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Thread: Batting - to wash, or not

  1. #1
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    Batting - to wash, or not

    I bought some Hobbs Premium 80/20, soaked it and did a gentle spin in the washer to remove some of the extra water. Yuck!!! There are spots that have pulled apart almost completely, and the amount of pilling is worrying - I don't want the quilt lumpy before I've even started.

    So I went and bought Quilter's Dream 100% cotton, the lower loft, and read on their instructions NOT to pre-wash. They claim only 1% shrinkage, but they also say hand-drying is best. The quilt I'm making is for my kids' school auction, and the squares have been silk-screened with the kids' artwork. I don't want the quilt to shrink too much once it's done, because I'd like the artwork to remain (relatively) flat. But this is a twin-sized quilt, and is going to be used by kids. There's a really, really good chance that whomever wins the quilt is going to throw it in the dryer. If not at first, probably after air-drying once or twice

    Would you recommend I pre-wash the Quilter's Dream anyway? I'm worried I'll ruin it, like I did the Hobb's, but maybe it's a much better product? Any help is immensly appreciated. Between the silk-screening process, and the piecing, I've worked to hard on this to put the wrong thing inside!

    Thanks, Shauna Name:  001.JPG
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  2. #2
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    What a cute quilt! And totally irreplaceable, so I think your caution is merited.

    I have only used 100% cotton batting a couple of times, and I always washed (soaked, gentle spin) it in very hot water. Since I didn't measure it before washing, I'll never know how much/if it shrank.

    Only once did I use a natural batting (100% wool) and not wash it, and it was a disaster - the batting shrank so much that the quilt was actually distorted, and I ended up unpicking the whole thing and doing it again. It was just a crib-size, but still! I am now very paranoid about shrinkage...

  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    1% isn't much shrinkage. do a lot of quilting all over the quilt and that will help prevent any bunching up of the fabric.
    i've read some quilters mist their batting and toss into the dryer. wait for more responses until you decide.

  4. #4
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    I could live with 1% shrinkage in the batting.

    I've washed Warm n Natural batting before using it and it turned out very nice. I don't remember if it shrank or not.

  5. #5
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    I live in NYC and do not have a washing machine - just a laundry room and we can't control the machines like you can a home machine - so I never wash my batting and have been told by my LQS to never wash batting. I just made a quilt with wool batting and am now afraid to wash it after alisonquilts comments. I do wash my quilts after I make them so the new owner will not be suprised after they wash it.

  6. #6
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Why don't you use Quilter's Dream poly? It doesn't shrink and is every bit as nice as their cotton batting. And please don't think of it as "washing" batting! It doesn't need detergent and absolutely should never be agitated!! Think of it as pre-shrinking! Just soak and spin!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    I made one quilt with the Quilters Dream, the lightest weight available. I didn't read the part about not putting the quilt in the dryer! The quilt has been washed and dried several times, and it does crinkle a bit, but it's just fine. 1% shrinkage is not much really.

    It's a great quilt you have going, by the way!

    Janet

  8. #8
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    I have never washed/pre-shrunk my batting.

  9. #9
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    I've only made two quilts before, and used a poly-fill on both, so I'm new to cotton. I was surprised at the results with the Hobb's, because so many of the things I've read (from other quilters) say soak and spin. I was going to go with poly again, but thought the quilt might be more appealing as an auction item if it was mostly (or all, now) cotton. 1% shrinkage doesn't seem like much, but I was worried the manufacturer only means 1% if you air-dry.
    I think maybe I'll put in in a tub of very hot water, but skip the spin cycle and just press out as much water as I can. It's windy enough today in NY Petey, should I just lay it out on the Great Lawn?

    Thanks everyone. I'll post results after soaking!

  10. #10
    Super Member Annie68's Avatar
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    No need to prewash or soak batting, I don't understand why you are doing that. I've never in my almost 40 years of quiltmaking prewashed a batt. I do always wash and machine dry a quilt after it is completed and all is fine. I've used all cotton batts and the Hobbs 80/20.

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