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Thread: Do you prewash and why?

  1. #1
    Miss Mona's Avatar
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    I do not prewash, especially fat quarters. I am in the process of making a quilt. Most of the solid pieces were fat quarters and the background was $5.00 white muslin. I piece my pattern and then quilt the block and finally put it together. While I was piecing a particular block with dark blue (my quilt is all white with various blues as the pattern) some of the blue dye stained my fingers.

    I knew I had to get the blocks washed before it was put together so the blue would not fade to the white.. I zigzagged the edges and soaked all the blocks in my tub with lots of vinegar, agitated on delicates and then rewashed to get the vinegar out. I then put in dryer on delicate. I had no place to lay them out, had 72 blocks, so did dry completely.

    Then I measured. The blocks were 12 1/2" when they went in and some were as small as 11 1/2" when they came out. I got out some spray starch and ironed and ironed and got most of them back to a 12" size.

    Would this make be prewash from now on. No. Even with this problem, I can work around it.

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Sorry, I don't understand this posting and what it's supposed to mean! If you'd rather go through all that vinegar washing, zig zag sewing etc. rather than just throwing it in the washer and dryer....I don't get it.

  3. #3
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    I always pre-wash. If its a FQ try putting in a lingerie bag and put on delicate cycle in machine. It does help with less fraying.

  4. #4
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    I always prewash, for several reasons, the main one being getting the shrinking done before I sew. That being said, you will find as many that do not wash as do. Except for flannels. They ALWAYS need to be prewashed because they do shrink a lot! But the choice is up to you. You may want to test for bleeding, especially on the reds, and some blues.

  5. #5
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    I always wash flannels. I don't wash FQ's. And it's hit or miss on everything else. Depends on how much time I have or how I'm feeling.

  6. #6
    Super Member Maggiemay's Avatar
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    I'm a pre-washer. After incidents of shrinking and bleeding I always pre wash.

  7. #7
    Junior Member BATIKQLTR's Avatar
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    I ALWAYS wash my fabric, especially if it is for children. The dyes make me sneeze continuously so it is kind of an allergy thing. I put the FQs in a lingerie bag or use the pinking rotary blade and just quickly pink the edges. I try to catch the dryer before it is done so there is very little wrinkling before folding.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Mona
    I do not prewash, especially fat quarters. I am in the process of making a quilt. Most of the solid pieces were fat quarters and the background was $5.00 white muslin. I piece my pattern and then quilt the block and finally put it together. While I was piecing a particular block with dark blue (my quilt is all white with various blues as the pattern) some of the blue dye stained my fingers.

    I knew I had to get the blocks washed before it was put together so the blue would not fade to the white.. I zigzagged the edges and soaked all the blocks in my tub with lots of vinegar, agitated on delicates and then rewashed to get the vinegar out. I then put in dryer on delicate. I had no place to lay them out, had 72 blocks, so did dry completely.

    Then I measured. The blocks were 12 1/2" when they went in and some were as small as 11 1/2" when they came out. I got out some spray starch and ironed and ironed and got most of them back to a 12" size.

    Would this make be prewash from now on. No. Even with this problem, I can work around it.
    What you just stated is precisely WHY I prewash my fabrics.

    I kind of think not pre-washing fabrics before cutting them is a lot like not using one's seat belts.

    Most of the time there will not be an issue.

    Or like having unprotected sex with a stranger.

    Or not washing your dishes after the dog licks them off before putting them back in the cupboard.

    It just seems so much simpler and easier to avoid the hassle ahead of time ("a stitch in time saves nine" sort of thing) than to try to fix it later.

    For me, it's a case of spending maybe 1/2 an hour preparing the fabrics for a quilt, and avoiding HOURS of trying to "make do".

    But - it is your choice to wash or not wash your fabrics before cutting.

  9. #9
    Super Member oatw13's Avatar
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    I always prewash. I like to see how a fabric will look when it is washed and how it holds up in the wash. I have had a few surprises along the way!

    Fabrics are also treated with many chemicals, not just dyes. Those chemicals are terrible for you to breathe in and work with. Recently, I have had some "good" fabric that I washed that had the most awful smell AFTER I washed it. After about 10 washings, the chemicals and smell still wouldn't come out. If I had not washed it first, I never would have known.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by oatw13
    I always prewash. I like to see how a fabric will look when it is washed and how it holds up in the wash. I have had a few surprises along the way!

    Fabrics are also treated with many chemicals, not just dyes. Those chemicals are terrible for you to breathe in and work with. Recently, I have had some "good" fabric that I washed that had the most awful smell AFTER I washed it. After about 10 washings, the chemicals and smell still wouldn't come out. If I had not washed it first, I never would have known.
    I just had some black and whites - more black than white - and SOME of them turned the water a lovely dark teal! Eventually the water rinsed "clear enough"

    One of them had this really strange smell when it was wet - sort of like diesel fuel. The smell disappeared when it was dried.

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