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Thread: 100% cotton shrinking...pre cuts...

  1. #1
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    100% cotton shrinking...pre cuts...

    I keep hearing not to pre wash pre cuts like cake layers and charms...but never "why?". I mean, I always pre wash my yardage...100% cotton shrinks no matter the settings. I always wash on mild, low heat etc. but there is still shrinkage as I can tell when I fold the fabric ..it isn't square as it was on the bolt..but adjust to cut and it is fine. I figure that is the same with pre cuts...but still..if you don't wash them...the fabric will shrink once in the quilt. I have heard it said that that has never been a problem for some..but that doesn't make sense..not saying anyone's lieing..just trying to figure it out. If something shrinks after washing it alone, why wouldn't it shrink if it was attached to something else on a first wash? Does it have anything to do with the manufacture? Moda says not to pre wash, but the ones I buy at Joann's (I can't afford the BIG name brands very often!) I did try to not wash it first and it messed up when I did wash the finished product.

    So how can some cotton shrink and other cottons don't..I know the quality of the cotton can be at issue and the "better" cottons might not as much as the cheaper ones..but still...please share comments and experience! Thanks

  2. #2
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    Glad you asked the question. I have wondered the same thing, especially because I have quite a few pre-cuts.

  3. #3
    Super Member LyndaOH's Avatar
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    It's not that the cotton in pre-cuts doesn't shrink, it's that the pre-cuts can easily unravel.

  4. #4
    Super Member katkat1946's Avatar
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    I am totally with you, CoffeeBreak, on this point of confusion. I ALWAYS prewash my yardage, FQ's. I just posted today about an issue I'd had with a Moda Layer Cake. Although I really don't remember if I prewashed them or not, I know that if I had they would have been in a mesh bag and washed on delicate. Delicate is what I use for all pre-washing and if I'm doing small pieces they always go in a bag. Anyway, when I got ready to use them NONE of them was square nor 10". Moda was very good to me and replaced my layer cake even though I did not ask for that. They also said, as you mentioned, they suggest that pre-cuts not be prewashed. That leaves me wondering how they can "play nicely" when mixed with yardage that HAS been prewashed. The new layer cake seems square and 10" but what if it's not cut on the straight of grain? Once sewn in and the quilt is washed will they become wonky and appear distorted? Am I better off to prewash and find this out ahead of time? And although most quilters seem to have never had a problem when they do NOT prewash, the occasional person who has makes prewashing a good idea to me. I don't want to put a lot of work and $ into a quilt only to have something go wrong because I didn't prewash the fabrics.
    Pat

  5. #5
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    If you want to prewash (and I prewash!) then understand washing precuts will make them not square and smaller than what they started out as. Quilters pay a premium to have precuts done to a size they can use immediately and not fuss with or many times avoid cutting. If you're going to wash them, why pay a premium for this and you should just buy the yardage...

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I washed a jelly roll once. I won't do that again. LOL.
    Got fabric?

  7. #7
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyndaOH View Post
    It's not that the cotton in pre-cuts doesn't shrink, it's that the pre-cuts can easily unravel.
    Bingo! Here's your answer.

  8. #8
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyndaOH View Post
    It's not that the cotton in pre-cuts doesn't shrink, it's that the pre-cuts can easily unravel.
    That is exactly why I don't wash pre-cuts. But, I don't wash any of my other fabric either. What if you are doing a block and you are using 10" layer cakes and you've washed them and now they are smaller, but you needed them to be 10"? I would never wash them, also, because of shrinkage. And jelly rolls and charms wouldn't be the correct size after you wash them...if you need them to be 2 1/2" or 5" for the charms. What would you do then? I do not pre-wash unless I think it will bleed.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  9. #9
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    It seems to me on the never ending debate about pre-washing, the best thing to do is the same thing to all the fabric in the quilt. If you wash, I'd say wash it all. If you don't wash the precuts, maybe you shouldn't wash the yardage for that quilt.

  10. #10
    Super Member katkat1946's Avatar
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    You make a good point, Candace. If I'm going to cut my own, does this give me a good excuse to buy an accuquilt????
    Pat

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