Mmm, doughnut pillows. I had an inkling that I might someday see Strange Little Bear’s doughnut fabric in stuffed form. Now where’s my plushy cup of coffee…?
On a completely different subject, back in May I posted a link to an article written by Patricia Crews, a professor of textiles at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The article discussed a study done by Professor Crews and her colleague, Janet Evenson, on the long-term effects of various adhesive products used in quilts and other textiles. In brief, many supposedly harmless, supposedly water-soluble adhesives we’re probably all familiar with–fusible web, fusible interfacing, quilt basting spray, etc–will likely cause your painstakingly sewn quilts and other textile projects to yellow and stiffen over time. (One exception was noted. Fusible batting did not cause items to yellow any more over time than the control items in the study.)
Professor Crews recently (and apologetically) responded to an email I sent back then on behalf of a blog reader who questioned whether laundering had been included in this study. Professor Crews’ answer was that no, laundering had not been included in the initial study but had been included in a subsequent (and unpublished) study. The results will be bad news for users of these time-saving products. Apparently, even laundering doesn’t completely remove yucky chemicals from your lovely works, and over (simulated) time, yellowing was still observed in textile items that had been made up with various adhesive products and then laundered.
I personally will likely continue using my friend, fusible web, for things like handbags, tote bags, and in the facings on little girl clothes. Basically, in projects that I wouldn’t expect to hold up for more than 5 or 10 years anyway. But the next time I start on a quilt I’ll steer clear of the temptation of basting spray and use all those safety pins to baste. (See? Still too lazy to stitch my basting…)