I've had two experiences with black fabric in completed quilts disintegrating in very short order, needing to be replaced. I read an article in Quilters Newsletter several years back by a quilter who had a similar nasty experience with black cotton. I'm very careful about the black fabric I purchase now. But really, who knows? All the painstaking work that's being put into patchwork--what will be left of it in another generation or two?
I switched quilts on my bed over the weekend and was thoroughly disheartened to see the color deterioration on a quilt that was made only fifteen years ago.
This quilt has spent some time on beds in my house. The rooms where it was used have windows, but never has there been direct, glaring sunlight on the quilt. It's been folded in a closet for perhaps the last seven years.
The color loss on this quilt is most noticeable on several rust-toned fabrics. The first two were companion prints, and my memory is that they were purchased at a national chain fabric store in the early 90s. I guess it's not surprising that if one fabric faded, the other would too. First, two pieces of the fabric with relatively little fading:
Now the faded blocks:
This homespun came from a quilt shop in the mid-90s. You can see the color loss across just one piece of fabric.
Here is a blue cotton originally printed with fine beige filigree florals which used to be MUCH more obvious than they are now.
Currently, I'm working on a blue and white quilt that involves very involved piecing and about 1100 tiny half square triangles. I'm worried about those blues. Am I wasting my time even working on that quilt? Will anything of it be left to see a generation from now?