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Thread: Why am I doing this?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Gail B's Avatar
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    Why am I doing this?

    I always wash my fabric before adding it to my stash. The other day I thought "Why do I wash the fabric & not the batting?" I know prewashing helps with fabrics that will bleed - reds etc and if the fabric is going to shrink it will do so before you cut it. The finished quilts still get the crinkled look when laundered because the batting shrinks a smidge so why bother washing fabric unless there will be a bleeding issue?

  2. #2
    Super Member gabeway's Avatar
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    I feel that depending on the tightness of the quilting the batting shouldn't bunch that much plus some Battings are better for looser quilting. We always prewash material not just for bleeding but for shrinkage. Besides batting and material do shrink to different degrees. Not sure this help but think you're doing the right thing.
    Wayne & Gabriele, the married quilters.

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i wash the fabrics for the shrinkage and to remove the chemicals and starches used in the manufacture. my batting does shrink, but only minimally.
    Nancy in western NY

  4. #4
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I stopped prewashing both fabric and batting. The only time I prewash if I do not trust fabric. I now wash the finnished quilt on warm with color catchers and then dry on medium because I like the crinkled feel.I never prewash batting because I feel it would damage the integrity of the batting since it is not meant to be washed unless quilted.
    Anna Quilts

  5. #5
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    I washed the batting Once-- delicate, no soap, air dry-- thought I did all the right things. Now I have batting that has only has a few useable places for small projects

  6. #6
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    I prewash all my fabrics not only for shrinkage but to remove the chemicals in the fabrics, most importantly formaldehyde. Also, fabrics from different manufacturers will shrink differently. Some shrink lengthwise more than crosswise and vice versa. Prewashing fabric makes it much easier to reset the straight of grain for the fabric as well. If I use a cotton, cotton blend, bamboo, wool or any other natural batting I will preshrink the batt. I will spritz it very well with a water bottle and then put into the dryer with a wet towel and dry on my highest setting. Batting will shrink in all kinds of directions, and I don't want my finished quilt to look strange after it's first wash.

    I am a very strong supporter for prewashing fabrics. This will not happen to most people but this is something I think we should all be much aware. Most woven fabrics have a finish that is applied before it is rolled onto a bolt. This is to prevent the fabric from rubbing holes into itself while on the bolt and being handled. It is also to prevent dirt and oils from hands discoloring the fabric in the stores. That finishing solution has a lot of formaldehyde in it. The formaldehyde prevents the fabric from attracting bugs, and kills any larvae that may still be in the threads. Formaldehyde can cause reactions in people, i.e. light coughing, running nose, stuffy nose, itchy eyes and in rare cases skin rashes. There are other more severe reactions but those are pretty rare. In my case, it is my eyes, actually more my eye lids. The scratching has caused all my eyelashes to come out, (i have actually scratched them out) and my eye lids are very swollen. I have to wash my eyes with baby shampoo 3 times a day (no makeup for me) then apply one drop of medicine in each eye, and apply an ointment to my lids.

    Sorry to be so windy, but I really want others to know.
    Crashnquilt


    Wouldn't you like to live with my mind just for a moment? I wish you would, I think I need to get OUT OF IT!

  7. #7
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    i wash the fabrics for the shrinkage and to remove the chemicals and starches used in the manufacture. my batting does shrink, but only minimally.
    This is my method also.

  8. #8
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    I washed the batting Once-- delicate, no soap, air dry-- thought I did all the right things. Now I have batting that only has a few useable places for small projects

  9. #9
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Mostly I prewash to remove the chemicals because I have sensitive skin. Another good reason is because fabrics can shrink at different rates. I do not prewash batting. I don't mind if it shrinks a bit and crinkles up. If I needed a quilt to be a particular size, I'd make it over-sized to accommodate shrinkage.

  10. #10
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    If you don't want the crinkled look, why not just use a batting that won't shrink if you don't want any shrinkage. Quilters Dream and Hobbs both make wonderful polyester batting that won't shrink and do not beard like the old fasioned poly's used to. They also give lovely definition to your quilting. Hobb's Heirloom 80/20 blend has minimal shrinkage. Like so many others, I actually like that slight puckering you get around the quilting stiches after the batting has shrunk a tiny bit.

    I don't prewash my fabrics so much for shrinking as I do to remove the factory applied sizing and chemicals and to flush out bleeders. I also prefer to work with washed fabric. I don't always starch my fabric. Not only that but the process of prewashing and then ironing to put in my stash allows me to play with my fabric and closely inspect every bit of it for any problems.

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