How to Pre-Treat Fabric to Stop Ink Bleeding

Written by w. p. wentzell
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How to Pre-Treat Fabric to Stop Ink Bleeding
Colourful fabrics bought directly from the manufacturer sometimes bleed dye. ( Images)

Fabrics that bleed dyes can ruin projects that involve combining many types of multicoloured textiles. Fabrics are often left untreated by manufacturers to keep colours vibrant, and even material that has been pretreated may rub off and stain certain surfaces and garments. To fix the dyes and prevent bleeding, submerge the culprit fabric in a bath of water and vinegar or specialised detergent.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Synthrapol
  • Vinegar
  • Plastic bags
  • Washtub

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  1. 1

    Purchase either a large bottle of white vinegar from a supermarket or a small supply of Synthrapol from a fabric store. Synthrapol, an excess dye remover, can also be bought online.

  2. 2

    Separate the bleeding fabrics from low-dye or lighter-coloured fabrics that are colour-fast.

  3. 3

    Fill a washtub with 2 gallons of cool water. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Synthrapol to the water. Alternatively, add a half litre of vinegar to the water. Wash the fabric thoroughly.

  4. 4

    Rinse the fabric with cool water and place it in a new plastic bag. Drain the Synthrapol or vinegar from the washtub. Repeat the wash and rinse process with another measure of Synthrapol or vinegar.

  5. 5

    Hang the fabric on a line in a non-humid area to dry. Alternatively, you can tumble dry on low, if manufacturer instructions permit.

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