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Thread: HELP! I need help with washing my stash.

  1. #1
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    HELP! I need help with washing my stash.

    I have to wash my entire stash to remove whatever they put in it, to make it, that makes my hands feel like they have chemical burns. I got on line last night and spent hours looking for ways to wash it and hopefully not have massive thread tangles. I did find a youtube video that said if I cut off each corner, it would not ravel and have thread tangles. Wrong. I sat down and cut every corner off of every piece, and I just washed the first load, and spent 20 minutes cutting thread tangles loose. Am I doomed to this problem while I wash my entire stash? Just to give you an idea of the scope of this job, the green pile alone will take two loads, and since I have at least that much of all the 8 basic colors, and 4 cupboards full of larger pieces, this will take some time. Any wonderful ideas out there? Do any of you think using a pinking blade on all of it would help?
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results are your fault. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  2. #2
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    Would it be possible to wear gloves when you handle your stash and wash what you need when you need it? That would take some of the stress of trying to wash it all right now. I was watching a Nancy Zieman episode filmed at a quilt show the other day and she was wearing a pair of white gloves that looked like cloth when handling the quilts. I'm not sure where to get them but the lady she was talking to about the quilts also had on a pair of the gloves. I always just do a zig zag on the edges of fabric before I wash it but that could be time consuming too.

  3. #3
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    The pinking blade MIGHT help but I wouldn't bet the farm on it. I guess I'm the only one who doesn't get particularly mussed about the tangled thread thing. I just snip a clump as I come to it and go on my merry way. Then again, I'm not doing that with a bazillion pieces of fabric either. THAT probably would get to me. Sorry I have no other suggestions other than possibly use the delicate cycle on your washer? Agitation is usually less intense on that cycle and might prevent some tangles???? Good luck.

  4. #4
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    I really don't have any suggestions for you. See I've wash LOTS of fabric and just dealt with the tangles that sometimes occur.

    I can recommend drying only a few 'yards' at a time so there's plenty of room in the dryer for the wrinkle to soften.

    Are you going to iron them right away? If so, don't dry the fabrics totally dry. That will make it a bit easier to iron.

    Good luck! Take your time.

    Nan - IN
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  5. #5
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    I have noticed that most of the strings/tangles occur in the dryer not the washer. So I have started just air drying my fabric on hangars after washing-letting them "drip dry". You may have too much to make this practical but works for me.

  6. #6
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I have the same troubles you have with the chemicals in the fabrics. Those chemicals caused me to develop open weepy, itchy areas on over 60% of my body. My legs looked like I was a burn victim. My hands were so swollen and reddened from the inflammation that I couldn't wear my ring and I kept them hidden when I was in public. I have now been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and psoriatic arthritis. I am on the Humira injection self administered every 2 weeks and a steroid cream to my hands twice a day. My dermatologist and I narrowed it down to the chemicals in fabric because I had recently returned to quilting after a 10 year hiatus. People have no clue how dangerous those chemicals are. I too had the daunting task of washing my fairly substantial stash. Pinking the edges worked well or running a zig zag stitch down the cut sides worked. It's a lot of work to wash a stash! I gave up. Now, I wash every fabric when it comes through the door. I still have unwashed fabrics in my stash. If I decide to use one of them, I just wash it prior to use. When I am using precuts or am having a flare up on my hands, I use these gloves. http://www.amazon.com/Dritz-82309-Cr.../dp/B002Y2GY7U. Mine happen to be lime green so I can locate them easier. Good luck and know that you are not alone.
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  7. #7
    Super Member PenniF's Avatar
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    I have found that the easiest and quickesgt way - though you will waste about an inch of fabric - is to sew the cut edges together making a fabric "tube"....takes a few seconds per piece of fabric........after you wash and dry it, cut away the stitched edge and press as usual.
    Of all the things i've lost, i miss my mind the most.

  8. #8
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    I hand wash all of my batiks when I get home with them. I just use my kitchen sink and wring them out very gently (not wrinkling them much) and roll them in towels on my counters. Then I line dry them in my living room using a clothesline that my DH made for me - he put up hooks on two walls and I just loop my clothesline over the hooks. When the fireplace/insert is being used (in the winter) the air near the ceiling is very warm and so it doesn't take the pieces of fabric to dry. I do not iron the fabrics then - I just fold them and put them away and may have to iron them before I cut them out. They are not wrinkled much. HTH (Hope this helps)
    Nikki in MO

  9. #9
    Super Member athomenow's Avatar
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    What would happen if you put a piece or two in a mesh bag (or several mesh bags) and wash them like that? I also have washed material that I bought at a flea market or thrift store and just dealt with the tangles. I don't know that I could take on washing cabinets full at one time. Can you just wash what you're going to need for a particular project and not the whole lot? I don't have any good ideas!
    Debra

  10. #10
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    I have never tried this but a member in my modern quilt guild said she just washed 37 pounds of fabric and to keep the fray down She left the fabric pieces folded in half and machine basted the cut edges together. She said there were almost no strings, very few wrinkles and it was easy to pop the seams open after drying.

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