Monday, September 27, 2010

What's black and white and bled all over ?

OK- so that's not the usual start for the joke. But unlike the usual answers of newspaper or sunburned zebra - my query doesn't have a witty response. So what is black and white and bled all over? Pretty much any garment with black and white.

While these garments may look good at the store - one wash or dry cleaning will have the black all over the white. Why? Simple - the black dye isn't colorfast. If this was just happening occasionally -I would not write this blog. But in the last two years it has become predictable - ANY BLACK AND WHITE GARMENT WILL FADE.

What do you do? The simple answer is do not buy black and white garments. If the stores start to notice that people aren't purchasing black and white, the big retailers will have two choices. Stop buying black and white from designers or demand that the designers set the black dye. If you still think that black and white is the bomb ( and honestly - so do I) then make clear to the store that you are aware of this problem and you want them to stand behind this garment. Get the store to put in writing that should the garment bleed - they will immediately take it back.

Why are the dyes not set? Well that is simple. The final stage of the dying process is a saline solution bath. So no salt bath - no set dye. You have been to the grocery lately, how expensive was salt? A whole 29 cents? So why not do this - I don't know. Why send all the clothing manufacturing to China? Cheap labor - Cheap cloth -Cheap -Cheap Cheap!!!!

So does a $2000 black and white dress hold up better that a $20 black and white dress? NO!!!! Unfortunately. every designer has their clothes and fabrics made in China. While I could rant about the failure of our government, unions and clothing designers to retain those jobs here- well I guess i just did. But I think we would all be willing to pay a few bucks more for garments that can be dry cleaned or washed without being ruined. I think we would be prefer to have clothes that last. I do not pretend to know the cost of garment from design to retail sale, but we want to get what we pay for.

So, I guess I am hoping we can buy American made clothing. Keep the manufacturing jobs here. Produce a better garment. But hoping isn't getting. So for now. buyer beware. Avoid black and white garments unless the store can positively assure that the black will not bleed unto the white or will accept the garment for return when the black dye fails.

So now, what's black and white and red all over? The same black and white garment that you refused to buy with the big red discounts all over the sales tags.