July 12, 2013

Dye Migration

This ocean waves quilt is in my own collection.  It's one of the first quilts I purchased when I was starting to learn about antique quilts, in the early 1980s.  I bought it because I like the soft color combination, and especially liked that the quilt-maker had built on the reds in some of the prints, and accented those soft colors with a cheerful red binding.

A short while ago, I took it out of storage to bring it to a show-and-tell lecture I was about to present.  All my quilts are kept in acid-free storage boxes, and padded with acid-free tissue paper.  Lo and behold, I discovered that the tissue lining the box was covered with pale red triangles.

There aren't, of course, any red triangles in the quilt.  So I guess it's the brown fabric or fabrics that have been letting some of their color out.  I've never had this happen with any of my quilts before.

This is a relatively recent occurrence.  I do take the quilts out occasionally to take to lectures, and to re-fold and re-pad.  I think it's pretty odd that this should happen just now, and not have been on-going since I bought the quilt.

I packed the quilt away again with new tissue, and more of it.  Luckily, none of the migrating dye had discolored the quilt itself, and I hope to keep it that way, of course.  In the meantime, I'll see if I can find out anything about what's been happening.  And I'll be checking in with it more often.

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