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How do I wash my Quilts?

Often we find that the most appealing textiles are the most delicate. Rarely do we concern ourselves with fiber care when choosing vintage fabrics in urban flea markets, digging through stashes in the attic or purchasing limited edition textiles from remote and exotic locations. Fortunately for crafters, here at Soak, we explore washing methods and fiber care in general so that you can focus on your love of craft, sewing and print. We get countless phone calls with questions about finished projects gone awry when fiber care wasn’t considered at the onset of a project (or crafty purchase).Our mission is to empower crafters to confidently work with the best and most luxurious textiles they can find. We also want everyone to wear the best frocks they can find or make. The more confident you are taking care of all your fibers, the more you’ll love them and the longer they’ll last.


Here are some tips and tricks for specialty fibers, as well as the basics of hand washing. Remember, the less we know about the origin of the textile, the more attention needs to be give to how we care for it. Our basic rule is that if the fabric is going to get washed (even by hand) at some point during its life, wash it before you cut, sew or alter it so you’ll know what you are in for. We’ve made hand washing fun, so be creative and enjoy!

Mark Lipinski’s posse voted Soak the top detergent for quilts!


Learn and listen
• Try to learn as much as possible about your fabric. Where is it from? What kinds of dyes were used? Did it come with special instructions? Often rare fibers come from people as interesting as the textiles themselves, who are happy to share their experiences and fiber history with you.


Test for color fastness and shrinkage
• Rub a bit of the wash product on an inconspicuous part of the garment. Leave it there for 2 minutes and rinse. If there is no bleeding you are good to go. Don’t worry if you Soak too long, or leave a piece overnight. There isn’t anything harmful in most wash products. I leave the light on in the bathroom when Soaking in the sink so I don’t forget.
• If you have excess fabric, wash and test for shrinkage before you make your project.


Some textiles (especially modern synthetics) were just never meant to get wet.
• Materials with stiffeners, interfacings and sizing (wool suits, for example, as compared to wool sweaters) can not get wet.
• Many hand-made textiles come with ‘do not wash’ instructions yet can be Soaked, with little agitation and cool water as needed. Use your judgment or ask someone who has more textile experience.
• If your textiles come with a ‘do not wash’ warning, consider a crafty project that doesn’t need repeated washes during its life. Mentally go through the textile’s life to determine how much washing, if any, will be needed.


Don’t Mind the Dirt
• In hand-washing we get a fresh perspective on how much dirt and oils are actually in our clothes. Be prepared for the dirty colour of the water if you haven't washed the piece in a while, or if is a vintage piece.


Mind the Over-Dye
• With hand-knits and hand-dyed fibers, excess color will come out when you wash. Gentle cleansers, like Soak, allow the over-dye to come out of the textile piece and trap it in the water. Be aware not to have the garment folded, or have multiple colours in the same wash.


Listen to what SOAK users have to say...

 “At the Guild we had a white quilt with marking pencil tracings that would not come out despite trying several different methods that usually work. We had a small sample of soak so decided to try it. We diluted it with a bit of water and dabbed it on the lines. Magically they disappeared leaving no residue and we had a much relieved quilt maker”. -customer


“The advantage is less stress on the threads…” -customer


“Not having to rinse to get out residue soap is a real bonus” –customer


“It came out beautifully -soft, clean and unmatted”. –customer



Citrus has the delicious smell of “fresh-squeezed clean”.

Aquae is a “purely elemental” scent that’s like a breath of fresh sea air.

Flora is a lovely spring fragrance that will make you “stop and smell the fibers”  

Scentless keeps your hand-washables (and sensitive skin) completely fragrance-free. Just a fresh and ultra-clear way to take care of the fine fibers you care about most


Soak is available in three sizes

  • 425mL/ 14oz bottles can Soak 80+ washes                          $ 14.95

  • 120mL/ 4oz bottles can Soak 25+ washes                             $  8.95

  • 6mL mini-soaks are perfectly sized single-use samples              .99


Stop the Bleed with Retayne

Retayne - A color fixative for commercially dyed cotton fabrics.  We all love Batic Fabric and those beautiful purples and reds can often cause problems.  I now stock the solution to the horror of bleeding dyes.  Read all about it here...




Product Description

G&K CRAFT-Retayne Color Fixative. Retayne is a color fixative for commercially dyed cotton; linen and rayon fabrics that bleed. Use in the washing machine or treat by hand washing with hot water. Always test fabric before washing it for the first time. Only one application is necessary. You can treat 24 yards with one 4 ounce bottle. This package contains one 4ozbottle: enough for approximately 24yds of fabric. Contents conform to ASTM D4236. Made in USA.


4 oz. Bottle                    $2.00 + shipping


For order information please use the contact GQ for a prompt reply.