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Thread: How do you prep your fabric?

  1. #31
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    I have learned

    I no longer buy as many "precuts", I buy yardage and fatquarters.
    I wash all my fabric.
    I starch all my fabric (I spray it and let its soak in)
    I then press all my starched fabric.
    I prefer a heavy starch, it makes cutting and piecing much easier.
    It is more work yes, but for me it's worth it and I have much better results.
    I also take my time when sewing and I am happier with my results.

    YMMV
    Lisa

  2. #32
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    When I started quilting, I knew nothing and did not pre-wash. I pretty much just start cutting when I know what I want to make. Sometimes, I do not even iron, and hope for the best. (please don't tell the quilting police.) :-)
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it. - Jonathan Winters

  3. #33
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    I don't pre-wash, unless the fabric is a batik, or unless I'm using the fabric for clothing, then I do pre-wash.

    I starch every piece of fabric I'm going to work with, at least 2 hours ahead of the time, throw it in a plastic bag, and let it sit, then I'll take it out, either line dry or throw in the dryer for a few minutes, then iron, have never had a problem with the iron getting all gunky then, I do spray mist with water since I don't use the steam on my iron,
    when your iron gets all gunky, it's because when you ironing instead of ironing the fabric, you were ironing the starch.
    Last edited by pocoellie; 08-25-2014 at 06:24 PM.

  4. #34
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    I have been making quilts since about 1976, and I have never pre-washed my fabric. I always press it and some times I use sizing. I have never had a fabric bleed when the quilt was washed. I have never used Batiks.

  5. #35
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    I'm another mixed answer :-) I prewash flannel and dark heavily dyed fabrics. I don't buy fabric at garage sales etc, not that I wouldn't, just don't have time. I steam and starch before cutting, and use mainly Best Press during piecing. Use color catchers when washing quilt after.
    Come to Me and I will give you rest--Jesus.

  6. #36
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I am also lazy, and I only prewash stuff I will embroider, other than that never wash, too lazy to iron. I never used starch until a year ago and now never live without the stuff. There is no right or wrong it is just simply a preference people have been doing it just fine both ways for years. Me personally don't think it makes a big difference because batting controls shrinkage and even if you prewash you will still get some shrinkage
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D

  7. #37
    Junior Member Bree123's Avatar
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    I pre-wash everything (even those Fat Quarters that say not to pre-wash) in Tap Water Cold on the shortest Handwash cycle in my washer with a small amount of Tide Free & Clear (no bleach, no fabric softener) & then dry them on Low or No Heat.
    Then, after they have completely dried (some need to sit on the drying rack for a bit), I starch & iron them.

    Since I work almost entirely with baby quilts, I want to do as much as possible to get out any extra dyes or chemicals before passing it along to the baby. I figure between pre-washing, soaking to remove markings & washing again 1-2x once it's quilted I've given it my best effort to provide the safest quilt I can.

    That said, I know Art quilters that wouldn't dream of washing fabrics ever! So I guess it's a matter of personal preference & a bit of how you plan to use the quilt. If it's going to be washed quite often -- especially if you're making it as a gift & the recipient may well go ahead & wash the quilt in warm water & dry it on medium heat -- I really would recommend pre-washing to help shrink the fabrics some before quilting (since fabrics can shrink at different rates), but if the quilts are for you or someone who will take special care when washing them, go ahead & get right into the quilting!
    Last edited by Bree123; 08-25-2014 at 07:24 PM.

  8. #38
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bree123 View Post
    That said, I know Art quilters that wouldn't dream of washing fabrics ever! So I guess it's a matter of personal preference & a bit of how you plan to use the quilt.
    On the other hand, all the art quilters I know, myself included, always pre-wash their fabrics in order to prepare them for dyeing, painting, printing, fusing, stamping, discharging, and so on. The chemicals on commercial fabrics prevent all those things from forming a proper bond with the fibers of the cloth so they need to be removed by washing before most surface design techniques are used. It's their finished quilts that seldom, if ever, see water. As you say, it all depends on your plans for the quilt, both during and after construction.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  9. #39
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    There's never a shortage of discussion on this topic .

    I prewash everything for the following reasons:

    -peace of mind (don't want any disappointments from bleeding or shrinkage once the quilt is made or washed)
    -cleanliness (some warehouses and shipping containers have bugs)
    -more time to pet my fabric
    -more likely to remember what I bought than if I bought it and stored it away till ready to use

    The best prep I found for peace of mind is this recipe from the Amish, given to me by LQS owner (who admits to only using this method on really dark colors because she is too busy making quilts on her days off).

    Recipe to Keep Colors from Running


    That said, I preSOAK each new piece of fabric in the bathroom sink. Sometimes I'm surprised at which colors run. If a color keeps running after a few soaks, I don't use it.

  10. #40
    Junior Member Bree123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    On the other hand, all the art quilters I know, myself included, always pre-wash their fabrics in order to prepare them for dyeing, painting, printing, fusing, stamping, discharging, and so on.
    Maybe you're right. Could have simply been a misunderstanding on my part.

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