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Thread: What is the best way to shrink fabric?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    What is the best way to shrink fabric?

    I am trying to pre wash and shrink my fabric, its the Legacy studio 100% black cotton from joann fabrics. I realize that it will fade some and shrink some, I wanted to get the most harsh shrink done before I put it on the back of my queen size quilt. Should I wash it and dry on hot? or should I just wash it as instructed on the bolt and dry it on air fluff?
    -also when I put it on the back of my quilt, I should do the seams horizontal with a 1/2" seam allowance correct?
    Thanks
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  2. #2
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    The hottest water may make the color bleed, but you can test that before washing the whole piece. The hottest temperature on the dryer will shrink the fabric the most and will not fade the fabric but may give you horrible wrinkles. A cool drying temperature will not shrink the fabric at all. I would test the color with boiling water. Then wash accordingly.
    I would fold the fabric and pin with safety pins or baste before washing - actually rinsing as it shouldn't need any soap- and dry folded, pinned or basted so that the wrinkles are minimized and pressing is much less.

  3. #3
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    Ok thank you so much TanyaL Ill do that
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  4. #4
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    Take the fabric out of the dryer before it is completely dry and then press it. It won't be nearly as wrinkled than if you'd let it dry completely in the dryer.

  5. #5
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    I would suggest adding Retayne to the wash water to set the color and reduce bleeding. Throw 1/2 a cheer color catcher in with the fabric. If it comes out with color wash again with other 1/2 color catcher. Repeat til color catcher comes out nearly white. You will have solved both bleeding and shrinking problem.
    Cheryl Robinson
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    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  6. #6
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    If you need a seam the backing, a half inch seam allowance is used and is normally pressed open. As far as horizontal or vertical, most long arm quilters would prefer the seam horizontal, but if you are going to quilt it yourself on a domestic machine or by hand it really doesn't matter which way the seam runs.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i always wash/dry my fabric in the harshest way possible. if i'm giving the quilt away, i have no idea what the recipient will do with it. so i want to be sure that the quilt is ready for the worst possible scenario.
    Nancy in western NY
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  8. #8
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    it's ok to wash in cool water if you are concerned about fading- the hot dryer is where your shrinkage occurs.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy
    Colleen's custom quilting; longarm services and custom quilt commissions.

  9. #9
    Senior Member batikmystique's Avatar
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    Yes, cold water wash with Retayne, testing with color catcher. HOT dryer temp. Great tip on folding and pinning/basting before tossing in the dryer! I personally like the look of horizontal seams. They are typically sewn with 1/2" allowance and I always press them open. But as PaperPrincess mentioned, the directions of the backing seams really don't matter if you are quilting it yourself on your sewing machine or by hand.
    Creative clutter is better than idle neatness.

  10. #10
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    The shrinkage will happen in the dryer on the hot setting. So it really does not matter what temp the wash water is for shrinking purposes. Do dry it completely as to get the full shrinkage !

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