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Thread: starch unwashed fabric?

  1. #1
    Kas
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    Ok, I can't believe I am actually going to do this, but the baby quilt I am working on is made up almost completely of new fabrics or ones I had in my stash that haven't been washed yet. They are all pastels, so I am thinking of just not washing them since my yardage is going to be tight on some of the colors. Here is my question....do you starch fabric even if it hasn't been washed and still has the sizing? I only done a OBW without washing first and you aren't supposed to starch or wash those first. The pattern is "Fuzzy Bear" from the Nov-Dec '07 issue of "Quiltmaker". I am not making it into a rag quilt, so I am having to adjust the seam allowances. That is another question for later!

  2. #2
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    I'm one of those that never prewash. I do use starch as needed when putting the top together. Keep us posted on your progress:)

  3. #3
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    I don't prewash and I starch my fabric till it stands on its own. lol ok not THAT bad but it is pretty freakin stiff!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Johanna Fritz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kas
    I only done a OBW without washing first and you aren't supposed to starch or wash those first.
    *What is an OBW?*

    I always wash. You may be tight on yardage, but why not add another color (complementary color - something from color wheel etc?) After you sew unwashed fabric you have 3 issues:
    1. The sizing on unwashed fabric dulls your rotary blade.
    2. When you wash after piecing, dyes may run.
    3. When you wash after piecing, fabric may shrink unevenly- puckered or stretched seams possible.
    4. Sizing can cause some rash on hands to some. If you give the quilt - baby for example, if you have not washed the fabrics and the new quilt owner doesn't either, the new owner can suffer rash issues - especially kids.

    It only takes one quilt with hours of your time to have #2 & #3 above happen - what a nightmare. Nothing worse than having some shrink a little and some a lot - all in the same quilt. Yuck.

  5. #5
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    It depends on what you are cutting. If I'm cutting on the bias I starch. I spray it on and leave it until it soaks into the fabric so that I don't have white stuff on my material and it doesn't build up on my iron. I just had to cut 2" strips; selvage to selvage so I starched it to keep it from streching while i was cutting and when I start sewing the strips together.

  6. #6
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I do not prewash and do not starch fabrics for piecing (except a little spray starch once in awhile if I feel I need it for a block).

    I do heavily starch the backing fabric and also the binding fabric before cutting the binding strips. For this I paint on a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water, using a large wall painting brush, until the fabric is saturated. I toss in the dryer and then iron with steam. This helps prevent puckers when machine quilting and also keeps the binding nice and even.

    I use Synthrapol in the first wash just in case there is any loose dye in the fabrics (and also to get rid of the starch).

    Oh, and I do pretest any suspicious fabrics for bleeding before incorporating them into a quilt. For this I just toss a small piece in a glass of water, look for bleeding, and also rub the damp piece against white fabric to make sure there is no dye transfer. For pastel fabrics, I wouldn't bother to pretest.

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I don't prewash. I use Mary Ellen's Best Press before cutting my fabrics. It makes them almost like paper and very stable and easy to work with.

  8. #8
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna Fritz
    Quote Originally Posted by Kas
    I only done a OBW without washing first and you aren't supposed to starch or wash those first.
    *What is an OBW?*

    I always wash. You may be tight on yardage, but why not add another color (complementary color - something from color wheel etc?) After you sew unwashed fabric you have 3 issues:
    1. The sizing on unwashed fabric dulls your rotary blade.
    2. When you wash after piecing, dyes may run.
    3. When you wash after piecing, fabric may shrink unevenly- puckered or stretched seams possible.
    4. Sizing can cause some rash on hands to some. If you give the quilt - baby for example, if you have not washed the fabrics and the new quilt owner doesn't either, the new owner can suffer rash issues - especially kids.

    It only takes one quilt with hours of your time to have #2 & #3 above happen - what a nightmare. Nothing worse than having some shrink a little and some a lot - all in the same quilt. Yuck.
    1. Rotary blades get dull with usage whether the fabric is washed or not.

    2. There may be loose dye but if no other fabric picks that dye up it's not a problem.

    3. Quilting makes the fabric stable and the batting has more to do with shrinkage than the fabrics.

    4. The finished quilt can be washed before being given away.

    I have even mixed washed and unwashed fabrics in a quilt with no problems.

  9. #9
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justwannaquilt
    I don't prewash and I starch my fabric till it stands on its own. lol ok not THAT bad but it is pretty freakin stiff!
    Me, too! I like to sew fabric that is pretty much like manilla folders!

  10. #10
    Kas
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    Ok, so I will probably starch the half square triangles and then not on the squares. I am not worried about dyes transfering on this quilt since everything is Easter Egg color (pastel purples, yellows, pinks and greens)and I always wash a quilt before using it. I will test my blue washout marker on all the quilts since I am not sure how the sizing will react with it. Usually that is done by putting a blue mark on a scrap of each fabric during construction. Then I soak then in cold water before marking the whole quilt. I haven't ever had a fabric be stained, but I always check just in case since the label on the pens tells me to.

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