Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
I've been asked to quilt a top that was made 15 years ago, and the white border fabric has water-erasable markings from that time. A washcloth removed the blue, and left a faint yellow/brown mark. Has anyone had a similar experience? If the marks are all I have to worry about then I can 'disguise' them in the quilting, but if the fibers are weakened then I'm tempted to replace the border. I promised the quilt owner that I would research and report back.
Sarah, the fact is, a chemical reaction on fabric that has been died or bleached ( as in case of white) will weaken the fibres. Obviously, the markings left on for all this time have had enough time to become permanently incorporated into the strands. l'd replace the border for sure if the owner wants the quilt to last through regular use/cleaning. That said, there may be emotional reasons why they may want the original border intact. Obviously, you are being diligent and seeking the best advice for owner.
Thanks Riana, I had the same feeling about the length of time the marker has sat there. It's a crib quilt that never got finished, and the recipient might well use it as a 'snuggle' quilt even now he's 15! Even if not, white collects dust and dirt too easily for me to be comfortable with repeated washes. I believe I have some white in my stash that's pretty close (if not identical!) to the same fabric, and I'll suggest using that in my proposal for the job. We already talked about that, so it won't be a nasty shock for the owner.
Just passing by. I have used water erasable markers for sewing (cloth, not leather) for quite a few years. And from my experience - it will leave a yellow residue on your work if leave the work anywhere sun can get to it. No chance. So you need to wipe it off as soon as possible for the same reason. I stopped using it on muslin and silk because it would appear to vanish, but then after a few months - yellow lines would appear.
Didn't seem to happen so much on cotton and never on synthetic fabrics, though.
You can try to get rid of them using some gasoline (do this outside only! and try it on a small area first!).