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Horrible odor from fabric
stretch denim from JoAnn's
Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/28/13 7:33 AM

A couple days ago I bought a yard of stretch denim from JoAnn's. Serged the ends before washing and did not notice anything odd about it while handling it.

During the wash cycle, I looked at the water, expecting to see the usual blue runoff. Instead, the water was the color of urine. (all laundry loads had been normal laundry loads prior to pre-washing this denim).

Upon taking the fabric out, to put in the dryer, it had a horrible chemical odor that has not improved. Furthermore, my washer smelled of that same odor. I had to run a Machine Clean cycle, and that did not help. I finally ran a 2-hour Sanitize cycle (160F) and my washer finally smells back to normal.

The cause of the odor on this fabric makes my upper respiratory system burn. It smells toxic. I put the fabric on the back porch to keep the odor out of the house and garage. It will go into the trash on pickup day.

Whatever the yellow stuff was, that I saw in the wash water, must have been masking the terrible odor on this stretch denim. I'm really, really glad I only bought one yard, and not three yards.

I'm going back to the store next week, to look at the bolt and see where this fabric was made.
Buyer beware.
-- Edited on 2/28/13 7:34 AM --

gramma b
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gramma b
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Date: 2/28/13 7:58 AM

NO, get your money back and complain to JA headquarters and the Mgr.
Too many finishing chemicals like this can remain to irritate skin even after you think it's all gone. I have washed and then vinegar-washed nice vintage fabrics from when there was less processing, but those just-musty odors come out. Unfortunately overseas suppliers don't have the regulations of the US.

RobbieK
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Date: 2/28/13 8:24 AM

Definitely take it back to the store so they can see and smell the result.

KathySews
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Date: 2/28/13 8:33 AM

With all customer service, approaching them calmly and politely gets the best discussion. Unfortunately the local people have little control. They might be able to give you the contact person of their fabric buyers however.

I would also send a swatch sealed in a plastic bag, this explanation of what happened and a photo or the information from the bolt end directly to the headquarters so they could see it for themselves. And of course, save the info.

Another thought. JA has a Facebook page. After getting the bolt end info, a polite posting there focusing on concern about what chemicals are in the fabric might get a response.

Thanks for warning here and let us know how it goes
-- Edited on 2/28/13 8:38 AM --

tourist
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Date: 2/28/13 10:01 AM

I have bought several pairs of RTW stretch denim jeans that reek of chemicals. It last s a long time and yes, does linger in the washing machine. So far no bad effects, but it does cause some concern.

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HDWen
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Date: 2/28/13 11:49 AM

Doris!! Great advice here - YES do not toss it away, return it and like someone said - local J's folks will give you your money back BUT it will never reach headquarters - A swatch in a plastic bag that will "reek" by the time your letter reaches them (and I love the idea of a photo AND all the bolt info on their facebook )

If we do not HELP them make the changes to their fabric store, this will only get worse :-)

Thank you for posting it here too.

:-Debbie

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I have a great enthusium for sewing, but lack talent to be great.

2013

Nancy K
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Nancy K
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In reply to Doris W. in TN <<
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Date: 2/28/13 11:56 AM

Take it back! You shouldn't have to pay for this.

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JKimes
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Date: 2/28/13 12:00 PM

I had a similar issue with fabric from Hancocks--I dealt with it the opposite way--I contacted corporate first. Turned out to be a good move since the person at the store was resistant until I told her I had an email from the corporate office saying I should get a full refund.

The fabric stank, but I hoped the smell would go away with washing. I made a pair of pants, and the first time I washed them the fabric SHREDDED.
Don't waste your time or health with this fabric.

Juliette

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Juliette near Austin, TX
Bernina 830LE
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dresscode

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Date: 2/28/13 1:45 PM

Definitely take it back....is probably a type of formaldehyde which is used to stiffen fabrics. Joann's is prone to this more times than not.... In old days you could see a haze in air and I used to lose my voice after a half hour in store.

Doris W. in TN
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Date: 2/28/13 5:58 PM

I gave it a sniff since it has been airing outside in the covered porch, and the smell is not so bad. It is their 7 oz Stovepipe stretch denim (I checked the receipt). It's only a yard, and there were three bolts so I don't know which bolt it was cut from.
I know I should return it, but I don't have time. Had I bought three yards, I would make time.

Mostly, I want to warn others to stay away from this fabric.

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