Yarn Not Colorfast

Hello to all.

I used a beautiful Sugar n Cream yarn in potpourri to make a baby blanket recently. I bought enough yarn for 2 blankets and gave the first one as a gift. When I washed it, I discovered that it wasn’t colorfast. The beautiful cream color turned to white and all the pretty speckles of various colors practically vanished. The pink ones were still visible but I made it for a boy!

Ok, I’ve made the second blanket now for myself. I’ve been reading that vinegar will make it colorfast but I need some details about this.

How long do I soak it in vinegar before I wash it?

How much vinegar do I need? Do I dilute it with water or use nothing but vinegar?

Do I have to soak it in vinegar before each washing or just the first time?

Do you have any other advise???

Thanks so much for your help! I don’t want to destroy my own beautiful blanket and I don’t want to have to hang it on a wall as decor!


[color=indigo]Cotton is relatively easy to dye. I like to use the tie dye dyes available at Joann’s and Michael’s. I’ve never had much luck with setting commerical dyes that didn’t work. Salt is the operative with Rit dye. Vinegar is for protein based fibers like wool, hair, silk, etc.[/color]

Can anyone help me? I didn’t use any dyes. This is cotton yarn that I purchased (commercially dyed I guess) that doesn’t hold it’s color. Someone at Joann.com in the comments section recommended the vinegar and said it works but I need details. How much? How long? How often? It’s a baby blanket. It’s going to need washed often.

Thank you,

I’ve honestly never heard of that technique before. Would it be possible to go back to Michael’s and try to talk to the person who suggested it? Maybe she can give you more details.

I think fading is just the nature of Sugar N Cream.

One of the tips here says to soak the item in vinegar before washing, but I’m not certain if you’d have to do that EVERY time you washed it or not.


Here she talks about the “vinegar experiment”

THis also says that vinegar won’t do a thing for cottons



It’s a technique that is used for color fastening fabrics, some also use salt. You could do a google search for exact measurements.

I would use about a cup of vinegar white or malt should do. You could either soak your project or pop it in the w.machine. I Wash my clothes all the time with vinegar as it kills mold spores and makes the fibres really soft it’s excellent on towels.


Hi again,

If you go further down the page the ingredients are listed.



AWESOME! Thanks for all the suggestions! I’m going to explore some of those links now.

I returned to the comment at joann.com but the user id’s weren’t linkable to send a message. I was disappointed about that. I emailed customer service at joann.com to see if anyone there could help me. I will post the answer if I receive one that is helpful from them.

Thanks again and happy knitting.

Let us know what you find out. I know that some cotton yarns will fade quit a bit.


Below is the response I received from joann.com. I thought it was pretty crappy customer service and I’m considering not ordering from them again. At the very least they could have pretended to have asked around and told me that no one had a suggestion. I could have accepted that much better.

Dear Melissa. ,

Thank you for your e-amil. Unfortunantly we do not offer this information on Joann.com. You can try to do a google search on this item.

Please let me know if I can be of future assistance.

Thank you for your interest in joann.com,
Customer Care

Joann.com ranked the number one online destination for crafts & hobbies by Internet Magazine’s Top 400 Guide, 2005.

Ooh, that’s just cold.

And was that a typo in the email? That ticks me off so bad when CUSTOMER SERVICE reps can’t be bothered to use spell-check! Hell, Outlook can do it automatically for you before sending out email! :!!!: I realize not everyone spells well, or is a perfect typer (hell, I’m not!) but this is a matter of professionalism! And it’s discourteous to their customers to send out poorly spelled and typo-ed correspondence. It adds insult to injury. :grrr:

Wow, lousy customer service. But that is what you get with a big box sometimes. It is just not personal anymore.


Thanks for the support. I wonder if I overreact but now that I’m pregnant, I’m sure I overreact! I’m pleased to see others thought it was as rude as I did. I have ordered from joann.com 5 times for the convenience and good prices. I’m waiting for an order right now in fact.

I’m so frustrated for my baby blanket. I went ahead and made the second one after the first one faded feeling confident that there would be an answer to my dilemma. After all, they could not possibly continue to sell something that has such disappointing results without a simple answer out there, right? I’m so naïve!!!

I read all the info in the links everyone provided me. There certainly isn’t a consensus. Oh well. My baby isn’t due until late April so hopefully I will find an answer before then. LOL.


I would try the vinegar and see if it works. Sometimes a more expensive cotton will not fade as much as the inexpensive ones but I do love knitting the dishcloths with Peaches and Cream. Mine have not faded much but when I knit dishcloths with Kona Bay Cotton I have not had them fade at all and I wash them on hot.


I guess I am officially no longer a Joann.com customer. That’s disappointing because of the extreme convenience. There isn’t a craft store within 40 miles of where I recently moved. Ordering online is the most convenient so I will need to find new sources. I’m just so worried about my baby blanket. I guess if I find out I’m having a girl, it won’t really matter. I’m going to try the vinegar because it’s the only suggestion I have to work with.

I responded to their first email and I was a bit snippy as I can be when I’ve realized I’ve spent lots of money on junk.

So, you sell a shotty product and don’t offer your customers real
customer service to help them not be angry for all the money they
spent with you for said shotty product?

Here is the response that I received.

Thank you for your e-mail. Unfortunantly this item is known to fade when washed. I am unable to recommend anything to you. I apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused you.

So, they know the product is defective, they continue to sell it, and do not warn customers that projects will not turn out as beautifully as expected. That is just terribly disappointing to me. :verysad:

Thank you to everyone that tried to help me with this. Please cross your fingers that the vinegar will actually do the job. Have a great upcoming weekend!


Good luck with the vinegar. I do hope it helps.


I would make several sample piece’s and test them out with the suggestions being offered :slight_smile:

Good idea, but this post is 11 yrs old so they probably figured it out by now. :grinning:

Sorry, it was late when I saw this post and responded. Guess I will have to pay closer attention next time! Lol

After having a similar experience with the same yarn: Sugar n Cream but in a different color, I switched to a laundry detergent also which preserves colors: Cheer. Jeans also don’t fade out, none of my wash gets that washed out look like it did before and it is clean. I also use Borax when I wash, dissolve a 1/2 in some water and then add it to the wash load. Borax gets whites whiter and doesn’t let colors soak into other items as much. It also boosts the detergent’s effectiveness as well as being antifungal and antibacterial which is why I started using it years ago for doing diapers. It gets rid of mildew odor also.

Of course the damage when I discovered the ombre yarn faded into the white yarn was done, but since my project was a rug for my bathroom, it was not as big a disaster as yours.

I suggest that you make several swatches and soak one in vinegar and another in salt and then also get the Cheer detergent. I have one of those front loading machines so I have to use the liquid. And you will know what works then and then you save your formula and will know what method of washing will work.

Johnson and Johnson, “Shout Color Catcher”, another product which is designed to fix the color to the fabric is reputed to work fantastic. If it isn’t carried in your local store, you could order it on line. I’ve heard it works like a charm but have not tried it personally.

I’ve also read that the Hobby Lobby’s cotton yarn is colorfast, but I have not purchased it myself. I do not live near a Hobby Lobby so much for that, the brand on the website to look for is “I Love This Cotton Yarn”. They also sell yarn dies, I’ve noted, so a project which faded might be able to be fixed up to look acceptable, though I’ve not dabbled with this. Sometimes a great technique is developed because of one of life’s many disasters, as mother of invention is alas, necessity.

Good luck.