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Thread: Washing backing fabric before using?

  1. #1
    Super Member SandyinZ4's Avatar
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    Wanted to ask if this has happened to any of you before. When I finished working on my latest effort of FMQ the other day, I noticed that there was a residue the same color as my backing fabric on the edges of my sewing machine where the fabric moved across. It came off with some elbow grease and a bit of WD-40. But I was just wondering if any of you have had this happen when you are machine quilting? I was thinking perhaps it might be better to wash the fabric first to get the sizing or whatever it is out and perhaps it would go more smoothly as I am sliding it around. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Super Member earthwalker's Avatar
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    This has not happened to me, but I am a pre-washer of everything. If the colour is dark and coming off on surfaces I would think the dye is maybe not stable and could run. I know there are products to stop this problem (colour catchers etc. but I'm not in the USA so someone will help you there). So I suggest that before you wash it invest in some and you won't have a disaster on your hands.

    Interestingly, I recently read my new OBW book, and it stipulated no pre-washing, so when I get round to doing it I guess I'll break my "rule", but only for that project. I just don't like nasty surprises.

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earthwalker
    This has not happened to me, but I am a pre-washer of everything. If the colour is dark and coming off on surfaces I would think the dye is maybe not stable and could run. I know there are products to stop this problem (colour catchers etc. but I'm not in the USA so someone will help you there). So I suggest that before you wash it invest in some and you won't have a disaster on your hands.

    Interestingly, I recently read my new OBW book, and it stipulated no pre-washing, so when I get round to doing it I guess I'll break my "rule", but only for that project. I just don't like nasty surprises.
    EarthWalker ... I prewash everything, so did my OBW fabric without even thinking. I go tmro and when they were giving me my list of things to bring said unwashed. OUCH! I said, oh already done .... she said no problem, press it up real good, and do a good job with spray starch or sizing.

    They like it to be unwashed so that when you are shaking the multiple layers out and into place they will not stick to each other and will fall nicely in place. She didn't seem to be bothered with me having it washed, so we'll see tmro!

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandyinZ4
    Wanted to ask if this has happened to any of you before. When I finished working on my latest effort of FMQ the other day, I noticed that there was a residue the same color as my backing fabric on the edges of my sewing machine where the fabric moved across. It came off with some elbow grease and a bit of WD-40. But I was just wondering if any of you have had this happen when you are machine quilting? I was thinking perhaps it might be better to wash the fabric first to get the sizing or whatever it is out and perhaps it would go more smoothly as I am sliding it around. Any thoughts?
    ITA that I'd be worried if the colour has been coming off onto your machine, that you may have problems when you go to wash the whole quilt.

    I'd sooner find that out before I put all the work into sewing something ... than to ruin a quilt after the fact.

    Prewash and "abuse" (ie hot wash and hot dryer) it all upfront to avoid disappointments later is my rule of thumb!

  5. #5
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    I also wash everything as soon as I get it. :)

  6. #6
    Super Member fabric whisperer's Avatar
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    I had that happen with a red batik... I won't ever do a red backing again unless its the Blue Star (service) flag... and I had prewashed/dried that red TWICE and it still left its little gift on my pretty white machine bed.

  7. #7
    Super Member earthwalker's Avatar
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    EarthWalker ... I prewash everything, so did my OBW fabric without even thinking. I go tmro and when they were giving me my list of things to bring said unwashed. OUCH! I said, oh already done .... she said no problem, press it up real good, and do a good job with spray starch or sizing.

    They like it to be unwashed so that when you are shaking the multiple layers out and into place they will not stick to each other and will fall nicely in place. She didn't seem to be bothered with me having it washed, so we'll see tmro![/quote]

    Cool....I may use something I have on hand in that case (I pre-wash and fold before putting on my stash shelves). Let us know how you go....hope all goes well with your OBW.

  8. #8
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE
    Prewash and "abuse" (ie hot wash and hot dryer) it all upfront to avoid disappointments later is my rule of thumb!
    ditto. I used a civil war type red backing on a wall hanging recently. I didn't worry about the prewash of this as it will probably never be washed. It left a red bed on my machine. Thanks for the tip on removing it with WD-40

  9. #9
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    sounds like you have a fabric that may run when washed- if the color is coming off while it is dry. i have had this happen once- with a red i was using and really (thought) was stable. i had ran water through it and believed it to not run..then while sewing noticed the edges of my machine had red on them- when i washed the quilt i used cold water and threw in 3 color catchers- and all 3 were bright red when they came out- along with the whole quilt being quite a (surprising) shade of pink.
    i have forced my self to be much better about pre=washing

  10. #10
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I wash the backing to prevent this from happening. I prewash everything except for pre-cuts.

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