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Thread: Shrinkage

  1. #1
    Senior Member KiwiQuilter's Avatar
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    I've been reading a few threads recently about the amount of shrinkage that has occurred with fabrics. Some of the results were quite shocking.

    My question is - to obtain that kind of shrinkage are the fabrics washed in hot water? I would have thought that cold water wouldn't shrink the fabrics that much.

  2. #2
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    in my experience, the hotter the better, the most shrinkage. i also use the hottest dryer setting just to make sure i've done it all. i hate to say this, but sometimes, there is residual shrinkage, but you can only do what you can do. some members also shrink their batting and i did that once. never again.

  3. #3
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    ^^^Gah. I can't even imagine trying to shrink batting. I would go nuts!

    Yeah, when I prewash I hot wash, then dry-dry-dry. That's about the best you can do. And with backing, I cut extra generous so I'm not REALLY in trouble!

  4. #4
    Power Poster
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    There have been what seem like a gazillion threads about "washing or not washing fabrics"

    Check it out for yourself.

    Measure some fabrics BOTH lengthwise and crosswise. Wash and dry it. Measure it again.

    In my experience, most woven cottons shrink some - some a little - some a lot - and even "quilt shop quality fabrics" have shrunk for me. A Michael Miller black shrank more than two inches in width.

    I have quite a few 35 inch lengths that were "quilt shop quality" - that I know I purchased at least a yard of - and that was when I was using the warm wash - which is tepid - and the cold rinse.

    Cold water washing may minimize shrinkage.

    I actually like some fabrics better after they've been shrunk (tightened up).

  5. #5
    Super Member trif's Avatar
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    Too bad that hot water trick won't shrink me, I would sit in a hot tub for hours to shrink inches ha ha ha. Seriously, the only time I worry about my fabric shrinking is with flannel, otherwise I don't typically worry

  6. #6
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    some fabrics will shrink regardless of the water or dryer temperature. others won't shrink at all.

    if i prewash, i usually use either cold or warm water, but the highest dryer setting. once a quilt is finished, i use cold water and the low-heat dryer setting. not for any special reason. simply because that's the way i do all my laundry.

    i'm not sure there's a "right" or "wrong" way.

  7. #7
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray

    I actually like some fabrics better after they've been shrunk (tightened up).
    me too. they have more body. especially the fabrics that came from joann's, which mostly are garbage to start with.

  8. #8
    reach for the stars 2's Avatar
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    I don't worry to much ever since I heard the Fons and Porter ladies never prewash anything. I kind of like the old fashion look when it puckers a little.

  9. #9
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    if you don't wash the batting, it puckers anyway. the shrinking batting pulls the fabric in and causes the bubbling.

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