Saturday, April 2, 2011

I need help.

I have a bit of a problem. I'm hoping someone out there can help me.

With their entire stock 20% off recently, I knew I had to order this lovely charcoal gray silk piece from Fabric Mart.

When it arrived home, it was love at first sight. The stripes are horizontal and because they're made with contrast stitches, they add a very dimensional feeling to the fabric. I just think it's super cool.

I usually launder my silks before working with them but this piece had a fairly delicate feel to it, almost like I could break it if I tried. So instead of laundering it in my new machine (whole 'nother post on learning how to love a new washing machine coming up), I decided to treat it like I would a nice piece of interfacing, and just soak it in hot water and then hang it to dry.

Well, this is what happened when I did that. Holy cow. The "white" stitching isn't white, thank goodness, because the gray ran as though I had added RIT dye to the tub. I added salt to try to lock the color, but I don't think it did anything. Eventually I ran a cold rinse, and even that didn't run clear. It's still dripping dark gray water on my drying line.

So what would you do? Forge ahead and make the blouse I'm planning, but be sure to dry clean this piece every time? Or wash it in the machine and hope the color stops running? Is there a better way to lock the color without damaging the silk?

I imagine the hot water did the pre-shrinking trick, now I just need to figure out what to do about the color. I don't want to have a charcoal gray torso after wearing this thing!


  1. Try vinegar. You can put a capfull of vinegar into the sink when you soak. It's always worked better than salt for me, and would be worth a try before you give up on it! Good luck!

  2. I, too, love vinegar. I dye a lot of clothing and fabric and always use 1/2 cup in the post-dye wash to prevent bleeding in the future. But it sounds like you need to go back one step. Maybe try a Shout Color Catcher?
    I've never used one but I know sewists who prewash several fabrics together usually through one in just in case. I think it works the same in a tub soak. Worth a try.

  3. Yep...I concur, vinegar should do the trick. Though I must say that I have a few black pieces and one dark grey piece that I hand wash and the water always looks filthy. Even after many washes. The piece stays color true however. And all three garments that do this are supposed to be dry cleaned (I do not dry clean anything but jackets and evening gowns).

  4. I just put some of this fabric in my Wish List. I might skip it now. It's pretty but I need much lower maintenance ;-)