Custom Fabric Washing Instructions
Use a regular detergent or one of the specialty detergents (Synthrapol or Retayne) described below. You may use ‘Color Catcher’(s) from SHOUT included in wash. Wash on temperature of COLD with a COLD rinse. Dry on HIGH/HOT. *Please do not use fabric softener on custom fabrics*
Do not let the fabric sit or soak very long in any one position — keep it gently moving. The colors can run and set if they are sitting in one position too long - do not leave sitting in your washer once wet for any length of time.
Digital printed fabric needs to NOT be washed in hot water. To preshrink, dry on hot instead.
Reactive dyes have a greater chance to bleed if washed on hot.
Synthrapol is used to pull excess dye from fabric. It can help to try and pull surface smudging if there is any.
MORE DETAILED DESCRIPTION: "Synthrapol is a special detergent used in pre-scouring fibers before dyeing, and in washing out fiber reactive dyes after dyeing. It is also sometimes used as a surfactant or wetting agent to improve dye penetration. A detergent contains long, thin molecules which each have one end that "likes" oily substances, and another end that "likes" water. Detergent molecules will completely surround a tiny particle of something too oily to be washed away by water alone, leaving just their water-loving 'tails' sticking out, to be easily swept away by the water. Water is the strongest of all solvents, but it requires detergents to wash away oily substances."
Retayne is used to set dyes. Can help prolong fabric from having that common faded look that occurs on most fabric/clothing after several washes.
MORE DETAILED DESCRIPTION:
Retayne and similar dye fixatives are cationic, which means that they have a positive charge. They are said to "swell" dye molecules in the fabric so that they stick better. Their positive charge allows them to cling to negatively charged dyes, such as the direct dyes and acid dyes found in all-purpose dye, and even fiber reactive dyes, though there is no need for them on the latter if the dye has been applied and washed out correctly. They cannot stick to basic dyes, which have a positive charge, and thus will have no benefit for washfastness of that class of dye.
When do you need Retayne? Retayne is ideal for treating fabric before using it for quilting. It's also handy for commercial garments whose dye has not been fixed properly. Direct and all-purpose dyes on cotton and other cellulose fibers, such as linen or rayon, always require a cationic dye fixative for satisfactory washfastness. The use of these dye fixatives is now common in the textile industry, which is one reason why properly dyed clothing is less likely to run in the wash now than it was years ago.
To test whether your fabric is safe for use in quilting, dampen it and then, using a hot iron, press it dry between clean white cotton fabric. If any dye transfers to the white material, either wash the fabric again in hot water, repeatedly if necessary, in order to remove the excess dye (or, more effiicently, wash or soak in water that is close to boiling hot), or use Retayne or a similar product to attempt to seal the loose dye into the fabric. Repeat the ironing test before using the fabric in a quilt.
Where to buy synthrapol and retayne?
Where to buy color catchers?
Walmart, Dollar General, K-Mart, Amazon, supermarkets
This is a mere suggestion on how to wash your custom fabric to retain the color and vibrancy. I am not responsible for your wash routine; what detergent you wash with, if you decide to wash the fabric with other items, if you decide to mix white fabric with red, black, etc. It’s your fabric and you can wash it how you wish but this is my suggestion.