Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Tuesday's Top Tip - Test Strips

There is always the fear that the dye will run and that all your hard work will be ruined.  Even when fabric has been washed, a dodgy dye can still catch you out.

Once I had bought my collection of colours from Oakshott Fabrics I cut a tiny strip from the edge of each piece and then sewed the strips to a piece of white cotton.  Then I washed and dried the test strips, ironing them while damp, to see if any of the colours ran.

I made one test strip before I had washed all the fabric pieces, and a second test strip after washing the fabric.  So on one test strip the tiny strips of colour were being washed for the first time, and on the other they were being washed for the second time.  The third test strip is of a few additional colours from Oakshott fabrics and a strip of the selvedge of the backing material I used for the Diamond Jubilee wall hanging.

Only one of the colours, one of the dark reds, ran ever so slightly.  But I wasn't worried by this, because I had subjected the test strips to some serious abuse - pouring boiling water over them, standing them in the hot water for an hour or so, giving one of the test strips a blast in the microwave to heat the water back up again, leaving the strip lying soggy on a plate for hours.  I worked really hard to get that red to run.

So all told, provided the finished quilt is never left in a leaking attic, I am confident that the colours will hold fast.

The strips are also jolly handy for colour matching when you go shopping for threads and matching fabrics.


  1. Wow - you sure did put it to the test!
    Love Oakshott and pleased to know that it really is that good.

    1. Hello Chantal,

      It just so happens that I have just rinsed a dark red fat eighth in a jug of hot water and ironed it dry. Not a trace of dye on the ironing board.




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