The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

Hello friends!  I am having a dilemma and thought I would pose the problem to all of your wonderful minds.


I have a fantastic piece of hunter green cotton fabric which is about 4 1/2 yards long.  Since this is a fabulous length for making a dress, I'm not going to throw it away, but it is driving me crazy!  I have been trying to prep the fabric by washing, drying, and ironing. I have a hunter green washer, dryer, and iron.  I'm currently washing it for the third time now.


Do any of you have any suggestions for purging the excess color?  Should I be washing it in hot water instead of cold?  Drying on high heat? Beating it with a baseball bat?


Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!




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Hi Meg,

 I havent personally tried it..but I read "somewhere' that if fabric bleeds like that, To fill a basin with water and add a good bit [like a cup] of  regular table salt and  let it sit . It is suppose to  set the dye??? Once it sets.. put in washer and rinse it?? Dont know if it would be worth a try or not?? Judy

I've always been told to put the salt straight into the washing machine with the fabric. But yours sounds pretty full on! Judy's suggestion to let it sit in salt sounds good. I don't know how to get the colour off your washer, dryer and iron though... but I'd be worried they'll turn other things green now!

 If you run a  cyle through the washer with bleach  ,it should take the green out of the washer.I did it with a red dye..Works great..  Now. On the dryer???? I dont know? probably take a rag with a little bleach water and maybe rub it off??? Dont know , just guessing.

  Casey,your idea of adding straight to the washer..that would be soooo much easier..I will try it ..

Hi ladies!  Thank you so much for responding! I let the fabric soak in a basin full of water and salt to set the fabric...and it has stopped running as much as it was.  Maybe I'm getting down to the last little bit of dye?  I am going to try again tomorrow with the hand washing (my boyfriend doesn't want salt poured right into the machine...which I understand but it means more work on my end).  I have never had this happen before!  It's not like it is tie dyed fabric and I threw it in a vat of strange!  Thank you for helping me with this!

Hi Meg,

Definitely don't use hot water - it will make it much worse! Cold water is supposed to help "set" the dye. I'm not sure for actual "techniques" - I just tend to repeatedly hand wash it until the dye stops running... labour intensive but it's all I know!

Thank you Amanda! As soon as I read "no hot water," I ran into the bathroom and dumped the basin out and replaced it with cold water! Whew!  I'm going to do two more rounds of hand washing tomorrow hopefully - I'll let you know how it goes :) thanks for the tips!
Throwing salt in the wash is the only way I know of!  Sounds like it's a pretty full-on dye job though, if you've washed it three times already.  :-(
I have no idea what is wrong with this fabric!  It is obviously store bought (the selvage lists the date as 1994!) and it still has all this color!  I like color but oh gee whiz....I'm doing some more salt treatments tomorrow!  Thanks for the help :)
I checked my "Spotless" book (an Australian institution!) which said to mix four cups of non-iodised salt in a 9 litre bucket of water and leave for five minutes. Wash normally - salt removed excess dye and acts as a setting agent. It also mentions a product called "Colour Run Remover" which is apparently available from the laundry aisle in the supermarket. I also read somewhere though that apparently the salt setting thing only works on certain types of dye...sounding too complicated!
You are my new best friend.  I'm going to try the salt treatment again tomorrow, but if that fails, I am definitely heading to the grocery and checking out the laundry aisle!  Thank you so very much for the tip - it gives me hope!
omg.. I have that book.. never thought to look! I know of a product called dylon.. but I  thought it was for removing dye from a garment that had taken on foreign dye. eg. if you put your white socks in your green washer and they turn green.. then dylon is the stuff. But maybe still worth looking for and reading the packet. (we can get it here in the laundry aisle... assume you'll have it too.)

Hi Meg,


 Just  curious... did you ever get the green dye to quit bleeding?? 


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