Testing Fabric Samples
I like to order white fabric in large quantities, like 50 yards or more at a time. When I start dyeing fabric or batiking, it seems to disappear faster than my ideas... Unfortunately, my supplier is having quality control issues, and I needed to find a new supplier. So I set up a test for the following fabrics:
Kaufman white cotton pimatex, 44" wide from my local quilt store (not PFD)
Testfabrics, 58" wide cotton broadcloth, 419W
Jo Anns Legacy bleached cotton muslin, 108" wide
Dharma: merc. combed cotton broadcloth, 59" wide
Dharma combed cotton lawn, 57.5" wide
Dharma sandwashed cotton broadcloth, 60" wide
Dharma PFD (prepared for dyeing) pimatex cotton 45" wide
And since all the fabrics look basically the same before dyeing, I had to devise a system to keep track of them. You could just write on the fabric with a permanent marker....but I decided to use color coded safety pins with beads. I put a sample pin with a colored bead (or two!) on a small piece of the original, stapled it into my book, and then put it on all the little 5" squares that I used in the test.
Next, the batik test. I also wanted to note that these tests were done on a fat quarter size of fabric. And because most of the fabrics passed the test, I now have quite a nice stash that will become a new quilt. BONUS!! All the fabrics passed the batik test except two. The cotton lawn, which I loved because it dyed very bright colors and had such a nice light hand to it. The wax clung to it as it was drawn out of the boiling water and was a bit difficult to rinse out in cold water. The muslin from Jo-Anns also failed, it was exactly the type I hoped to avoid, the wax seemed to migrate into every fiber on the sample and not come out. Very frustrating!
Which fabric will I ultimately buy? It also depends on cost, which I will talk about on my next post. I can say that regardless of the fact that the muslin from Jo-Anns failed the batik test, it does come in such a lovely width, 108"! Wow! And it takes dye very nicely! It would be perfect for the back of quilts, or possibly large whole cloth quilts (as long as I avoid trying to put wax on it!!).