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Thread: Too pre-wash or not

  1. #1
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    I just pre-washed all my beautiful fabric today in a gentle wash & then put it all in the dryer on gentle and medium heat. It came out with all the loose threads that have tried to 'mate' with other pieces of material making it hard to get them apart without first cutting the threads. Some pieces are terribly wrinkled and when I've ironed them with my good steam iron, the wrinkles did not come out completely. The materials that seemed to have the most loose threads (I bet I lost a little over 1/4th inch of good material from some pieces). The material that seemed to unravel the most is Henry Glass & the Marcus Christmas fabric.
    How do you keep from having this problem, short of not pre-washing and drying? And how about the wrinkles, I even pulled the material out of the dryer the instant it shut off, how do you get rid of them completely? Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.
    Karenn

  2. #2
    Super Member burnsk's Avatar
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    Did you try "sprinkling" (my mom's term for spraying with water) or maybe spray starch?

  3. #3
    Super Member Barb_MO's Avatar
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    That is the reason I don't prewash. I would do the old fashion way of sprinkling. lay the fabric out and have a bowl of water. dip your hand it the water, and then shake it around over the cloth...all over. then fold the fabric and roll up. you can put it in a pile. Once it sits a while the water will be distributed and will probably be evenly damp.

  4. #4
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I don't prewash for the same reason. I will if it is for a swap or IRR.

  5. #5
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    You're going to get all kinds of solutions to your questions about prewashing fabrics, but here's what I do. I prewash everything to avoid shrinking and running when I make traditional quilts and so I can be sure the fusible will adhere when I make art quilts.

    I wash using the gentle cycle, with hot wash, warm rinse and no detergents. When I take the fabrics out of the washer to go into the dryer, I cut all the loose threads. It's the dryer that ties everything up in knots, not the washer. After 20 minutes in the dryer, with no dryer sheets, there are a few more threads that need trimming, but none of the fabrics are tangled up so they are all ready to be folded and put away. I don't iron them until I'm ready to use them. I lose way more fabric in squaring up for the first cut than I do in unraveled edges from prewashing. This system works really well for me.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all your suggestions. I used the shot of steam & the spray on the iron & still didn't get out all the wrinkles. My can of starch wasn't working, too many years under the bathroom sink, I think. I do have my old pepsi/sprinkling bottle that I've had for over 30 years so I'll try it next and I'll fold and roll the pieces up like Barb suggested to give the material a chance to get completely damp. And I'll go back to my old way of pre-washing in the bathroom sink, hot water first, then cold water, then into a gentle drying cycle. And thanks ghostrider for reminding me that I shouldn't be ironing the fabric until I'm ready to cut.

  7. #7
    Super Member burnsk's Avatar
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    Someone out here on the board suggested "pinking" the raw edges and that does work if you can spare just a smidge of your fabric to do it.

  8. #8
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    Unfortunately my pinking shears are hidden in my sewing room because they haven't been used in over 40 years. They never did seem cut the fabric well. I think they were defective when they were given to me. But thanks for the suggestion.

  9. #9
    sewfunquilts's Avatar
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    I don't pre-wash my fabrics anymore unless I'm using Red with some sort of white. When I did wash big batches, the best thing I found was to trim a small piece off each of the 4 corners...and it prevents the raveling. You'll have a few threads, but not enough to get tangled up.

    I've also just washed it, and then hung it to dry over hangers or towel rods...or shower curtain rods, and didn't put it in the dryer.
    Too much trouble for me now, and I like sewing with the crisp new finish & feel of new fabric.

    Why are you washing it??

  10. #10
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    I've never heard about the 4 corner trick. Thanks. If I ever pre-wash anymore fabric in the machine, I'll have to try that.
    I'm making Christmas lap quilts with reds, blacks, dark blues & greens in them as gifts and didn't want to take any chances with those bright colors bleeding.
    I don't pre-wash the material when I'm making something for my family to use.

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