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Thread: Advice before I roll the dice...

  1. #26
    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbeadit View Post
    I don't prewash everything. I am wondering what people do with the pre cuts that are not prewashed? They sell them to be used as is, not to wash it and they sell lots of it to lots of people not prewashed. I don't know a soul that prewashes precuts. I wouldn't worry about it.
    OK, well now you know a soul who prewashes precuts. That's me. I prewash everything. I didn't always do it that way, but a long time ago, when I was making a "Mother of the Bride" dress for a very special lady, I wanted to wash it because I had used so much starch on the delicate fabric in order to cut it correctly (remember, we used scissors back then) so I washed it in lukewarm water. Well, the red in the sashing bled all over the front of the dress. What a mess! And here we were, a week before the wedding, and I still had to fit a couple of bridesmaid dresses for girls coming from out of town. The Mother of the Bride dress was a total loss; there was red dye everywhere. I had to start from scratch, meaning buy the fabric all over again, which meant I made no profit and actually lost money on the dress. I worked 20 hours a day, I barely slept, I hardly ate, I just worked on that complicated dress. When she came for her final fitting, I was terrified I'd have to do a lot of alterations again, but by using the first dress as a template, at least I avoided that. You'd better believe I prewashed that fabric! The dress turned out beautiful, the bridesmaids were fitted, and I stayed awake long enough to take photos at the wedding before I crashed, but I've never forgotten that experience. And I never send fabric to anyone that I haven't prewashed. I will not be responsible for someone putting a quilt together and my piece bleeding and ruining all that work.

    When I get tired of ironing, and especially if I'm just starting a big project, what I will do is take my prewashed fabric (I don't mind washing) and starch it so it's quite moist, and then I take it to the local dry cleaners. I have an arrangement with them. They will run my fabric through their "mangles" and iron them in no time flat. (Mangles are big machines with double rollers that they run sheets and things through to iron them for hospitals and hotels and places like that. I know. I used to work on a mangle in a laundry -- eons ago!) No pulling or stretching of the fabric. It just rolls through the mangle, and I've never noticed that it's warped in any way. Then I can go straight into cutting.

    I'm doing what's comfortable for me with my quilting. I'm not saying you must do the same. Nobody made me the Quilt Police, and I don't want the job. I'm just sharing experiences.

    Cheers!
    MacThayer

  2. #27
    Power Poster Tweety2911's Avatar
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    I don't prewash either. I always color test a piece of the fabrics in warm/hot water for 24 hours to see if they bleed though. Didn't test one time and ruined a quilt, now I always test before cutting.
    Helen T.

  3. #28
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i'm a half & halfer---half the time i pre-wash the other half i don't bother---it really depends on the fabric- if i have fabrics (like Kaffe's) that i simply am not sure about i simply test to see if they are going to bleed---simply spritz a small corner with water- rub it with a paper towel or piece of muslin- if color comes off you have a bleeder- better wash---if no color comes off- good chance you are safe.
    i tend to prewash if the fabric is stiff- doesn't really feel good- or has a funky smell to it- or if it's a hand-dye- or batik with deep saturated colors-
    i always test reds, deep blues/purples...if they are not bleeder's i don't worry about it-
    and some flannels i pre-wash many i do not- just depends on what they are going to be used for- i use Benartex double sided flannels which are a bit more expensive but oh so worth the extra$$- i've never had one shrink enough to cause any problems- the only cottons i use that shrinkage may be an issue are homespuns-and i've made a few great home-spun quilts without pre-washing- since the batting and quilting also play a part in how much a fabric will shrink....anyway- when in doubt---test for color-fastness- other than that- 'don't sweat the small stuff'
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #29
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    I never pre-wash and have never had a problem.

  5. #30
    Super Member katesnanna's Avatar
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    It's not just less expensive fabric that will bleed. I had a Jinny Beyer pink fabric and have never seen anything bleed like that did. I have found that if I let fabrics dry then iron then put into very hot water most won't bleed any more. The Jinny Beyer fabric I had about 9 changes of water. It was still bright. My teacher said it's what they call overdye. I'm just glad that I persevered because I hate to think what it would have done to my quilt.
    BTW I wash everything.

  6. #31
    Senior Member ranbro's Avatar
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    I am making a quilt with Robert Kaufman fabrics. One of the colors is red. I always prewash. This red color is still bleeding even after FOUR washings. I have decided to go ahead and use it, but will always use a color catcher when I need to wash the completed quilt.
    ranbro

  7. #32
    Senior Member CAJAMK's Avatar
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    For that much of an investment why even ask? Pre-wash...it will be the end of the guessing game.

  8. #33
    Senior Member maryfrang's Avatar
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    I don't prewash, but I do use the color catchers. If I have intense color I will put several in the wash with the quilt.

  9. #34
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    I do use the color catchers. If I have intense color I will put several in the wash with the quilt.
    I absolutely love Kaffe's fabrics. I am using a quilt made with his woven stripes fabric in the Optic design. I did not prewash the fabric. I then used those woven stripes with batik stripes for a quilt. I did prewash the KF woven and that was a big mistake as it took out the sizing and what ever so that when the 1/4" seams were sewn there was no end of slippage, causing me great frustatration as a new quilter who fell in love with a pattern. I learned to spray starch! and not to prewash.

  10. #35
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I almost always prewash. I don't do it until I've selected the fabric for a project. I like the ironing. It gives me an opportunity to review my selections and more times than not, I will swap out one of the fabrics. I have one exception to prewashing. If you are doing a Stack and Whack where you have to cut precisely in the same spot of the repeats, it is best not to wash. Also, if you are making a wall hanging, it is probably not necessary.

  11. #36
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    I cut off a corner & put it in water if I'm afraid it might bled.

  12. #37
    Senior Member anita211's Avatar
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    I prewashed once, and never again. The fabric got so wrinkled and ironing was such a pain. Also, the edges were nasty. That said, I have used all sorts of colors, saturation, etc., and have never had a the colors run. As to washing the quilt, I wash in cold water using Tide. Nothing fancy. And I dry it in the dryer. I don't let the quilts sit in a laundry basket, though. That is tempting fate.

  13. #38
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    I stopped pre-washing, then washed a finished project and it ran, and am now pre-washing again. Insurance!

  14. #39
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    cut a strip wof or just a chunk, put in a cup/bowl of HOT water and watch it....if it's going to bleed it will do it in the cup of HOT water.....that's how I check for colorfast...so far so good

  15. #40
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    I rarely prewash and haven't had a problem.

  16. #41
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    I pre-wash. I spent a glorious half-hour before leaving for work this morning, starching and ironing the fabrics for the quilt I will be making for me. I've had this fabric for six months waiting for a chance to start this and I can't wait.

  17. #42
    Junior Member homebody323's Avatar
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    I always prewash. I don't want any surprises when I'm finished with a quilt. Had one fade when I wasn't prewashing - I learn quickly.
    Sally Dolin
    Rock Island, IL

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by karenpatrick View Post
    I only pre-wash cheap (or should I say less expensive) fabric. Quality fabric I never wash and have never had a problem.
    that sentence should always end with "so far"!

  19. #44
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    I know many who say, always prewash, myself included! With Kaffe fabric, you are asking for trouble if you don't!
    In your heart you knew the answer before you asked the question!

  20. #45
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    If you prewash the fabric, do you then need to prewash the batting? I have always been afraid to use prewashed fabrics and have the batting shrink.

  21. #46
    Super Member Marysewfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingle View Post
    I always pre wash my fabrics, usually as soon as I get them home. I dry them , fold them with my ruler and put into my fabric cabinet. Does not matter how much I paid for them. I don't want any surprises. From what I have read, the more expensive fabrics bleed more often than cheaper fabrics.
    I do, too - I wash all of it to avoid surprises - sometimes the ones I wouldn't expect to shrink - did!! And in ironing them, it gives me a chance to discover any flaws (pulled threads, spots) that weren't noticeable when I bought it.

    Mary
    Marysewfun
    Have a great day!

  22. #47
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    Use fabric color catcher sheets in the washer and dryer.

  23. #48
    Junior Member catsnchina's Avatar
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    I don't prewash and do use a lot of Kaffe fabric. AFter finishing a quilted project with Kaffe fabric in it, I use Shout color catchers to wash the quilt and was as many times as needed until the color catchers come out clear.

    I just made a quilt that had a lot of Kaffe fabric with black background and intense colors including bright reds. Didn't prewash but washed 3 times with color catchers and final wash without color catcher after quilt was finished. No bleeding but the first 3 color catcher washes did capture colors from the quilt fabrics including black and red.
    CMC

  24. #49
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    Some expensive fabrics still can run! I can tell by the color of the water when I have pre-soaked a piece in a pan of warm water. My Thursday group quilt instructor always pre-washes her fabric and on a piece she had done a few yrs ago that was a UFO she accidentally spritzed part of it with water. In this piece she had made glasses out of red fabric. One side of the glasses bled (giving her face a look like "pink eye" and the other side did not! Now she has to find some fabric paint to fix the glasses as all they remedies she tried to remove the bleeding failed!
    If you cut a small piece and pace it in a measuring cup with hot water and it bleeds, then I would soak the fabric in retayne and wash with synthrapol.
    Have had red, black, brown, purple, blue and green run on my pre- tests.
    If for a quilt to be used and washed then at least test to see if any of it runs. If for a wall hanging you could skip this step
    just my experiences with fabric!

  25. #50
    Senior Member Robinlee's Avatar
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    I'm with this crew, PRE-WASH..........I have a degree in Clothing and Textiles, and even before I finished Jr. high I knew to prewash fabric (sewing since I was seven years and in 4-H), lesson's learn paid off, but one time I made a special Wedding quilt for DD and DSIL, all the fabrics were pre-washed (Before Color Catchers), and the darker colors were done 2's and with vinagar(I wasn't taking chances). My mom long armed quilted it, then because of the marking tools for the special quilting, she decided it needed washing before the "Big Day". Well, let's put it this way............she was just beside herself to find out that the Blue bled into the yellow and white. We were calling all over for advice, She hand washed, scrubed till her hands were red. The blue was washed 2'x, and set with vingar, and of course the main border. I know it could of been worse if it wasn't for the pre-washing before hand.

    Yes, it is an extra step to take and of course the ironing is a pain, but truly, why take the chances of not, and having to work hard to remove (if at all possible) and the money/time you put in to making this item.

    Quote Originally Posted by TexasSunshine View Post
    I'm with Dunster, feline fanatic and Jingle.
    "We can never have too much fabric" and "May the Fabric Fairy always keep your stash filled".

    Robinlee

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