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Thread: Help a Newbie With Washing & Raveling

  1. #1
    Ginakra's Avatar
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    First time quilter here. I bought a few 1/4yd cuts not too long ago, and I know it's best to prewash. I read somewhere that if you cut each corner of the fabric off with pinking shears, it wouldn't ravel in the wash. I did that, and well.....

    I had a raveled mess when they came out of the washer. I mean my fabric looked like some kind of animal. LOL My husband attacked it and at least got the yardages apart, but OMG it took forever. Aside from sewing the cut ends of the fabric, are there any other tricks and tips for this?

  2. #2
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I don't wash something that small. If I feel I have to I do it in the sink.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I clip corners and put that size pieces in a mesh bag and have very little trouble. Bigger pieces don't seem to ravel that much but I also do them on a very gentle hand wash cycle on my washer and I throw in 1/2 a color catcher if it is only one piece and sometimes just a 1/4 piece--depending on how big the piece is. I do it for safety as I have had problems with some fabrics. I recently washed all the pastel fabrics in a quilt I am going to be working on and lo and behold if the yellow wasn't picked up on the color catcher. Didn't go into the whites on the pin dots or other pieces.

  4. #4
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    little hud I do small pieces in the sink also if there is only a piece or two.

  5. #5
    AkAngel's Avatar
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    another thing you can do is zigzag your raw edges before washing. Will use a bit of thread but I've had better luck with this method than cutting the corners. The other advantage to it (once you start getting a stash built) is you can look and see its already been prewashed if the edge is zigzagged.
    Muriel

  6. #6
    Power Poster
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    1) Overcast or serge the edges - a long, narrow zigzag stitch works well if one doesn't have a serger

    2) Fold the pieces in halves or fourths, and safety pin the ends of long narrow strips together - seams to minimize the tangling

  7. #7
    LadybugPam's Avatar
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    Leaving the salvages on while washing is a good rule-of-thumb. But if you had the mess I think you had you might want to hand wash the fabric, spin in the dryer and maybe hang outside to dry.

    Personally I don't pre-wash. There are reasons why you should, but I have not had any problems. When I had a questionable fabric I would take my 4-cup measure filled with a snip of the fabric and water and boil it for 3-4 minutes. When you take the fabric out and the water has color, it has bled. Otherwise, why remove the properties that prevent mold and keeps a crisp hand?

  8. #8
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    this group is the greatest helping others out with ?, thanks everyone! we all learn together

  9. #9
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I also do not prewash. If I suspect a fabric might bleed, I test a small piece in a glass of water and rub the wet fabric against a piece of white fabric. If there is more than minimal color bleeding or color transfer, I will wash that fabric separately in Retayne.

    Fabric comes off the bolt with sizing in it, which helps the accuracy of my cuts. If I prewash a fabric, I always starch it before cutting to restore stability to the fabric.

  10. #10
    CAROLJ's Avatar
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    I can't add anything that hasn't been said.

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