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Thread: prewashing fabrics

  1. #1

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    There seems to be controversy about this, does one, or doesn't one prewash fabrics?

    And if you do prewash how do you prevent your fabric from pulling threads at the cut ends? At the moment I run my overlocker over the ends before I do wash fabric, but it can be quite a lenghty job

    M

  2. #2
    dd
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    Super Member dd's Avatar
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    I always prewash and serge the ends. I just prewashed fat1/4s yesterday. Strings all over the place. Won't do that again. I put them in a lingerie bag before. Don't know why I didn't do that this time. Some people want that look of washing afterward. What ever you do just make sure all the fabrics are the same. Remember the story in the bible about putting new wine in old wine skins? Don't need your quilt bursting at the seams.

  3. #3
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    I do not prewash my fabric. It is definitely a personal choice as to wash or not wash.

  4. #4
    Super Member sewmuchmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy
    I do not prewash my fabric. It is definitely a personal choice as to wash or not wash.
    I too do not prewash. I love the look you get when you wash the quilt. :P

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by sewmuchmore
    I too do not prewash. I love the look you get when you wash the quilt. :P
    Can I ask what difference there is in the look?

    M

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by maktub
    Quote Originally Posted by sewmuchmore
    I too do not prewash. I love the look you get when you wash the quilt. :P
    Can I ask what difference there is in the look?

    M
    Fabrics that are not prewashed will shrink a little when the finished quilt is washed and the quilt will have that wrinkly look like an old vintage quilt.

    I prewash all my fabric because I do not like the chemicals used in producing the fabric. Plus I suspect most fabric that is imported is treated with insecticides. I know ready made clothing is. I also like working with fabric that has been washed and starched. I clip the corners of the fabric piece and I have very little raveling.

  7. #7
    Senior Member LisaGibbs's Avatar
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    I am not a pre-washer because I just wash when done to get all the messy lines and other markers off at one time. I guess if you are sensitive to some of the treatments to fabric or think it is going to bleed in color it would be best to surge edges and wash away in a gentle cycle just meant to get out the obvious and not stains. Careful with fabric softner as it can make the fabric fade faster in my opinion.

  8. #8
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    I think the subject of prewashing fabric is similar to the 'chicken and egg'. I'm a prewasher. I wash to make sure nothing is going to run; get rid of excessive shrinkage; get rid of chemicals/sizing. I then press and starch. I do not, however, prewash my batting. I wash all of my quilts after they are completed and still get the vintage/crinkly look which I like (plus it hides/minimizes my quilting booboos). I typically only do this with yardage. I don't buy FQ's very often. I don't treat edges in any fashion. Sometimes I get lots of tangled threads. Just last week I washed a ton of Hoffman batik fabric and I have to say there was almost no tangled threads. I was quite impressed compared to other LQS quality fabrics I've washed.

  9. #9
    Super Member Ps 150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maktub
    There seems to be controversy about this, does one, or doesn't one prewash fabrics?

    And if you do prewash how do you prevent your fabric from pulling threads at the cut ends? At the moment I run my overlocker over the ends before I do wash fabric, but it can be quite a lenghty job

    M
    I think everyone has their own way of doing things. If you like that wrinkled look of antique quilts, then don't. But, I must caution you, dark fabrics like navy blue and black and then there's the reds, they're most likely to bleed into your lighter quilts so they should be prewashed in hot water and some vinegar to get the colors out. I know that there's new "Color Catchers" you can throw in with the quilt but I've never been one to trust new gadgets and gizmos. They may work but I'm sure there's got to be one quilt out there that they would fail on and it would most likely be one of mine! :lol:

    Personally, I like to prewash and dry my fabrics because I find that even with prewashing, they still get a bit wrinkly when the quilt is all done and washed, and then I know there will be minimal shrinking, if any, but the colors won't bleed!

  10. #10
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    The short answers.

    Yes.

    No.

    There seem to be at least a gazillion threads about this topic.

    The results are almost always the same.

    The results seem to come down to - more or less - this:

    Some people wash EVERYTHING that can be washed before cutting it.

    Some people only wash SOME things - which answer puzzles me the most

    Some people NEVER wash anything before cutting.

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