Dye Fixative life lesson: Separate your colors (at least at first)

Red Dye bleeds

In a world with Color Catchers and mixed load laundry detergent, we may have gotten too comfortable with our textile finishing.  Not all dye fixatives are created equal.

After purchasing a new set of towels in various shades of tan, green, and deep red, the next course of action was to wash them before use.  These towels were mid-tier; throwing a color catcher into the load should handle any excess dye that may still linger on the red set.  After all, they should have better quality dye fixative.  This was the wrong assumption.

It only took one cycle to have red dye on every surface, color catcher included.  Red dye is the worst of all stains. Although the red towels were no worse for wear, the green and tan towels had seen better days.  Three cycles and six color catchers later, they survived with no visible damage despite being slightly stiffer than before.

Lesson Learned:  Never assume your textile dying is the highest quality just because it’s more expensive, but most importantly, be smart with reds.


About Kayla Murdaugh

Kayla's hometown is Smoaks, South Carolina, a small town near Charleston. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with a minor in Japanese language from Clemson University. After graduation she moved to Greenville, South Carolina and joined the NICCA USA, Inc team. Her current role is Plant Engineer where she focuses on project and process engineering. An EIT, she is a member of AIChE and their local chapter WSC-AIChE. She is currently working towards JLPT and PE certifications.
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