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Something interesting/weird/sad has happened to one of my quilted wall hangings.
Back in 2004, I bought a batik panel that I made a faux stained glass wall hanging from. The panel included the center circular design and the 4 border strips. See below. Those of you who were at the Quilting Retreat at that time might remember this wall hanging and the class I gave for its construction.
It has been hanging in my sewing room since then. The lower right corner might have had sunlight on it but because of where it hung on the wall, most of the wall hanging did not receive direct sunlight, only indirect (as what would normally come into a room from other windows). And there it has hung, for my enjoyment since.
Fast forward to know. I have a different wall hanging that I'd like to look at, so I removed the stained glass wall hanging. Since it was pretty dusty, I decided that I would *gently* wash it, along with another wall hanging that was going out of rotation. When I removed them from the dryer, I was smoothing them out prior to folding them for storage when I saw the most startling thing in the stained glass quilt.
MANY of the 'inset' pieces had shattered! Now, fabric shattering became common with Victorian crazy quilts and silks in the 1920s because of the caustic dyes that were used at the time. However, *this* piece of fabric was cotton ... but it had been dyed in Malaysia. Because of the shape of the disintegration of the fabric, I don't believe that the gentle washing had anything to do with it, although I will say that I didn't inspect the piece before washing. Most of the shattering appears to be along the design lines of a particular shade of purple, so maybe that specific dye is the culprit.
In any case, it is disappointing. I can't repair it because there is literally *no more* of that batik panel. The company that produced this line of batiks has been out of business since 2012. As you know, batiks are unique and I'm not sure I can find anything even vaguely suitable to replace the inset panels.
If I *do* find something that can be used, I'll just needleturn applique the replacement over the existing, ruined portion. However, it's not holding a prominent position in my List of Things To Do. Such a shame.
Below is a picture of a shattered portion. I've put in red arrows pointing to the areas that have disintegrated. Some areas are completely gone, while others are showing just minimal damage along the purple dye lines.
You can also see what even *indirect* sunlight can do to a wall hanging. The entire wall hanging is badly faded, both the batik and black background fabric.
Side note: I have a different wall hanging on a north-facing wall. This wall hanging NEVER EVER has received direct sunlight. Never. And yet, the black fabric background has faded to a soft gray color. I can only assume that the black dye used for that fabric was ... unstable? The fabric itself is still sturdy; just the color has been shifted. I don't remember if this black fabric was Konaa or Joann's or what, but it definitely has not kept it's dark black color. The wall hanging looks significantly less dramatic than when I first made it. :-(
Oh, Pirate, that is a very sad story indeed, to learn about your lovely batik wall hanging shattering so badly. I can only guess how heartsick you are about this lovely piece being ruined by the passage of time. You tried to take good care of it but your luck was not good.
My guess would be that the methods used to create your batik fabric were too harsh. If you read this educational link from Dharma Trading Co. you will learn that there are many steps to the process of batik work, thus many places where things can go wrong:
I would also venture a guess that perhaps the base fabric that was used might not have been the best but how could you know that back in 2004?
What a horrid way to get older and wiser ... but thank you for sharing your experience with us.
We will all be very leery about batik panels, that's for sure.
Well that is sad. Guess you can revisit it at a later time and decide what to do with it.
I'm so sorry your wall hanging suffered in this way. You put a lot of work into that when you really hated the "A" word. Fortunately you were able to enjoy it in your sewing room for 15 years(+/-). It has served its life well.
Wow Shelley, that is is really unusual! The fading, I can see. I expect that with the ones I hang here - but then I do try to change them out several times a year.
but to see that crackling, I have only seen in those older fabrics or something very very worn. That totally surprises me!
That totally surprises me!
Yup! Me, too!
wow. sorry about that. I have been surprised how florescent light faded the quilts hanging in my work office, rarely was the window opened, it was 100% artificial light. And then there is the quilt that has hung in an inside utility bath for 10 years - yup, several of the fabrics definitely faded, others were just fine when I repaired them with the same fabrics out of my stash. I guess you just never know.
Funny thing is ... I'm not really even that upset about it. Disappointed, yes.
I'd get right on the repair if I had suitable fabric, but I don't. So .... it goes to the very bottom of the pile. I don't think I'll toss it cuz *actually*, if I put ecru bridal tulle over the affected areas and hung it back up, no one would ever see it. Just like I never saw the deterioration when it was hanging on the wall.
Hmmm .... I just might do that anyway. Then I can purge it from my List of Things to Fix. :-)