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Thread: Handling unwashed fabric

  1. #11
    Senior Member foxxigrani's Avatar
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    I too am not an expert here, but if your piece is pre cut to size you don't want to wash it. I have been reading up on this to wash or not to wash and have gotten different answers from diffrerent people. The rule of thumb seems to be if you start with washed fabrics stay with washed or visa versa. I would be afraid that washing would not only shrink it beyond the size needed, but I would also be afraid of distortion. No matter how careful we are in our washing and ironing, we end up with some distortion. So if it is cut to size I wouldn't risk it.

    The census is equally divided about wash or not to wash and lots of ladies are going with the not. As long as you don't mix the two. Either not or wash, but never one of each. So there is my half cent, hope this helps.

    Rita

  2. #12
    Super Member sewmuch's Avatar
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    Thats good advice. I have started not prewashing fabric, as it seems to be eaiser to work with, re: moving and stretching.

  3. #13

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    just an fyi: i did my ugrad at a textile school and learned that woven fabric tends to shrink more in length than width. i guess it's due to the fact that the length is under constant tension as the threads are passed through to create the fabric -- who knows. in any case, just thought i'd pass it on.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Charleen DiSante's Avatar
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    Great information on the length vs width shrinkage. A question: How do I tell the difference after it is cut? Is there a "feel" to it? I'm thinking that the fabric stretches width wise on the bolt a little more than lengthwise. Is this feasible? :?:

  5. #15

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    I am just reading this information now.........but I have just a couple of comments. When I started a quilting class, my teacher was very insistant on PREwashing your fabric.........b ut now I am in a "block-of-the-month" club, and the girls there feel the opposite. We are working with 5" squares, and I am in beliefe that if you were to try to wash these, it would be disaster. I heard from a lady in a quilt store a bit ago that you should use a steam iron, (as well).......I am thinking that using as iron after a block is sewn would be a good thing. :?: Any more ideas? I am doing the "blocks" w/o putting water to it........

    Great question, but I wonder if all of us ladies will ever have an answer? :D Thanks for your ears! Nancy

  6. #16
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    Hi, Well I think the best answer is to make it a law to prewash always before cutting. That way if you are not the one that is going to be sewing the fabric and someone else is then there will be no question. Okay congress here we come. HEE HEE :twisted:

  7. #17
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    The law idea was someone else's on this post. I can not take the credit. :roll:

  8. #18
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    Hi, I was just at the Fons and Porter site reading Tips and saw this. Well it isn't 5 inch squares, but a good tip anyway I think. I will try it. Here it is.

    Wash fat quarters and partially dry in the dryer. Place damp fat quarter on a flat surface such as a table or countertop and smooth fabric with your hands until flat. Add more fat quarters atop first one, smoothing each. Press immediately or take a break, leaving the damp fabrics in a stack. Pressing goes faster since each piece was previously “hand-pressed.”

  9. #19

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    Hi,

    I have sprayed my fabric with Sizing and then ironed it dry. It takes care
    of the shrinkage.

    Also I have heard people say that they wash the quilt (just the top) before
    putting it together. Also the bottom should be washed too.
    I have never done this but it might be ok.

    Jeanne

  10. #20
    Junior Member argranny's Avatar
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    [b][i]I'm fairly new at quilting, but I help out at a quilting shop and they never wash their fabric, but do use a steam iron (a lot), she has me press (press not iron) my blocks after each step, so they are nice and flat, but then I haven't wash anything I've made yet.

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