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Thread: Washing fabric one fabric at a time?

  1. #1
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    In the debate of whether or not you pre-wash your fabrics, I take the side the pre-washing because I don't want to run into any sort of surprises. I wash my fabrics one at a time on the smallest load because I worry about colors running together.

    That's kind of a problem. Though I am trying to put in an effort to change this, I still live with my mother. It seems like she'll nag at me about every little thing. The other day I went and washed one of the fabrics for my Shuriken Packer quilt and she nagged at me because it was the only item in the wash.

    I guess this is not a huge problem as I don't have a lot of fabrics to wash.........................yet. My big project requires about 70 or so different colors of marble/watercolor fabrics. I definatly worry about color fast-ness on this one as there are so many fabrics and a lot of subtle color variation that I don't want to ruin because excess dye got into other fabrics. But even if I had my own washer and dryer, doing 70 loads for each indivual fabric is a bit ridiculous.

    What can I do to avoid colors possibly running together without having to do so many loads of laundry?

  2. #2
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    use a color catcher or synthrapol

  3. #3
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_V_Goddess
    In the debate of whether or not you pre-wash your fabrics, I take the side the pre-washing because I don't want to run into any sort of surprises. I wash my fabrics one at a time on the smallest load because I worry about colors running together.

    That's kind of a problem. Though I am trying to put in an effort to change this, I still live with my mother. It seems like she'll nag at me about every little thing. The other day I went and washed one of the fabrics for my Shuriken Packer quilt and she nagged at me because it was the only item in the wash.

    I guess this is not a huge problem as I don't have a lot of fabrics to wash.........................yet. My big project requires about 70 or so different colors of marble/watercolor fabrics. I definatly worry about color fast-ness on this one as there are so many fabrics and a lot of subtle color variation that I don't want to ruin because excess dye got into other fabrics. But even if I had my own washer and dryer, doing 70 loads for each indivual fabric is a bit ridiculous.

    What can I do to avoid colors possibly running together without having to do so many loads of laundry?
    Personally, if it was me and I had that many pieces to wash, I would be doing it in the bathroom sink by hand. I am a great believer in color catchers. If you do them by hand, you are using less water, agitating with your hands, which will minimize fraying, and you will be able to see right away if a fabric is going to run. I have a well pump and would be very upset if one of my kids came in and started washing one piece of fabric at time. Back to the hand washing, after a thorough rinsing till the water runs clear, roll the fabric in a towel to get the excess water out and then dry as desired.

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Wash by hand in the sink or tub depending on the yardage involved and how much room you need for agitation, spin in the washer and then machine dry in color groupings lest your mother mention 70 separate dryer runs too!

    Any way you do it, it will be labor intensive. And any way you do it, the colors will change slightly with washing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member B. Louise's Avatar
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    I sort of wash fabric by hand in my machine. I put a little water and detergent in my machine. I put my fq or yards in the machine, beginning with the lightest colors. I swish it a little, not enough to make it ravel. I take it out and let it sit in my sink while I swish the others, darker and darker colors. If none of them run, I'll put them back in and spin them out together, then add rinse water. I still swish them by hand or wooden spoon. They don't ravel, don't get very wrinkled. I set the machine near the end of final spin. After that I fluff them out in the dryer and iron them. (I wash wool sweaters the same way.)It doesn't take much water or detergent or time.

  6. #6
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    Personally, if it was me and I had that many pieces to wash, I would be doing it in the bathroom sink by hand.
    I do that and when I find one that runs, it goes into the washer with other like colors. Otherwise, I find running the washer for one piece wasteful. (Sorry - guess I'm with your mom on that)

    The others, I wring out and then roll them up in a towel to get excess water out before ironing them dry. Works like a charm.

  7. #7
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I would sort them into whites, lights and darks and wash them with color catchers. I prewash large pieces of fabric with my regular laundry and a CC. I do all my laundry on gentle and rarely have much fraying.

    I do have close to ten yards of black prints - those two pieces will be washed together with nothing else.

  8. #8
    Member AnitaGrossmanSolomon's Avatar
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    I sort, I launder, I color catch.

    The 'danger' is when a damp fabric sits on top of another. If it is going to bleed, it will transfer that way. So, I remove fabric promptly from the front loading washing machine in my apartment house. Likewise a quilt. Out of the wash and immediately into a dryer. I make 'bed' quilts as opposed to wall or art quilts, so i do wash everything. And I launder fabric together with clothes.

    Anita/NYC
    http://makeitsimpler.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Louise
    I sort of wash fabric by hand in my machine. I put a little water and detergent in my machine. I put my fq or yards in the machine, beginning with the lightest colors. I swish it a little, not enough to make it ravel. I take it out and let it sit in my sink while I swish the others, darker and darker colors. If none of them run, I'll put them back in and spin them out together, then add rinse water. I still swish them by hand or wooden spoon. They don't ravel, don't get very wrinkled. I set the machine near the end of final spin. After that I fluff them out in the dryer and iron them. (I wash wool sweaters the same way.)It doesn't take much water or detergent or time.
    What a great idea!! I will certainly wash my sweaters that way from now on. Thanks!

  10. #10
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    I put like colors together and wash all at onetime fi it is dark blue/green and red I put the green in one load blue and red the same w/hot water or I start with resolyn and dry them then wash that pritty well takes care of any runs

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