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Thread: Wash or Not?

  1. #1
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    I am wondering if it is really necessary to wash your fabric before cutting it. It seems so limp after washing, and the wrinkles seem to want to stay.
    Thanks for helping this newbie.

  2. #2
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    I don't but I always use 2 or 3 color catchers and always wash in cold water when I am finished. So far so good.

  3. #3
    Super Member mamaw's Avatar
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    Washing removes factory chemicals and allows for the fabric to shrink before cutting it up. Do not use fabric softener on it.

  4. #4
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    It really is a personal choice. Some do , some don't :? Also how do you want the quilt to look when it is totally finished, and what type of batting will you be using :shock: I know a lot more to think about LOL
    If you use polyester batting that doesn't shrink when washed , the cotton battings shrink some, so if the fabric is prewashed but the batting isn't the quilt will have a wrinkled look to it when you wash it all together. You can wash the batting and fabric to get less to no wrinkles. Or you can NOT wash the fabric and batting and they should shrink at about the same rate.
    Clear as mud :? :roll:

  5. #5
    Super Member JanetM's Avatar
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    Like Sharon B. says..it is a personal choice.
    I always prewash because I don't want to take a chance that one of the fabrics I use will shrink more than another especially if I am using fabrics from different manufacturers. Many members on this board that prewash use starch when they iron the fabric to give it more body and to stabilize it.

    If you use batiks or hand-dyes I encourage you to prewash or use a color catcher the first time you wash your quilt as often times they have excess dye.

    If you decide to prewash clip off the corners of your fabric (a small clip will do). This will minimize fraying.

  6. #6
    Super Member NauDeeGal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharon b
    It really is a personal choice. Some do , some don't :? Also how do you want the quilt to look when it is totally finished, and what type of batting will you be using :shock: I know a lot more to think about LOL
    If you use polyester batting that doesn't shrink when washed , the cotton battings shrink some, so if the fabric is prewashed but the batting isn't the quilt will have a wrinkled look to it when you wash it all together. You can wash the batting and fabric to get less to no wrinkles. Or you can NOT wash the fabric and batting and they should shrink at about the same rate.
    Clear as mud :? :roll:



    Thank you Faye for asking this question! And thank you sharonb for the clear not as mud answer! I have been wondering which way is better. Now it makes more sense to me that it truly depends on how you want each quilt to look once completed. More creativity possible when planning out a project.

    DeeDee

  7. #7
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    Can anyone explain why clipped off corners help with the fraying?

  8. #8
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    I think that this is the reason . . .

    The threads that run side to side (woof) are actually one continuous thread. By clipping off the corners, if the thread on the cut edge is snagged it will not pull out any further than the width of the fabric

  9. #9
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    Thanks, learn something everyday.

  10. #10
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fayedear
    I am wondering if it is really necessary to wash your fabric before cutting it. It seems so limp after washing, and the wrinkles seem to want to stay.
    Thanks for helping this newbie.
    It's a personal choice.

    I don't pre-wash. If I suspect a fabric might not be colorfast, I test a small piece in a glass of water to see if the water colors. If it doesn't color, I rub the wet fabric against a piece of white fabric to see if any color transfers. If it doesn't, the fabric is okay to use. I have never found excessive shrinking to be a problem with modern fabrics, especially when they are closely quilted.

    If I were to pre-wash, I would starch the fabric before ironing and cutting. Pre-washing removes all the sizing from the fabric. Starching restores body and stability so the fabric is less likely to stretch out of shape with handling.

    Harriet Hargrave once demonstrated that even flannel fabric does not need to be prewashed if you are machine quilting. She made a quilt completely out of unwashed flannels, machine quilted it (with lines maybe 2 inches apart), and then washed it. It came out beautifully! (However, I do personally always wash and dry flannels *twice* before starching and cutting, because I have seen flannel shrink incredibly. I have no way of knowing if my flannels are the same quality as HH's flannels, so I don't take chances with flannel! HH's point was that quilting through all of the layers stabilizes the fabric.)

    Also, just to be sure there will be no bleeds, I always wash a new quilt in Synthrapol. Synthrapol suspends any unset dye particles in the wash water so they don't have a chance to settle in other fabrics. If I see any color in the first wash water, I will continue to wash the quilt in Synthrapol until the water is clear.

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