I Think It Needs a Transfusion . . .

because it’s bleeding all over the place!

How to stage a murder scene in your bathroom or laundry room. Take one red, floral print cotton blouse, acquired on clearance. Add warm water and anti-allergy soap. Stir vigorously in the bathroom sink, using hands to squeeze warm water and soap into blouse. Stare at water as Moses and Aaron stage a reenactment of messing with the Nile. Brilliant crimson soapy water now fills the sink. Surprise!

Interestingly enough the Red family has had a problem with crimson clothing going back several decades. Sib had a shirt that never, ever stopped shedding color in the wash, even after a score of washes on cold. It always went in with the blue jeans and other really dark colors, and woe betide any sock or pair of pale underwear that somehow slipped into the load. It emerged pink. I tend to assume that red colored garments will shed dye until proven otherwise. Although . . . the “winner” is still a green dress.

Back in the late 1990s-early 2000s, rayon skirts and dresses from Asia became trendy. The skirts replaced broomstick skirts (which I had loved) with a lighter version that didn’t need re-pleating after each wash. The skirts had a few flaws, flammability being one major flaw. The other was that the dyes used weren’t always colorfast. So, I bought a very dark green rayon dress at a local western store in Flat State. Since it was rayon and imported, and because I’ve had raw green fabric bleed a little dye in the past, I opted to wash it with cold water in the bathtub.

To make an interesting half hour short, when I finished, I had a white-grey rayon dress. Whoever had dyed the material had used no fixative at all. None. Nada. All the dye went down the drain. No, I couldn’t get my money back, either. And the “call with questions” line led to someone with a strong Hindi accent who was less than helpful. I’m not sure he understood the problem, or why it was a problem.

The pink and red blouse, after one wash and three rinses with warm, stopped bleeding. It looks quite nice. I’m just glad it didn’t go into the washing machine with MomRed’s pastel blouses and slacks, though!


11 thoughts on “I Think It Needs a Transfusion . . .

  1. And that’s where those scenes about receiving and inspecting dubiously dyed clothing come from.

  2. Back in ancient times my little brother (five) thought he would help with the laundry, and threw a red sweatshirt in a load of my Dad’s white cotton undershirts and shorts. Pink ensued. Even multiple bleachings did not help. Dad refused to wear them (didn’t go with his uniforms!)

    • Oh yes. I wear a lot of white cotton batiste in summer, and have to be careful about petticoats and the like. Even cream petticoats can show through if the material is light enough. And perspiring in white – or getting very wet – with colors underneath . . . Awkward!

      • Picture a male naval officer with pink underwear…in the 1950s… (or even now). Khaki working uniform…open at the neck…undershirt shows. Makes me giggle even thinking about it.

  3. Recalls an incident with a red union suit and formerly white underwear. I was young, and this was the first colored underwear I’d owned… Laundry 101 was interesting.

  4. *sigh* I know exactly the green dress you speak of. Its close cousin, that had some fixative waved at it from 5 rooms over, is a lbeauty I’ll wear until the embroidery unravels too much… but it goes by itself, or with the green-based blacks. Every. Single. Time. Because it has never stopped bleeding. Lovely little thing that my husband quite enjoys seeing me in, but it bleeds more green than anything short of the Federal Budget…

  5. Black men’s dance tights. I have no idea what Bodywrap uses for dye, but it never comes off on the skin no matter how the boys sweat, and always turns the cold wash water gray (and anything else that sneaks in). The tights are the same shade as new when they’re so holey they hit the trash.

    Kind of scary, really: anything that gets washed three or five times a week and bleeds that much ought to fade.

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