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Thread: Macine Washing Hand Applique

  1. #1
    Member sewgirl's Avatar
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    I have been teaching myself to applique by the needle turn method. For this method I am using 100 wt silk thread, but heard that if I do that - machine washing say two times a year will quickly destroy the thread. I like to use my quilts and I have worked very hard on this quilt. Should I start using 60wt 2 ply or a 50 wt. I am concerned and confused. Help Please!!

  2. #2
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    I'm gonna watch this thread. I was taught to use silk thread also. Haven't appliqued in a while but need to know this when I start up again.

  3. #3
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Not sure what the "proper" thread to use is, but I use 100% cotton for all my applique. It holds up well, and I have never had a problem. (Not to say I won't have tomorrow!)

  4. #4
    Super Member shequilts's Avatar
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    Interesting food for thought here... I'm currently taking a class from an expert teacher and the supply list only called for silk thread. After I read this post, I looked at my stash of silks and not one of them has a weight on it. The brand is YLI. The only number is the color number.

  5. #5
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I don't understand why machine washing would destroy silk thread any faster than other threads. Silk thread is stronger than cotton, so it can be a finer weight than cotton and still survive stress.

    With *any* hand appliqued quilt (or any quilt other than a purely utility quilt), I would not agitate the quilt in a top-loading washer. If a top-loader is all that is available, stop the machine when it gets to the wash cycle and just push it up and down by hand to swish soapy water through it. Advance to spin and spin out the water. Same with the rinse cycle. Spinning is pretty easy on a quilt, but top-loader agitators are very hard on a quilt.

    Also, with any hand applique, it's a good idea to knot the thread underneath the background every once in awhile. I used to do that when hemming a skirt so that, if a stitch was broken, the entire hem would not unravel.

  6. #6
    shaverg's Avatar
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    I use mainly cotton, no less than 50wt, prefer a higher number.

  7. #7
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    I don't understand why machine washing would destroy silk thread any faster than other threads. Silk thread is stronger than cotton, so it can be a finer weight than cotton and still survive stress.

    With *any* hand appliqued quilt (or any quilt other than a purely utility quilt), I would not agitate the quilt in a top-loading washer. If a top-loader is all that is available, stop the machine when it gets to the wash cycle and just push it up and down by hand to swish soapy water through it. Advance to spin and spin out the water. Same with the rinse cycle. Spinning is pretty easy on a quilt, but top-loader agitators are very hard on a quilt.

    Also, with any hand applique, it's a good idea to knot the thread underneath the background every once in awhile. I used to do that when hemming a skirt so that, if a stitch was broken, the entire hem would not unravel.
    Great tips! Thanks!

  8. #8
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    I use my reg. cotton thread for applique and haven't had a problem. I really don't understand the reasoning for having to have silk. I just use thread that matches really well and you can hardly see any stitches.

  9. #9
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    Silk YLI is usually 100 wt. It shouldn't be damaged when washed.

    If the fabrics are not preshrunk, when washed, the fabrics will shrink, pulling on the thread and being frayed. This is true for any thread, not just silk.

  10. #10
    Super Member shequilts's Avatar
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    The "reason" behind using silk thread is its uncanny ability to disappear into the fabric. 'Makes the applique stitch truly invisible.

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