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Thread: When selling a piece do you prewash your fabrics?

  1. #1
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    Smile When selling a piece do you prewash your fabrics?

    Hello I am new to quilting and sewing and I want to tell you all how helpful this board has been already! I have always been interested in quilting and when I married my husband I hit the jackpot, his grandmother quilted. She was not able to teach me as much as we would have liked when she lost her battle with cancer, so I am trying to still learn. I have been making baby items for family member's baby showers and have never washed any of my fabrics before sewing. However I have decided to try and make a little extra money for the family and make some baby items and lap quilts to sell at a local gift shop. I have been reading posts and would just hate to make an item and have it a customer get it home and have the fabrics bleed when washed. Although I have never pre washed my fabric, do you just toss it all in the washer with detergent and then the dryer and if needed iron? Thank you in advance for your tips of advice!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member jeank's Avatar
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    you should wash fabrics if it is intended for a baby. The sizing can irriatate the tender skin.

    I wash the fabric on light load with less detergent than a regular load. Without the soils on worn clothes, the detergent will suds more.
    Jean in MI

  3. #3
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    i usually pre wash. wash with a little detergent, throw in dryer and iron.
    i do not use any softner on it when i wash or dry

  4. #4
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i always wash so i don't get any surprises after the quilt is made.
    Nancy in western NY

  5. #5
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    You wash fabric by separating fabric into like colours. If you have colour catchers I like to put one in to see if there is a bleeder in the bunch. Use the gentle, short cycle and I dry to almost dry and iron to remove any wrinkles. Most do not wash their pre- cut jellyrolls, turnovers, layer cakes etc.

  6. #6
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    I never pre-wash fabric.I also do not pre wash items to sell but include washing instructions with the item.you could wash the baby quilts if you want or test a few scraps sewn together in the washer and dryer .I do that if I am worried about colors bleeding.
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

  7. #7
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    Customers are used to seeing the sized fabric item that they see in all the stores. (new manufactured items are not prewashed.) Most mothers would wash anything and everything that comes in contact with baby skin. If the colors are all pastels, I would not prewash, but include washing instructions, like stating use cool water, gentle detergents to enjoy a lifetime of use, etc. I prewash darks now, the small pieces (2 yards or less), I wash in the bathroom sink, very warm water and detergent. I swish around, and then let sit a few minutes. If the water is colored, I rinse and repeat. If I still get bleeding, I do a retayne sink wash. Then test again. If it still bleeds, it gets dried and goes into a tub marked bleeders. I then wash them en masse, with color catchers in the washer. It takes care of the fabric bleeding, again IMO.

    If you are washing by machine, use color catchers and, a good idea would be to trim on an angle all cut corners. It helps eliminate millions of tready strings. I also use delicate bags to hold some pieces, and use color catchers. I pre-dry until damp in the dryer, and then hang dry. It gives more body (IMO) and makes it easier to iron. By the way, I dislike ironing.

    Quote Originally Posted by daisygirl0706 View Post
    Hello I am new to quilting and sewing and I want to tell you all how helpful this board has been already! I have always been interested in quilting and when I married my husband I hit the jackpot, his grandmother quilted. She was not able to teach me as much as we would have liked when she lost her battle with cancer, so I am trying to still learn. I have been making baby items for family member's baby showers and have never washed any of my fabrics before sewing. However I have decided to try and make a little extra money for the family and make some baby items and lap quilts to sell at a local gift shop. I have been reading posts and would just hate to make an item and have it a customer get it home and have the fabrics bleed when washed. Although I have never pre washed my fabric, do you just toss it all in the washer with detergent and then the dryer and if needed iron? Thank you in advance for your tips of advice!!!
    Last edited by nhweaver; 02-09-2013 at 05:30 AM.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  8. #8
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I sell at craft shows. I always prewash any fabric that will be in an item that is for sale. The last thing I need is for a customer to get it home wash it and bleeding ruins that item and potentially the other items in that load of wash. Or one piece of fabric had a rate of shrinkage more than the others that created a distortion of the item. This is particularly true for table runners. If the buyer purchased a flat runner , they want it to stay flat. A dissatisfied customer is bad for business. Repeat customers is the backbone of business.
    I do use light starch prior to cutting the get a good crisp final project.

  9. #9
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I prewash all fabrics on a gentle cycle in hot water and dry in a hot dryer. I want any and all problems known before I even start sewing.

    Baby quilts will generally be washed in hot water by the buyer (even before using if they're smart), but I'd much prefer that I get any surprises first. Besides, commercial fabrics are treated with formaldehyde and other chemicals and that, to me, is reason enough to prewash, especially anything intended for babies.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  10. #10
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    i you don't want to pre-wash you should launder the finished item. I am a 'sometimes i pre-wash, sometimes i don't ' but i never let a quilt go away regardless of where- it could be a gift, a donation or a sale...it does not matter- as soon as the binding is finished the next step is laundering- i toss them into the washer- cool water, gentle cycle- with detergent then into the dryer- i also ALWAYS add care instructions to the label along with fiber content. doesn't matter if the fabrics are pre-washed or not the finished item is ALWAYS. I want to know everything is ok---colors, seams, embellishments...what ever- i treat it as I believe the new owner will --- especially baby/kid quilts---they need to take alot of laundering & use---they better be able to take it. and i don't want to send anything out the door with chemicals (sizing), oils, grime, markings....
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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