/13 4:59 PM

ThisMy Webpage may work.

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Vintage Joan
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 2/10/13 6:41 PM

It wasn't that one fabric was bleeding onto the other fabric. After washing, there were light blotches -- faded spots -- on one of the fabrics.

Also, I don't have a washer/dryer, so that product wouldn't really help. Thanks anyway, though.


-- Edited on 2/10/13 6:44 PM --

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goodworks1
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Date: 2/10/13 7:08 PM

I think I'd try washing the navy linen/cotton by itself to see if things change. (Before doing anything drastic like color remover or redyeing)

When our water gets highly alkaline (often in the spring or when we treat one of the cisterns with chlorine bleach) I get a lot of weird stuff happening in the laundry.

I'd think, depending on the sizes/dispersion of the lighter spots, it might be better to add fabric ink stamps or stenciling to the fabric to make the differences look intentional.

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Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to goodworks1 <<


Date: 2/10/13 11:16 PM

Quote:
I think I'd try washing the navy linen/cotton by itself to see if things change.

I tried this -- nothing changed.

Quote:
depending on the sizes/dispersion of the lighter spots, it might be better to add fabric ink stamps or stenciling to the fabric to make the differences look intentional.

The splotches are large and very irregular. They're not immediately noticeable until the fabric is in the light, but the fabric looks pretty splotchy in the light. This is for pants, so stamping or stencilling isn't the look I want. Maybe I'll just try some navy blue dye and see what happens.

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

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SandiMacD
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Date: 2/11/13 11:10 AM

I wonder if due to fabric not freely moving in the water combined with detergent saturating certain areas? Black, Navy, deep Purple wovens are the worst for this.
If you used a low H2O machine it just sprinkles water on fabric unevenly.
If dyed threads are used in fabric construction, the colors are more stable, but if fabric is lot dyed after construction may tend to bleed more. The lighter areas may not accept the dye and even out but it is worth a try.
I would agree to go the opposite. Fill a bathtub part way with hot water, add weak bleach or color remover and see if you can even out the stronger colored areas. You may like the results- or at keast find it useable for another item.

I have a regular water level W/D again but when I did try the low H2O model I ended up shrinking my fabrics in the bathtub using hot water and allowing to drip dry before tossing in dryer.
It was a pain, but at least it worked.

Another suggestion is to reduce any detergent to 1/4 of what is normally called for and add it before adding your fabric. It is just needed to release the sizing in fabrics. Many times I soak/preshrink in hot water twice on very low level and no detergent.
-- Edited on 2/11/13 11:14 AM --

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Vintage Joan
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In reply to SandiMacD <<


Date: 2/11/13 4:09 PM

Quote:
I wonder if due to fabric not freely moving in the water combined with detergent saturating certain areas?

That could be. I washed it in the bathtub this time (I wash a lot of things in the bathtub these days ). Previously it had been washed in a washing machine and dried in a dryer, with no weird effects. So it may be because I didn't move the fabric around enough. Dang it.

Quote:
Fill a bathtub part way with hot water, add weak bleach or color remover and see if you can even out the stronger colored areas.

Good idea. I will try that. If I love the color it comes out, I'll use it that way. Otherwise, I'll dye it navy again. Or maybe a slightly different dark blue.

Thanks! So much for that quick pair of pants I was going to sew up on the weekend.

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Image: rosebush in the snow

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to SandiMacD <<
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Date: 2/14/13 11:56 AM

Thanks again for that information and your idea, Sandi. I couldn't find any color remover, so I put a fairly small amount of bleach in a bathtub about a third full of water, rewet the fabric, and agitated it constantly for five or ten minutes. An orangey color began coming out after a few minutes. I rinsed the fabric really well and redried it. It dried to a brownish purple color, which I don't totally love -- however, except for one or two small areas, the color is really even now! I'm going to dye over it to either make it blue again or to make it a proper brown. But the coolest thing is that I now know (thanks to you ) to always agitate dark colors really well when I wash things by hand.


-- Edited on 2/14/13 12:00 PM --

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Image: rosebush in the snow

Doris W. in TN
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In reply to SandiMacD <<


Date: 2/14/13 1:35 PM

Quote: SandiMacD
I wonder if due to fabric not freely moving in the water combined with detergent saturating certain areas?

I am thinking the same thing. Detergent may not have been completely dissolved before adding fabric to water. I once ruined several yards of a beautiful knit because I tossed liquid detergent into the washer after I put the fabric in, and not before. The detergent lifted color permanently, and it had a streaky marbelized look that was awful.

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Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to Doris W. in TN <<


Date: 2/15/13 11:11 AM

Quote:
Detergent may not have been completely dissolved before adding fabric to water.

I don't think so, in this case. I made sure the detergent was well mixed in before I added the fabric to the water. I also soaked the fabric before adding it to the water/detergent mix. But your story is still a good reminder not to add detergent after the clothes are in the water -- thanks. The thing I'd never realized before was how important agitation is during the washing process, especially with dark fabrics.

-- Edited on 2/15/13 11:12 AM --

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Image: rosebush in the snow

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