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Thread: fabric softener

  1. #11
    Tiffany's Avatar
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    Hi Julie. The gal should have given an explanation instead of just saying don't do it because there are two reasons you don't want to use fabric softner or dryer sheets with your quilting fabrics. The first, if you use any type of pelon or the stuff that is used in many applique projects. I can't for the life of me think of the name and I'm going to feel very foolish when I think of it, but please bear with me. It's the stuff you iron onto your fabric and you can use it to iron that fabric onto another. When you use a dryer sheet or fabric softner, that product will not stick to your fabric very well, if at all. The residue left behind on the fabric acts as a protective barrier.

    The other reason is that there are certain bugs, especially silver fish, that love to eat the fabric softner from your fabric, which is the same as saying they eat your fabric. That is also why you aren't supposed to store any fabric with spray starch on it for long periods of time. There is nothing worse than trying to build a fabric stash only to discover bugs have gotten into it and destroyed it. :evil: I hope this helps clear up any confusion. :thumbup:
    ~Tiffany


  2. #12
    Senior Member
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    Thanks to all. I knew I could count on this quilt guild to explain and suggest. Love you all. :) :)

  3. #13
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    Well, I'm late on the topic but just my two cents...

    I prewash and I use fabric sheets in the dryer...I HATE static ..it drives me insane! If I don't use it every little thread or dust particle STICKS to my fabric and I hate that worse than anything!

    In the washer, depending on how many pieces I wash at a time, I sometimes throw some of my "normal" soap in, if its just a few fat quarters then I may just do a rinse cycle, no soap.

  4. #14
    cynde's Avatar
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    Hi, I always pre-wash with very little detergent, to set the colors and so the fabric will distort (if it's going to) before I cut it and quilt it.

    I have never used fabric softener or dryer sheets, once when doing a lot of costume sewing for a friend, I got sick to my stomach and a pounding headache, figured out later (when it came back again) that it was from pressing and working with the fabric that had all the chemicals still in it from the fabric softener.

  5. #15
    Tiffany's Avatar
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    cynde - Ouch! You have my complete sympathy.

    FUSIBLE WEB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you ladies had any idea how long that has been bugging me. :roll: I knew I'd feel silly when I remembered the name. I was right. :?

    I used dryer sheets occasionally when I lived in the Mojave Desert, especially in the summer when the temperatures would reach into the low 120F range. (Yeah, don't miss that!) I can understand what Country Quilter is saying about static. Now that I live here in Idaho it isn't something I have to worry about. I guess the answer would be, if you plan to use any type of fusible web, don't use dryer sheets or fabric softner. If you live in an area where bugs could be a problem, don't use dryer sheets or fabric softner. If you don't have to worry about either of those problems and you want to use these products, then do so. There really seems to be no right or wrong answer, simply what works best for each quilter.

    Here's a fun dryer sheet tip. Once your dryer sheet has been used past the point where it is any good in the dryer, you can clean your dirty irons by ironing the dryer sheet. The sheet pulls the residue off the face plate of the iron, leaving it gunk free. They also work great to collect loose threads, acting much like a coffee filter would and hanging onto the threads so they don't continue to drift around the sewing room. :wink:
    ~Tiffany

  6. #16
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    Tiffany: the brand ames for the stuff are heat n bond and wonder under. I do lots of applique and use tons of it, but find that wonder under comes in a lighter weight so I try to find it. The other stuff with out the paper is called fine fuse.

  7. #17
    Tiffany's Avatar
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    Thank you Vicki! I must confess I do needle turn applique and while I have used those products, it has been very infrequently and I seem to have a mental block over remembering the name.
    ~Tiffany

  8. #18
    Senior Member Bluphrog's Avatar
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    I'm with Patrice. It's all personal preference. That's what makes quilting an art, not a science!

    BTW, I cut my dryer sheets in half and still get the same effect. Saves money, but my towels absorb better.

    E in TX

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