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Thread: Washing fabric

  1. #1
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    Washing fabric

    Good Morning. Newbie (fairly) to quilting and I would love to hear from y'all about washing fabric before starting a quilt or not? I find it to be a pain but I'm scared of colors running after the quilt is done. I've just finished a red and white quilt and am scared that the dark red will bleed. Thought I buy a detergent specifically for cold wash. What do you do?

  2. #2
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    When I wash fabric I wash it in hot water with a color catcher and dry in a hot dryer. I don't want any surprizes after the quilt is done.
    Mary

  3. #3
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I prewash my fabric using the same settings at which the quilt will be washed: warm water and dryer. If the quilt is meant to be hung on the wall, then I don't bother prewashing at all. I handle precuts the same way, but I put them into a mesh bag first.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  4. #4
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I wash before I am going to cut it out. I have a huge stash and do not wash anything until I have picked out the fabric and am ready to cut. I have some of the best fabric possible and it has bled and bled in my kitchen sink. I even washed a quilt top I bought at a yard sale and it bled the red onto the white and I did use a color catcher in the washer with it. I use color catchers all the time but I would never make a quilt without washing the fabric first. Yellow, green, red and purple always bleed the most for me. My last quilt cost me $200 to make and I used Joann's fabric and everything I bought was on sale, still a lot of money to waste if the colors ran and ruined it.

  5. #5
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Hot water wash with color catchers followed by hot dryer when my fabric first walks in the door. It's my routine. The chemicals on the fabric really bother my fingers so I have to wash.

    From my clothing making days I used to do this routine 3x before I cut anything. However, I have come out of that stage!

    Linda

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
    [John Newton (1725-1807)]

  6. #6
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    I Wash all my fabric before it goes in my closet then I know whatever is in there has already been washed

  7. #7
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Howdy and welcome, from Texas! I wash all of my fabric, before putting it into my stash. Aside from the color bleeding issue, many fabrics are wound onto the the bolt, crooked. Yes, even LQS fabrics! Washing/drying returns the fabric to it's natural state, so there's no surprise, after it's sewn. I wash in warm water (as I would the finished item). I check the water, as it's washing; if there's any color in it, I give the fabric a second wash . . .or however many it takes, for the wash water to be clear. I have a piece of indigo denim, which kept bleeding after 14 washes (yes, I counted them)!!! I gave up, after the 14th wash and will just use it for a dog bed.
    Neesie


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  8. #8
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuntSuSuSews View Post
    Good Morning. Newbie (fairly) to quilting and I would love to hear from y'all about washing fabric before starting a quilt or not? I find it to be a pain but I'm scared of colors running after the quilt is done. I've just finished a red and white quilt and am scared that the dark red will bleed. Thought I buy a detergent specifically for cold wash. What do you do?

    I just took a class from a national quilt teacher. She doesn't wash her fabric. She showed us a batik quilt that got washed four times in a row with a color catcher.

    Bleeding fabric really isn't the problem. The fabric that picks that dye up out of the wash water is really the one that's the problem.

  9. #9
    Junior Member jj1150's Avatar
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    And I must be about the ONLY one that does NOT pre-wash her fabric. I have to say, I have never done this, not even years ago, when making clothes.

    I just finished a queen rag quilt, with at least 30 different fabrics (all bright colors) and washed it with 3 color catchers and no problem at all. And the back of this quilt is an off-white Kona .... no bleeds or runs at all.

    jody

  10. #10
    Senior Member liont's Avatar
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    One question - why hot water? Would room temperature water - just off the tap - be good enough? (I'm not talking winter times!)

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