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Thread: Handling unwashed fabric

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    How do you suggest handling unwashed fabrics that you receive that are precut for a quilt block? I recently participated in a shop hop and I don't know whether to prewash the pieces or just use them as is.

    Connie

  2. #2
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    Hi Connie, I've never tried washing precut block pieces. If they are already cut to the exact size you need for the block, washing may cause them to fray and have to be trimmed. I'm anxious to hear from other quilters on this subject.

  3. #3
    Leslee's Avatar
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    Wow...I think I'd be too scared to wash them too, because of the possible shrinkage or fraying. I wonder if you could dampen the darker pieces to test for colorfastness. That might be a worry. Otherwise, go ahead and sew them up!

  4. #4

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    Nov 2006
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    You need to know if you have been given pieces that you will be cutting or are already cut, I agree with the others if they are pre cut I would not try to wash them. If they are large enough for you to cut as directed you might try to hand wash very gently and of course air dry, but you may still have some fraying.

  5. #5
    Norah's Avatar
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    A agree that prewashing would be a disaster. Hopefully, after they are sewn together, they will shrink at the same rate. Otherwise, the work would be wasted. I wish there was a commandment to preshrink any fabric before cutting, including CLOTHES. That is another nightmare.

  6. #6
    Leslee's Avatar
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    That would be a fun project--Anybody want to make suggestions for the Ten Commandments of Quilting? ...#1. Thou shalt preshrink thy fabrics.
    Connie, you'll have to let us know how your project turns out. Who knows? After the quilting's done, the first washing and drying might give you that old-fashioned cuddly look.

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Hi, I use one of the laundry bags that you would use for your bra's and wash the squares in that and dry them in the bag also. So far I have been pretty lucky and very little fray. But I use the gentle cycle on the machine. I do use the dryer as I want to be assured of the shrinkage. I have received squares that I did not know if were washed and have always used this method with pretty good luck. Hope this helps. :?

  8. #8
    Norah's Avatar
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    Thanks, DonnaRae. I'm definitely going to try that.

  9. #9

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    Nov 2006
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    Hi - here's a little suggestion (tho... I'm no expert by any means) I read in one book that if quilted squares that are not prewashed .. your best bet is to iron them with lots o' steam. I've tried this out on fabrics I know will shrink (like flannels) and it really seems to work. If they are precut and made for a wall hanging it probably won't matter. But a hot iron with lots of steam usually will shrink them down to size. (That may not be what you want tho... cuz some fabrics may shrink more than others...) dunno just a suggestion.

  10. #10

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    Dec 2006
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    I am currently in the block of the month class and the instructor has suggested that we use a product called retain. You spray it on the fabric and let it air dry. It workds great.

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