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Thread: Help advice needed about polycotton

  1. #1
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    Help advice needed about polycotton

    I have the opportunity to acquire lots of plain red polycotton. I know lots of people are "purists" and only use cotton. I was thinking that I could use the poly as backing for some quilts I am making using recycled (worn and washed) clothing. The advice I want is would this work or would there be problems with shrinkage/non shrinkage when the quilt was washed. Any information as to your actual experiences would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    If you are using cotton that's already been shrunk (laundered) on the top, you should be OK as far as shrinkage. Recycled cloth and clothing should not shrink any more. I would also launder the poly/cotton, however, because it's RED! Red dye can shed from blends just as it can from 100% cotton.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  3. #3
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    Polycotton doesn't shrink much. I used polycotton sheets as backing for a quilt made from scraps from sewing clothes, which would have included cotton and polycotton in the quilt blocks. I didn't have any problem with shrinkage. The quilt is now > 20 yr old. My biggest problem has been the disintegration of some of the fabrics, so I just make new blocks to replace those.

  4. #4
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    Thats what I thought about shrinkage with the top but not too sure about shrinkage from the batting, I would think polyester would be ok although I usually use 80/20. I did think I would do a test on the dye. I am being given 200metres which will back a lot of quilts if it is usable. Thanks for the response

  5. #5
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I don't know the answer to your question, but I am thinking on it. I know that I have always been told to not use polycotton because it shrinks differently than cotton...but you would think there would be a way around that? If your quilts are made of warn and washed clothing, then you would think their shrinking days are over. If you washed the red....which you would want to do anyway since red fades....you would think that would be "shrinked" as much as it was going to.

    I did put polycotton on the back of one of my recent quilts because the color was just right. I haven't washed that quilt yet though. I know that isn't much help, is it?

    I will be reading this thread with interest to see what someone more experienced says. (I have only been quilting 3 years.)

    Dina

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I have an old quilt, 30+ years at least. Blocks are cotton, borders, sashiing and back are cotton/poly blend. The cotton has faded over the years, a lot, and it is showing signs of disintegration. Poly/cotton blend looks like new, no fading, no ripping.

  7. #7
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    Thanks so much for your responses, think I will use the fabric to back one quilt and then wash and see how it goes. Will perhaps make a couple of small sandwiches using polyester batting for one and 80/20 for the other and see how they turn out.
    Last edited by cannyquilter; 06-10-2013 at 09:19 AM. Reason: grammer

  8. #8
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    I have poly-cotton sheets that are still lovely after many many many washings. I've also encountered a dreadful poly-cotton sheet that was pilled and felt like sandpaper.

    There are differences in the poly-cotton blends - some are nice - some are icky.

    I would wash whatever I was going to use before cutting it - but I wash EVERYTHING washable before cutting it now, anyway.

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