Monday, June 11, 2012

Washing red yarns and threads

I love the color red and so many of my thread crochet and even my yarn knitting includes red.  When I was young, (many, many years ago) red thread was color fast.  In the past 15 years I would not say that is true.  Nothing is more discouraging then getting a red and white piece done, washing it and having it bleed all over the white.

Here is another example of the red and white I love to use.
I always hand wash my crochet so that I can pin the shapes and just take the 'rumple' out of a piece I have been working on.

I have finally come up with a recipe for laundering reds that has not gone wrong on me yet.  I start with a bowl of cool filtered water.  I have a filter on my faucet.  Most city water has chlorine in it to kill the germs.  Unfortunately, it can also cause problems with letting reds bleed.  If I didn't have a filter I would set the water out on the counter over-night.  That would take care of the chlorine which will evaporate.

Next I add a small amount of laundry soap.  Now here is the magic ingredient:  white vinegar.  I add about a half cup or cup (depending on how big my bowl is) and stir it into the water.  Vinegar acts as a dye fixing agent.  It will help keep the red from bleeding.  I put the newly finished item into the water and let it soak overnight.  When I get up in the morning, everything is clean and the white is still white and not pink.  I allow it to dry in shape using pins if necessary or it can be ironed with a cloth over it to keep it from scourging.

This recipe has worked for me in the past.  If you know of another way to keep reds from bleeding, please let me know.  Since I love and use it so much I am always interested in other ideas.