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Thread: Washing fabric

  1. #1
    Margandi's Avatar
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    I'm fairly new to quilting & up to now I have prewashed my fabric. Now I'm thinking that the unwashed fabric has a little more body. Are there some advantages to not washing it. Would love to hear your opinions & the advantages & disadvatages each option.

  2. #2
    luvmy2bts's Avatar
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    I don't prewash. I like the body of the fabric that isn't. There are a few exceptions to this. I do wash certain red's, blacks and overdyed purples and blues. When I get the quilt finished I put it in the washer with a Shout Color Catcher and that pulls all of the dye out of the water and on to it. With your prewashed fabric I would use a spray sizing to give it some body when you iron it.

    Debbie

  3. #3
    Super Member quiltwoman's Avatar
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    Although I love the feel of unwashed fabric, I learned the hard way. I pre-wash all my fabric and use a dye-grabber cloth. For FQ's I use a lingerie bag.

    I prefer to iron my fabric and use spray starch to get that stiff feeling back. Then I can start cutting it all up! :wink:

    HTH,

  4. #4
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I prewash always. The dye isn't the only issue with the fabrics. I'm concerned about different rates of shrinkage. What is you do an entire quilt and the fabric shrinks at different rates??? Just do this test...measure some fabric and then wash it...measure again...some can shrink up to an inch!!

  5. #5
    Super Member bebe's Avatar
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  6. #6
    quikquilt's Avatar
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    What is Shout Color Catcher and where to buy it? Would it take out pencil marks?

    Thanks for the info.
    ~ Quik

  7. #7
    luvmy2bts's Avatar
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    A Shout Color Catcher is in the laundry aisle. I get mine at wal-mart. I think they are around $3.99 for 20 of them. It actually looks like a dryer sheet but works wonderfully. I don't think it will work for pencil marks, but you could always give it a try and tell us how it works.

    Debbie

  8. #8
    bearpaw's Avatar
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    When you wash your fabric, do you use hot or warm water?

  9. #9
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    I wash all my fabric in warm water. I just don't want any surprises, shrinkage or bleeeding when I have invested all that time making a quilt.

  10. #10
    Power Poster
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    If you ever expect this quilt to be washed, wash the fabrics before cutting them!

    Some fabrics have VERY BAD manners. They bleed, they shrink, they won't unrumple even with pressing, they ravel badly, they change shape.

    Avoid unpleasant surprises.

    I've started to soak my fabrics in a bucket or basin of HOT water for a while (at least half an hour) before washing GENTLY in warm water.

    I keep the colors separate at this stage to see what they do. Just discovered a green I bought recently is spilling - the same green print I had bought earlier seemed to be okay. Now I need to find it again to recheck it before I go any further with that project.

    The spray sizing is helpful - especially if working with bias pieces.

    Some fabrics don't spill a bit of color - some pieces just won't stop spilling color - they might as well be discarded. Why risk ruining a whole quilt to save a few dollars?

    An example of why prewashing/preshrinking is a good idea: I acquired a cute skirt that had appliques on them - when washed, the appliques shrunk and the adorable skirt is now only okay. The new owner said she wrestled the appliques into better behavior with an iron.

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