color from varigated DMC embroidery floss is crocking onto the background fabric
Retayne sets dyes that run when wet.
Synthrapol is an excellent detergent for washing out dye, but other detergents can be used, as well.
Message: I bought varigated DMC embroidery floss to use on white or cream cotton. As I embroidered I noticed the white fabric becoming pink and my hand became quite pink as well. If I rub the floss between two pieces of white cotton, the red rubs off. Should I use Synthrapol? Should I use Retayne? Do you have any suggestions? Thanks in advance. Myrna
I hope that you have not made very much progress on your embroidery! I think it would be best to pick out what you've done, if you can bear to, then make sure the color of the floss is set before you begin again. Otherwise, you will not be able to keep your background fabric white.
DMC variegated embroidery floss is claimed by the manufacturer to be 100% colorfast and fade resistant, but, obviously, the stuff you bought was not. The best approach would be to return the floss you have in exchange for a non-defective batch.
Before you begin on a big project, test your floss for colorfastness. Rubbing it between two pieces of fabric is an important first test. Another good test for dyes, if you will be washing your finished piece, is to dampen the floss with water, place it between two white cloths (preferably the same material as you will be using), and iron it dry. If any color transfers, you will need to wash out the excess dye, and possibly also set the remaining dye after washing.
Synthrapol is a good detergent, but another detergent will do as well. What's important is to use hot water (use rubber gloves to protect your hands). Hot water is far more efficient at washing out excess dye than cold water is. You do not need to use a large amount of Synthrapol or other detergent; a small amount will do. Soaking in hot water, and then washing, is more efficient still. As you already know, neither salt nor vinegar will help to set the dye on your cotton floss.
After your floss is dry, test it for colorfastness again. If it still does not pass the test, you can use Retayne to set the dye. Add Retayne to a bucket of hot water and soak the floss in it, as the label directs. Retayne will not set loose dye that is crocking off when dry, only dye that runs when wet, so it is essential to wash out as much excess dye as you can before trying Retayne.
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Posted: Saturday - March 07, 2009 at 09:15 AM