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Thread: Shrinkage direction

  1. #1
    Junior Member JudyMN's Avatar
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    Shrinkage direction

    I have just washed several fabrics and noticed the shrinkage was greater WOF than LOF. Is this normal? I had trouble making borders with the severe shrinkage. I now have a seam on the top and bottom borders about three inches from the edge. :-(

  2. #2
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    Fabrics also stretch a little more WOF than LOF. That's why I try to cut strips to make into blocks LOF but I cut binding WOF.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    yes, it's very normal for more shrinkage wof. that's one reason why i always prewash.
    Nancy in western NY

  4. #4
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    yes, it's very normal for more shrinkage wof. that's one reason why i always prewash.
    I agree. I've been measuring before and afters. Except for batiks, all fabric I've purchased shrinks WOF, sometimes a couple of inches. It's my understanding that when the fabric is printed, it's stretched a bit to remove wrinkles, so when you wash it, it really doesn't shrink, the fibers just relax to their normal state. But whatever you call it, after you wash it, the WOF is shorter than before.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  5. #5
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    I've heard that some fabrics are not made as wide as they used to be. When we do a 10" square fabric swap for a class I take, we have to be careful to buy fabric that is at least wide enough to cut 4 squares after the selvage is cut off. We have to prewash also.

  6. #6
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Fabric shrinkage on the width is just as common as the lenght. I have had fabric shrink as I was ironing with steam.

  7. #7
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Basically, crosswise grain shrinks more for the exact same reason that it stretches more. Crosswise grain (the weft threads) will always shrink and stretch more than the lengthwise grain (the warp threads), but it's due to the weaving process, not the printing. In weaving the fabric, the warp threads are stronger and are held tightly in place on the loom. The weft threads are then run back and forth over and under the warp.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    I just had a 110" quilt back shrink to 100" WOF...SO glad I pre-wash! But yes, I sometimes lose up to 2" on a regular piece of fabric.

  9. #9
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    I also measured many fabrics before and after washing - partly to see if it was worth the effort - and to me it is -

    Some fabrics shrink only one way or the other - some shrink both ways - I've had a very few woven cotton fabrics that didn't have noticeable shrinkage - but I think that is about 1% of the total -

    LQS fabric has also shrunk for me.

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