January 22, 2012

ARGGH!  My beautiful looper rug!  The loopers in my rug, when I washed it, bled.  The overall color faded as a result.  Major bummer!  That meant that my loopers are not now washer safe.  They used to be.  When I was getting ready to start selling my hand-dyed loopers, I researched dyes and made several sample dye baths.  The kind of dye I decided to use was the least costly and most convenient to use.  And, none of the loopers or potholders bled!  Now, they do.  Bummer!

So, I set up a little science project in my kitchen window.  I wanted to see which of the colors was bleeding and if the bleeding was caused by my failure to rinse off the unused dye.  I filled 16 glasses with hot soapy water and added 3 loops to each glass, 1 glass per color of looper. Then, I waited to see what would happen.  1 hour later, all 16 glass has colored water.  Dang!  So, I emptied the glasses and manually washed each looper by color with hot soapy water and rinsed them over and over and over until the color stopped.  Then, I set the glasses up again.  1 hour later....more colored water.  Double Dang!

Then, I went online and found the culprit - the dye maker has recently changed their dye formula. (That would have been nice info to have, when it happened!) There is a fix, though.  Thank goodness!  Anything that has been dyed with this product can be washed in a "dye fixer".  After that, as long as the item is washed in cold, and never in hot water, the dye will no longer bleed.   

So, here's my solution.  I'm spending this weekend treating my existing loose loopers and all of the looper-made items.  After my first load, I put my science project back up on my window sill.  YIPPEE! No bleeding!  I'm going to write to my looper customers and let them know that I'm sending them some of the dye fixer and how to use it.

From here forward, I well be dying with a fiber reactive, color-fast, dye. 

For those experiencing something similar to my story, here is where I found the answers I needed.  It's a terrific site.


My rug still on the loom

After it's first wash.


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