Vintage Fabric Studio :: Super Wash

I get asked a bunch where I find the vintage sheets and fabric offered in the shop. The quick answer is that there are lots of sources here in Portland, Oregon to find vintage textiles but more to the point is that most are purchased as a second hand item. That gets the wheels turning and I can see the questions surface about what I do with the sheet to get it ready to become part of a custom color fat quarter bundle, a charm pack or packaged in a kit.

The process of making your fabrics ready to create with starts with quality control before I even buy a single sheet. In the store I inspect for major defects like discoloring, sheets worn thin or large stains. Fabrics like this stay at the thrift shop. The sheets that do make it back to the studio get the spa treatment before anything else happens. All the fabric gets a Super Wash.

The Super Wash is a mix of detergents and the way we wash. First the sheets are let to soak in hot water with the detergent mix for 12-24 hours depending on what the water looks like. During this soak the action of the soap gets into the fibers and releases dirt and odor that may have been lingering. Being a child of the 1990’s I love a good before and after picture of anything getting  a deep clean! (remember those infomercials?) Check out the before and after of the water during the super wash! WHOA!



The difference is pretty clear here, dingy brown water on the left. This load was pretty bad  so I put them through the Super Wash again for another 12-hour soak and the water came out much clearer after the second Super Wash soak.

After the Super Wash is complete the sheets and fabrics are tumble dried or hung on the line if with weather cooperates. The results are SUPER! I was given a couple pillow cases that were just too dirty to use in the shop but were too cute to let go of yet! So when I decided to share with you about the Super Wash process I thought ‘let’s throw these really dingy pillow cases in the Super Wash and see what happens’. I will let the pictures speak for the power of Super Wash!

I love these before and after pictures! The left hand pretty pink floral went from dingy tan with an off odor to bright and white with a fresh scent. The right hand pillow case I thought was a lost cause but after the two rounds in the Super Wash it is so much brighter and smells great. (click the photos for a larger view)

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at how to care for vintage textiles and what we do to make sure each piece of fabric you receive is up to your highest standard of quality. I want to make certain you are going to love each design and print we have and that you love the quality of the fabrics we offer. If you have other questions about our shop policies take a look at our FAQ page as well.

Please let me know if you have any questions about our process. You can now leave a comment by selecting the tiny link at the bottom that says ‘leave a comment’ 🙂