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Thread: washing fabric prior to quilting

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Does any of you recommend washing fabric prior to constructing the quilt? Also, how about the batting?

    Thank you, Win


  2. #2
    Super Member
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    May 2007
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    I always wash my fabric before using because I do have a lot of allergies. Fabric is just one big chemical bath and I prefer to get some of that out of the fabric first. Also some fabric bleeds alot. Usually dark green, blue or red. So check first. Marge

  3. #3

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    ABSOLUTELY! Prewash everything. Last time I did a test for a local quilt shop, Moda fabrics shrank from 44" to 41" and the Benartex flannels (which came with a label assuring us that there was no need to prewash it) shrank to 39".

    I am more concerned about the chemicals - those finishing agents, especially the ones used to give fabric that heavy slithery feel, and the pesticides used at the border when fabrics are imported. UGH. I'm not particularly allergic, but my eyes sure itch badly after I have been in a poorly-ventilated fabric store for any length of time. And because our hands are on that stuff for so long, I think it's very important to wash away the chemicals.

    If you don't prewash your fabrics, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be sure to let the recipient know that you have not done so, especially if it is a child's or elderly person's quilt.

  4. #4

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    oh, and I prewash warm'n natural batting to preshrink it unless I am looking for that "instant antique" puckery look.

  5. #5
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    I'm the odd one out, I guess. I don't care to prewash. I don't care to iron that much! IF the fabric gets wrinkly after the product is finished and washed, it adds to the character. I'd dare bet that there not that many finished projects that ever reach a washing machine. I like the crispness that just-off the bolt fabric has. Sara

  6. #6
    vanessa's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Well, I just wanted to put my two cents worth in. I agree with Cathe. It is amazing how much the fabric shrinks when you pre-wash and pre-shrink it. I always wash and dry mine before using it, and I also set the color in by using vinegar in the wash water. Just a little trick a friend of mine taught me who has been quilting for years and is 94 and still quilting, all by hand.


  7. #7
    live2teach's Avatar
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    Vanessa, I've never heard about the vinegar. How much do you put in the water?

  8. #8
    Super Member
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    yes i would like to know how much vinager too. never heard of it.

    jeanette

  9. #9
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
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    I don't prewash unless it is very stiff or flannel. I wash all my quilts in cold water and very mild low sudsing soap. I honestly never have had a shrinking problem. The colors also stay much brighter without the hot water and detergents. :D

    I do have quite a stack of fabric and the chemical smell is offensive if the room is closed up for long periods.

    Ido swear to this on my great grandmothers gold tooth. :twisted:

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