Sunday, April 11, 2021

Dye Rot

Dye Rot?
You might have heard the term but what does it really mean?
Basically through some part of the Dye process some part of the cloth was exposed to some caustic chemical which rendered it weaker and therefore more likely to disintegrate sooner than other surrounding parts of the cloth.
It's pretty easy to identify because the spots of deterioration are usually in some regular pattern based on the pattern of the print.  As in this picture,
This is Maybe the oldest quilt top in my collection of Vintage quilts and tops.  The indigo print and style of applique may date back as far as the 1840's!
You can see from the regular way that the spots appear that this was not just random rot!  Something touched those spots to make the fabric rot in that pattern.
The two flowers are more less the same age but the one on the left has a small print.  Where as the one on the right is a solid.  One has rot the other is in pretty good shape.
So what prompted this rant on rot?!   
I recently discovered some Dye rot on a quilt that I made about 10years ago!
I was really surprised!  
But this was a scrappy quilt made from scraps I scrounged from many sources so somewhere along the way this really OLD scrap snuck into the mix.
This is the quilt with the afore mentioned scrap.  It is the everyday quilt on my bed.  It's 104" square and when I made it I really did scrounge around for every 30's style repro fabric scrap I could get my hands on. So I guess I should not be to surprised that some really old scraps found their way into the mix.
Fabric scroungers beware!  Some scraps tho' free may not be worth using.  Who wants holes in their quilts?!  Fortunately I think this was the only scrap of that fabric that made it into the quilt.  It will be easy to repair.  But i do sometimes wonder if my bent toward frugality is a little toooo bent.
Have a great week!
take care, cw


  1. Well that sure is a drag. I'm glad it is just the one patch. Your bed quilt is so pretty. Long may it live.

  2. Thanks Brenda, My thoughts exactly! Ten years on and it still looks good with a little TLC it should make it another 10?! take care! cw


  3. I admit I have never heard of dye rot. As for your quilt on the bed, it is lovely. I love those quilts that are old and well loved.

  4. Well, I am happy to see it is only one piece. And, it is after all part of the quilts history. I love this quilt. The perfect scrappiness. I finally used the last of the blocks you sent back in May for the Community Supper quilt. I posted it today. It went to the Ronald McDonald house in Portland. Thanks!

  5. Oh how annoying! After all your hard work to find holes in the quilt would be very discouraging, even after 10 years.