Recently, I showed you my project, which includes letters and stars with a black solid background. Well, while most of my fabric is stored on open shelves, covered with a fabric curtain, my solid black was from an old (unfinished) project, and it was stored in a cardboard box - like a shirt box. Do you see where this post is going? I was working on my letters, and cut some more black fabric from my stash. Black dust and lint was everywhere! Covering my ironing board cover, on the floor, all over me - so I decided to wash the 1/2 yard piece I had cut, and the remaining 2 yard piece. Into the washer it went - - - - - - and this is what came out! The fabric completely fell apart, into shreds - I've never seen anything like it! Not to mention the completely black water that came out of the washer. All I could do was laugh! Next step - decide if any of my completed blocks can be salvaged, get some new black fabric, and start over. Just thought I'd share my experience with all of you - beware storing fabric in cardboard boxes - and thanks to all for the daily inspiration!
Goodness gracious! I've never seen anything like that.
EEK! time for new black!
Whoa! That's crazy! I like your letters, I just learned how to make some at a Bonnie K. Hunter workshop yesterday.
Chris, Gail sent me a note to ask you. DO you know why it fell apart? was it a very thin cotton? how old was it?
Was it due to the acids in the box or the lack of air ?
okay...i have the archive boxes from ikea..and some of fabric is in there...eegatss....should i take it out...its supposedly acid free...
As my grandmother would say, "Good gravy, Mabel". I've never seen anything like it before. Be thankful that you figured this out before you had completed the whole alphabet.
What if you hadn't washed it first, but used it. And then washed your quilt. Wonder what would have happened.
I remember some time ago on a blog someone posted about a similar thing happening to their black fabric. If I remember correctly it had something to do with the dyes and the amount of lye or some other chemical in the dyes and how it ages.
Is it really the cardboard that does this?! Eek!
V - the fabric was about 12 years old (from an unfinished project), good quality cotton, not thin, either Amish or Kona. I believe it was from the acid in the box, as it was not an airtight box. Hope this helps!
eek! do you mind if i take off my sewing hat and put on my day job hat? i'm a heritage professional, and amongst other things i teach how to conserve things...
the unstable dye and the sheer large amount of dye in the black fabric is partly to blame. Next time try prewashing very dark fabric before storing if possible to remove excess dye early.
But the cardboard box would be mostly to blame i feel. cheep cardboard is full of acid which leaks out and into everything near it. many 'archive' boxes are just sold for 'archiving' things so are full of acid. if the box is labeled 'acid free' you should be fine. humm, this is getting a bit long for a comment, would it be helpful if i wrote a post on this subject? tee hee!
Love the letters! I had to laugh...my husband dropped a piece of vintage dark green cotton sateen into the last wash...with my bras and knickers...you can guess the rest!!
Yikes, I guess this is what fabric looks like when it goes to its final resting place.
Thanks 23rdspiral for the informative post. Really good info to know!
My condolences, Chris.
Thanks, Ellen, for the sympathy. RIP, black fabric! p.s., Caro, your grandma sounds cool!
Wow! That is amazing! A friend washed some black fabric, and it came out green. Very weird. But this disintegration takes the cake!
aaghh. I know there were black fabrics sold in the '80s that would do this. evil stuff. I make sure to poke at my black fabric before I sew it into something - see if my finger goes through it. better to find out BEFORE the whole thing is together.
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