Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 36

Thread: prewashing fabric

  1. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Greendale Twp: Midland, MI
    Posts
    216
    I said I sort my fabric for pre-washing, but was just wondering outloud why I bother.
    Once they are sewn together they are all going to be washed together, right?
    I do think the separated colors for pre-wash will diminish the running of darker colors into the lighter colors.
    As a side note; I was prewashing a red and white print with a solid white that was to go with it. The red and white stayed like it was printed, but the white piece turned pink. I soaked that one in Oxy-Clean and it took the pink out of it.
    This is for a garment, so I think I will try washing them together one more time before making up the garment (unless I can live with a pink trim).
    Joyce

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    4
    Prewashing fabric does more than control fugitive dyes and control shrinkage: It also removes a whole slew of fabric conditioners. Some conditioners interfere with the way fusible products bond; some are sizing that make thin or loosely woven fabric feel more substantial; some conditioners make a soft, short-staple cotton feel smoother and hide the fact that its threads are inherently weak and that the fabric will pill and wear out quickly. I have found, after washing a new fabric that seemed of reasonable quality, that it turned out to be very inferior. Sometimes I will choose not use this fabric in my quilts at all. Sometimes I will just choose not to use it for binding, where I want to use a stronger fabric.

    In general, I find prewashing gives you a lot of useful information about the actual quality of the fabric you have bought, and helps you make choices about how to use it: in an heirloom quilt? in a baby blanket that will be washed frequently? In a wall hanging that is not likely to be washed at all after it is hung?

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    3
    I think it's important to get the sizing out of fabric before washing it. First of all, I can't stand the smell of the sizing, nor the feel of it. You can't be certain that the threads of the fabric have been aligned properly by the manufacturer. Also, it's really important to separate colours-I've avoided real disasters that way.Washing, then stretching the fabric if needed will help your project. When drying the fabric, take it from the dryer before it's bone dry--then you can adjust it as necessary. I press the fabric using a light spray starch. For newbies, there's a difference between pressing and ironing. Pressing is a light, straight up and down motion-not swirling the way you'd press a shirt. This prevents distortion of all your hard work!
    I hope this helps.

  4. #24
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    7,081
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by sparkela
    I think it's important to get the sizing out of fabric before washing it. First of all, I can't stand the smell of the sizing, nor the feel of it. You can't be certain that the threads of the fabric have been aligned properly by the manufacturer. Also, it's really important to separate colours-I've avoided real disasters that way.Washing, then stretching the fabric if needed will help your project. When drying the fabric, take it from the dryer before it's bone dry--then you can adjust it as necessary. I press the fabric using a light spray starch. For newbies, there's a difference between pressing and ironing. Pressing is a light, straight up and down motion-not swirling the way you'd press a shirt. This prevents distortion of all your hard work!
    I hope this helps.
    if you stretch your fabric before you cut and piece with it, you run a very real risk it will revert to its natural shape as soon as it's washed again, thus pulling your block back out of whack - even after it's been quilted. i would discourage that practice and suggest, instead, blocking the damp fabric as you would a sweater. that is, gently smoothing and shaping it, (but not forcing it past its natural limits), then let it dry on its own. to make sure it will stay that way, wet it again with a spray bottle (without moving it) to see what happens to the shape. if it retains the shape, use it as is. if not, either learn to love its whacky warf and weft or save it for a crazy quilt.

    i apologize for being so picky and overly obsessive about semantics, but these are important details.

    a less important, but equally picky, detail: spray sizing usually doesn't gunk up and get flaky, even if you apply a fairly heavy coat. spray starch sometimes does. (don't ask me how I know that. too much confession may be good for the soul, but it beats the heck out of my ego. LOL)

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    4
    This is for Joaneau who asked how to control fraying when she prewashes her fabrics:

    Yup- agitator washers can do a job on some fabrics. Batiks seem much less prone to this than others. If your machine has a "delicates" or "gentle, fast" setting try that. It does help. I also wash my fabrics in those zippered mesh laundry bags (unfold the fabrics so the water will penetrate!), especially for fat quarters which ravel from three sides! Fabric is getting too expensive to lose significant amounts in the wash!

    Also consider keeping a scissors near by. (I hang mine on a cup hook screwed into the wall next to the washing machine, labeled "Laundry Room"). Trim the ravels and knots and untangle the fabric before it goes into the dryer. This lets the fabric relax and reshape and it is so-o-o much easier to press and fold later. Good luck!


  6. #26
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    So. California
    Posts
    3,807
    I usually prewash my fabrics - I could say for all those good reasons everyone else has already noted, but really I do it because I don't like the way fabric feels before it's washed! ;) Yep, it's a touchy-feely thing for me. I've also heard that if you pink the edges before you wash it won't fray, but I haven't tried that. I know I have pinking shears SOMEWHERE in my house, but they may be in THAT room I try not to go into right now because I need to get a new machete & explorer's hat.... :roll:

    sue

  7. #27
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Granbury, Texas
    Posts
    889
    Thanks Marsh Queen for your info. You all have many good ideas. I know it will take many different trials and errors, especially for a beginner, but I will get there sooner or later :)

  8. #28

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    284
    In my younger days I used to work in a sewing factory. One place I sewed all the pockets on blue jeans and another I sewed the cotton crotch lining in underwear. By the time the end product actually goes in a box and shipped out it has been handled by maybe 30 or more people. It's been sat on, dropped in the floor, drinks spilled on them and who knows where else it's been. ANYTHING I buy gets washed before I use it. So there's another reason to prewash. OTHER PEOPLE'S GERMS

  9. #29
    Super Member burnsk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    3,365
    Blog Entries
    2
    Debbie - I have a friend who has worked in the fabric business for over 40 years and her fingernails are terrible - thin and cracked - and she said she thought it was from handling fabrics and the sizing put in it. Don't know if she's right but it sure sounds possible.

  10. #30
    Senior Member dojo36's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Odessa, Texas
    Posts
    884
    I'm new to quilting too, started in January of this year. But a friend who has been quilting for years told me to just unfold your fabric, put it in washing machine, use just warm water and your usual laundry detergent but just wash it for a minute, then let it rinse, and put it in the dryer. Then it usually needs to be ironed before cutting. Of course, you will cut off the frayed ends when you square it up. Good luck.

Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.