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Thread: Softening Stiff Fabric

  1. #1
    Junior Member MissSongbird's Avatar
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    Softening Stiff Fabric

    I was given some fabric by an aunt a while ago and now I have a project it would be perfect for, but the fabric is a bit stiff. I've encountered fabric like this before, but I've never known how to fix this slight problem.

    I don't believe it has ever been washed, so I figure that will help a bit. But is there something I could do or use to soften the fabric?

  2. #2
    Senior Member SittingPretty's Avatar
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    It might just be stiff because of the sizing they put it when its manufactured. Washing should help. If it's still stiff, try washing it again and use fabric softener. LOL, you might just have to starch it like mad to get it stiffer again!
    SittingPretty

  3. #3
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Washing should help. You might also want to do a burn test to make sure it's cotton. I would do that before I washed it just in case it's not cotton (and not machine washable).
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I agree that it's probably the sizing that makes it stiff, but if it doesn't soften up after washing, you may not want to use it.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I prewash all my fabrics and I don't use starch. Just me.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  6. #6
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    It may have alot of sizing because of low thread count. after its washed you may not want to use it.

  7. #7
    Junior Member MissSongbird's Avatar
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    I'm sure it is cotton. It seems like such a waste not to use it.

  8. #8
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    I use the match test to determine if the fabric is cotton or polyester. I use an aluminum pie plate and place a lighted match to the piece of fabric in it. If the residue is powdery/ashy, then it is cotton. If the residue shows the fabric with a melted/stiff/oil like edge, it is polyester or synthetic. The test also works well in determining if a silk like fabric is silk or synthetic.

  9. #9
    Junior Member MissSongbird's Avatar
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    I ended up washing the fabric with a towel and using a bit of fabric softner. It is a lot better now than it was originally.

  10. #10
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    You can put it in the freezer for a while. Apparently the Irish used to put their new irish linen items out in the snow to soften them.

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