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Thread: washing fabric

  1. #1

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    I made my first quilt this week from my fabric stash (I make children's clothing). All that fabric had been prewashed. I'm about to start on my second quilt and want to use a jelly roll for part of it. I've always prewashed fabric when I made clothing. I'm a bit hesitant to wash this jelly roll b/c I don't want to lose 1/4 inch of it in the wash due to straggly threads. Is it necessary to prewash fabric for quilting?

  2. #2
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    Many quilters prewash. I do not cause I like the pucker look you get when you wash the quilt for the first time. I use cotton's.

  3. #3
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    it's not necessary to wash except for flannels, which ALWAYS shrink...but I do strongly encourge you to use an all or nothing philosophy to keep yourself happy - if you wash one of the fabrics in a quilt, wash all of them. If you don't want to wash fabrics, make sure none of them are washed. In your case, since you want to use a jelly roll as part of the quilt consider whether the other fabric is washed or not. If other fabric is washed, you should wash the jelly roll, but you can do it gently so you don't lose that edge to fraying...soak it thoroughtly in hot water, for example, or wash it on delicate cycle inside a laundry bag or pillowcase, etc.

  4. #4
    Senior Member janedee's Avatar
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    Hi I have been quilting for several years now and have never pre-washed my fabric - the amount you loose due to shrinkage is minimal compared to having to trim off all those frayed edges plus the time it takes to do so and I am always too impatient to mess about washing!! lol

  5. #5
    Super Member CoyoteQuilts's Avatar
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    I find that if I spray the heck out of a fabric that is not pre-washed then set the iron to it that it will shrink it. It is the action of wet/heat that shrinks material. Try it on some decent muslin sometime.... (Kona).

  6. #6
    Junior Member Ardelle Coult's Avatar
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    I never prewash anything except flannel. I wouldn't recommend prewashing jelly rolls. The newer fabrics just don't fade and shrink like the older fabrics from years ago To date I have never had a problem.

  7. #7
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scifihippie
    I made my first quilt this week from my fabric stash (I make children's clothing). All that fabric had been prewashed. I'm about to start on my second quilt and want to use a jelly roll for part of it. I've always prewashed fabric when I made clothing. I'm a bit hesitant to wash this jelly roll b/c I don't want to lose 1/4 inch of it in the wash due to straggly threads. Is it necessary to prewash fabric for quilting?
    My motto: "If in doubt, steam it out." My iron can be set to a high steam, so I set the iron to cotton and steam my charm squares and jelly rolls like crazy if I am concerned about shrinking. In this case since you are combining with prewashed fabric, I would press it well. You could even measure before and after to see if there is any change. Most shrinkage comes in lengthwise of fabric anyway so I wouldn't think you would have much problem with jelly rolls.

  8. #8
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I have made several scrappy quilts with a mix of washed and not washed fabrics. After it's done I wash the whole quilt and you can't tell which fabrics have been washed and which haven't.

  9. #9
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I don't prewash either, unless it is flannel.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    I have made several scrappy quilts with a mix of washed and not washed fabrics. After it's done I wash the whole quilt and you can't tell which fabrics have been washed and which haven't.
    Me too!!

    I personally do not pre-wash, but have acquired fabric that has been washed. I just mix it in with my "regular" fabric and have never had any issues.

    The only time I pre-wash is when it is required by a group activity I am participating in or if it is flannel.

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