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Thread: ? on prewashing fabrics

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    3
    :? I'm new so i'm sorry if this seems dumb.

    I've been reading your posts on "prewashing or not" of fabrics. I realize the shrink factor in cotton, but what about other fabrics such as a micro suede or other synthetic fabrics? The regular washing instructions are wash cold, hang dry ? and what about dry clean only fabrics? should they be cleaned first?

    There are so many beatiful, rich feeling fabrics out there, that I'd like to make a luxury quilt for myself. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Member Yvonne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Humboldt County, California
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    1,723
    I would say to treat the fabric the way it will be treated once it's sewn.
    If you're going to wash your quilt in cold water then pre-wash the fabric in cold water. If you will wash in hot then pre-wash in hot... etc, etc, etc.

    Also, read directions. I didn't and it was pure luck that I didn't ruin one of my quilts. I'd used a wool batt and the quilt was gorgeous. I threw it into the washer and dryer. Damp dried it and then let it finish air drying. THEN I read the directions... Luck was with me that day, let me tell you. I often forget to read the end of the bolt of fabric for this important information, or the packaging. Getting better though!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    3
    Thanks! :D

    So much debate these days on whether to prewash or not. I appreciate the advice.

  4. #4
    bbwalkup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    69
    I think the prewash question will go down in history next to how should the toilet paper hang off of the roll. But me personally, I'm just thrilled if my husband not only gets out a new roll but actually puts is on the holder. Little things in life thrill me.
    I personally don't prewash. I use the excuse that I like my quilts to have the old comfy look to them. But I think it's more out of lazyness. I will say, that if I get fabic second hand I have to wash it as soon as I get it home. Just some freak thing in me makes me do that. Also, something I learned years ago from my mom: always wash a quilt or clothing you've made BEFORE giving it as a gift!!
    She made a beautiful teddy bear quilt for my cousin's baby, when she washed it before wrapping it. All the fabic fell apart. Every seam held, but the fabric just went kaput on her. We would rather have it die on us and have a chance to fix it, than to have a loved one we give it to face that. Also, I have cats and Mom smokes. We do the final wash to remove any odors. My father-in-law is very allergic to our animals and I'd hate to have him not enjoy something or have a reaction to a gift at a party or dinner.
    I know I'm not much of a help with the whole prewash, but I find the postwash to be invaluable!!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    3
    I have to thank you for this mornings laugh :D and your probably right. I can also agree with the hubby thing, but it's those little things you will miss when they are gone.
    I usually prewash cottons and flannels when it comes to clothing, but I haven't done alot of quilts. I've done alot of wedding dresses, clothing, purses, drapes, etc. but I thought I'd try a more advanced wildlife applique quilt using some of my fancy scraps like micro suedes, faux leather, etc. You make a great point with your postwash advice. I'd feel awful if I gave a gift that I made and it fell apart! I'll definately make a point to do that. I think it says something for the craftsmanship if the seams hold, but the fabric falls apart.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    SE Wisconsin
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    I don't like all the chemicals and pesticides on my hands when I am working with fabrics. I don't use spray starch, either, for the same reason. I just like the plain clean cotton.

    But I do professional dressmaking, too, and I have a churchful of young ladies who depend on me to sew and alter their special dresses. (It's usually my wedding gift to them - to do their sewing for the wedding.) I don't prewash those fabrics, or other specialty fabrics that are not machine washable. Instead I hang them in a well-aired place to release fumes and dust/lint until I am ready to cut and sew. I wash my hands often while I am working with them, too.

    If the care instructions are to cold wash and hang to dry, I will do that. I hang most of our clothes to dry, anyhow, and mostly just use the dryer for prewashing fabrics and battings.

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