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Thread: fabric softener

  1. #1
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    I was always told that when pre-washing fabric, one should wash it as the finished quilt will be washed. Then yesterday, I reading a quilt magazine and the writer of the article said fabric softener, either liquid or sheets should never be used. No reason given. The thing is, when I do laundry, I almost always use fabric softener, and I would imagine most people do. So my question is, when pre-washing fabric, use or don't use fabric softener? And if not, why? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    ignore her and wash as it pleases you to wash. who knows why the "experts" make up half the stooooopid rules they make up? :roll:

  3. #3
    Super Member Dawn Hendrix's Avatar
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    amen Patrice .. nough said

  4. #4
    Super Member MissTreated's Avatar
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    Julie,
    Dryer sheets leave a residue on fabric that often stains or leaves the evidence of what looks like a stain. They aren't good to use on anything.

    As for liquid fabric softener, that is up to you. If you are prewashing your fabric and you would like it to remain a little stiffer, the fabric softer will not help you out on that. It truly makes it softer. (they use it for bending wood, too!)

    Liquid fabric softener will also help make you fabric a little more "water resistant." That's why it's not recommended for towels. On the other hand, I use it when washing wool garments because the water is more apt to "bead up" on it when in a light rain.

    Hope that helps.

    M

  5. #5

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    I agree with MissTreated.
    :thumbup:

    Also, they leave chemicals on the fabric that prevent it from creasing and pressing as it should for quiltmaking.

  6. #6

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    Hi i read a article about washing and drying quilts, i don't remember what book and the article read if you use fabric softer or fabric sheets in the long run it will break down the texture of the fabric and break down the threads in the fabric. I don't really know because i never wash my quilts i just hang mine on the fence and let them get some fresh air, of course i really keep my eyes on them when they are outside lol :D Annette

  7. #7
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    I never use fabric softener when I wash fabric, but I do use a small amount of liquid fabric softener when I wash my quilts.

  8. #8
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    I use the dryer sheets occaisionally on permanent press and keep the used sheets. I use them in applique like when doing hearts or circles. I admit, I am lazy when it comes to turning under raw edges so if I can find a shortcut, I will use it. It usually takes several tumbles with several loads of laundry to get the softner out of the dryer sheet, but then they are great to use. I don't recall ever using any softner on a quilt. thats not to say, you can't. Bear in mind that there are probably as many opinions as there are quilts. I don't prewash my fabric either unless it a real dark color and I am worried about it bleeding all ove everything else.
    That's my story and I am sticking to it. :lol: :lol:

  9. #9
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    i tend to be radically practical about such things. i almost never prewash because i prefer working with all those nasty residues. they give the fabric body, which makes it easier to work with. (AND because i'm lazy. AND because i'm fortunate in having a choice in the matter. i know many people have allergies, sensitive skin, and other issues that force them to the prewashing machine.)

    it stands to reason that softener would leave a residue. i just can't picture myself worrying about that. fabric softener has been around longer than i have. i suspect that if it posed any long term danger to fabric, there'd have been a great screaming protest we'd all know about. if it ever did, it's surely been reformulated or some lawsuit would've chased it off the shelves.

    given the price of fabric today, it had darned well better stand up to a little thing like fabric softener, anyway. with proper care otherwise, i'll bet a quilt well constructed today will last for generations - with otherwise proper care - whether or not it's washed with softener.

    there are so many other things to "worrry" about when making a quilt. this debate could rage for ages - friendly all the way, of course. (you should read us when we get started on whether or not to prewash; the price of fabric; walmart; and one or two other subjects. we are a total HOOT!!! :lol: ) at the end of the day, it's still mostly a matter of personal preference.

    if you've experienced no problems in the past using fabric softener, and plan to prewash your quilting fabric, why not put softener on some, none on others, then decide which you find easier to work with?

  10. #10
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I'm with Patrice, if I have ,it I use it, not as much as it says. I always use the liquid on the clothes I hang outside in the summer. The only stuff I prewash is something that looks like it will fade.

    Now, how about them bugs that like to eat starch. tehe :twisted:

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