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Thread: Washing Yardage and (Not) Washing Pre-Cut Pieces

  1. #1
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    Washing Yardage and (Not) Washing Pre-Cut Pieces

    Can/Will someone explain something to me?

    For those that wash yardage and don't wash pre-cuts -

    Do all the reasons you DO wash yardage suddenly disappear when you buy pre-cuts?

    Shrinkage, excess dye, whatever other reasons you DO wash?

    Seems to me those are all good reasons to AVOID pre-cuts?


    It just doesn't seem logical to me that a person can ignore shrinkage, etc. in a lot of pre-cuts and not tolerate it in yardage.

    By the way - my Mom had given me a pack of 5-inch charms - and I washed and dried and ironed them - the variation in the shrinkage ASTOUNDED me - I think the pack was from Quilts & Other Comforts - some stayed about the same - some shrank over 1/2 inch (on a 5 inch charm!)

    1/2 inch shrinkage on one 5-inch charm would be four inches of shrinkage on 8 pieces. Seems significant to me.

  2. #2
    Super Member joyce888's Avatar
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    That is a lot of shrinkage for a 5" cut. I rarely prewash but I wouldn't prewash precuts because if they are from a kit or something predetermined you wouldn't have enough to make the pattern correctly. Curious did you starch and iron the square that shrank so much before you measured for shrinkage? I know sometimes that will help ease the fabric back to the prewash size. And again I know many will not agree but I would not prewash in hot water and dry in a hot dryer.
    Joyce

  3. #3
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I do avoid pre-cuts, for several reasons, and not being able to pre-wash is one of them. (Other reasons? Inaccuracy in some of the cutting, higher cost for some.) I don't mind doing my own cutting, even prefer to do it, and I don't typically use patterns that are geared to pre-cuts. I'm also not a matchy-matchy type, prefer to select my own fabrics from stash rather than use all the fabrics in a designer's new line. Yet when I see a quilt that someone has made from one of the new lines, I am the first to ooh and aah over it. The designer selections make gorgeous quilts, but that's just not my "thing".

  4. #4
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    My aunt has never washed in her 20 years I haven't in ten and haven't had any problems. People don't wash precuts because they don't want to mess them up badly especially if its a kit. Most shrinkage also occurs in batting because of quilting I don't worry too much about the fabric

  5. #5
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    At that time, I was still using tepid water and the 'regular' drying cycle - which is geared for 'wash and wear' and removed them from the dryer when they were 'just' dry.

    After I 'cooked' some polyester dress pants many years ago, I avoid using high heat in the dryer.

    I also try to use fabric 'au naturel' - because that's how I think the fabric will be after the recipient/final user of the item has washed the item.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Toni C's Avatar
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    That is one of the reasons I don't buy precuts. Well I very rarely buy precuts. I love the idea of having the whole line of the fabric but I wash all yardage. I do not like the extra price for cutting,or that I might not be happy after I wash because of shrinkage.I bought 1 jelly roll and still have it untouched LOL

  7. #7
    Senior Member QuiltNama's Avatar
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    I wash a lot of my fabric and some I do not. For the precuts, if they are dark fabric, I put them in a bowl in the kitchen sink in very warm water and carefully swish them around checking for any color problems. Then squeeze out as much water as possible, lay a towel on the ironing board and press with a dry iron til just about dry. Hang on plastic hangers and they are ready to go. The washing and ironing seem to take care of any potential problems that might occur. I do this with jelly rolls, charms, and layer cakes.

  8. #8
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    So far have not had a problem with not washing precuts. I wash all yardages and still have no problems with combining with precuts on projects.
    The only fabric that runs sometimes is batik. Even though washed some still run.
    I wash all finished quilts and the shrinkage is in the batting and it is even all over so no problems there.

  9. #9
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    I like to work with clean fabric, with no surprises, so always pre-wash (and do not buy pre-cuts). I want my quilts to be able to be washed and dried, with no worries.
    Neesie


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
    ~Richard Dawkins

  10. #10
    Junior Member x7lillies's Avatar
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    I always wash every piece of fabric, with a couple of exceptions.

    1. One-block-wonder quilts. If you pre-wash the fabric, the pattern might not line up over all the repeats, and that makes the kaleidoscope effect impossible. I always wash after the blocks are together (before the border, which is pre-washed fabric). I might not end up with the exact dimensions I was hoping for, but the pattern kaleidoscope effect remains intact.

    2. Wall hangings. I figure they're not meant to be washed anyway, and since they'll generally be hanging out all the time, the more vibrant the color is to start, the longer the colors will last. Plus, working with un-washed fabric (especially the smaller pieces I generally use for wall hangings) is much easier.

    For everything else, from potholders to quilts, I always pre-wash. I don't need my 29 different fabrics shrinking 20 different ways when it's time to wash the quilt. And I certainly don't need the red dye from fabric 1 running onto white fabric 2. I do not pre-shrink my batting, though. I find it's pretty consistent, and Warm and Natural only shrinks about 3%. I like that it gives the quilt a pillowy look when it shrinks (slightly).
    - Kim

    kimkolbquilts.etsy.com

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