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Thread: Advice before I roll the dice...

  1. #51
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Over a period of about 40 years I think I have encountered only about 3-4 fabrics that bled enough to definitely cause a problem if I had used them in a quilt. I usually do prewash, but more with the idea that I might get variable degrees of shrinkage since I often mix fabrics from several different sources in my quilts. If the bolt ends on Kaffe Fassett fabrics do not specify "colorfast", why trust them any more than another brand? I believe his name indicates the artistry that goes into the work, and most likely his company would back the high dollar amount with top quality "ingredients". In other words, it's probably a good bet. Skipping the pre-wash step might not be as risky as with some cheaper product, but I might still wash just to avoid having to worry about those intense colors. In other words:

    Don't wash = slight worry
    Do wash = no worry at all.

  2. #52
    Senior Member Learner747's Avatar
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    I always prewash and I use two color absorbers. They always catch bleeding no matter the quality of the fabric.
    Then there is always the possibility of shrinking. Why take chances?

  3. #53
    Senior Member Learner747's Avatar
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    I always prewash and I use two color absorbers. They always catch bleeder no matter the quality of the fabric.
    Then there is always the possibility of shrinking. Why take chances?

  4. #54
    Senior Member Learner747's Avatar
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    I always prewash and I use two color absorbers. They always catch bleeding no matter the quality of the fabric.
    Then there is always the possibility of shrinking. Why take chances?

  5. #55
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtsyOne View Post
    My personal rule has been that if the quilt will be used as a quilt, then I prewash because the likelihood is that it will get dirty. If the quilt is intended as a wall hanging, then I don't prewash.
    This is what I do also.

  6. #56
    Senior Member Judi in Ohio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leighway View Post
    I've been quilting for over 25 years and until about 2 years ago always pre-washed my fabrics. Then I just stopped doing it...maybe too much trouble. And I saw a blog where Alex Anderson said she didn't pre-wash hers.

    So, I've gone and invested the equivalent of a second mortgage in many yards of Kaffee Fassett fabric to make up some of his quilts. Here's the question-

    Have any of you who have used Kaffee's fabrics ever had them bleed? The colors are so intense and saturated that I wonder but still finding that inside me I actually loathed all that pre-washing, drying and folding.

    And you are free to call me a dimwit for even asking, but I really want to know. And, not only about Kaffee's fabrics bleeding but who out there isn't pre-washing? Thanks for the input!
    I NEVER pre wash, but always use Shout Color Catchers. The best invention in the world. I use 4 or 5 per quilt and never have runs.
    Judi
    Judi in Ohio

  7. #57
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    It doesn't seem like the new fabrics bleed as much as they did in the past. With this being said, I would still be careful. You could try washing a swatch if you are worried.

  8. #58
    Senior Member ShabbyTabby's Avatar
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    I don't pre-wash either. I always wash the quilt before I give it to anyone and I use color catchers if I have any worry about bleeding...so far no problems.
    Families are like old quilts....although they tend to unravel at times...each can be stitched back together with love.

  9. #59
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    A friend that used to own a quilt shop (until she retired to quilt!) told me that there are two times to be sure to pre-wash--when it's a fabric that is likely to shrink very much (like flannel or cheap muslin) or when you take a sheet of clean, white paper and rub it hard on the fabric and it "shows" on the paper. Usually that will be with black or other very dark colors or reds--but even then she said that quality fabrics rarely bleed. So now any time I have a doubt, I get out the paper and rub away--some times I find I need to wash, others I don't. Despite ironing, it seems that the fabric is never as crisp once washed and that makes it hard to cut/sew. And I avoid using starch or stay press, etc if possible as I don't want bugs being attracted--plus then it feels "gluey" when I sew it. that being said--the first time I wash a quilt I always use a Colorfast sheet!

  10. #60
    Super Member wanda lou's Avatar
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    I always pre wash.
    Never look down on anyone, unless you are helping them up.

  11. #61
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    I always prewash. I had some blue fabric that i purchased several years ago from my LQS. When i did the wet cotton ball test (which i had always used prior to this) the ball turned a pretty blue. Luckily I hadn't pieced and quilted the blue. Since then I do prewash. I can't imagine ruining my hard work by bleeding fabric. Everyone has an opinion on this subject, this is mine.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  12. #62
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I just made a table runnner using pre-washed batiks (I washed them 3 times). Well, when I steamed the seams the dark still bled onto the light right on the seams (if I had used Harriet Hargrave's test to wet, put it between paper towels and put a weight on it I would have known to continue washing). I will be throwing the top in the wash with come color catchers and see if I can get the color out. I don't normally prewash everything because I do test, but I may just bite the bullet and do all of it.
    QuiltnLady1

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

  13. #63
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnLady1 View Post
    I just made a table runnner using pre-washed batiks (I washed them 3 times). Well, when I steamed the seams the dark still bled onto the light right on the seams (if I had used Harriet Hargrave's test to wet, put it between paper towels and put a weight on it I would have known to continue washing). I will be throwing the top in the wash with come color catchers and see if I can get the color out. I don't normally prewash everything because I do test, but I may just bite the bullet and do all of it.

    Colour catchers will not take the stains out of your fabric ... they are meant for catching the loose dye floating in the water, to prevent it from setting back into the fabric being washed.

    You will need to treat it with Synthropol or Dr. Beckman's Dye Remover
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  14. #64
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    I always pre-wash every fabric. If it's a small piece, I put it into a lingerie bag, first. If it's something that may shrink (like flannel), I'll wash and dry it several times, before using. After drying, the fabric is folded but not ironed, until I get ready to use it; otherwise, I have to iron it a second time.

  15. #65
    Super Member hudgoddess's Avatar
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    Two words: color catchers

  16. #66
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    I never prewash. Never had an issue and I have used everything from Walmart fabrics to LQS fabrics. I was not taught to prewash didn't hear of it til I joined on here. Your out of your comfort zone not prewashing, plagued with the what ifs...we all can relate lol!! If it will bother you and distract you through the whole process just wash them, if it wont bother you while piecing I would just cut and sew. Goal is to have fun and love what your creating...
    *Rachel*

  17. #67
    Senior Member Pepita's Avatar
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    Well, I've come full circle. Long ago I prewashed. I found that I didn't have a problems with most fabrics. So I stopped prewashing. However, Batiks came into my life and I wash all of them. I add retayne to the wash water as well. For me it is the reds in most of the fabrics that want to bleed. If I am afraid that they will bleed I do the same.
    Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain

  18. #68
    Super Member chuckbere15's Avatar
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    I bought Robert Kauffman Fairy Frost and I pre-washed the fabric. It was the red, I believe Blood and Rose were the names, and the water turned a slight red.

    Pick your poison - pre-wash are deal with running.

    Just saying.
    The Quilting Bear

  19. #69
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtsyOne View Post
    My personal rule has been that if the quilt will be used as a quilt, then I prewash because the likelihood is that it will get dirty. If the quilt is intended as a wall hanging, then I don't prewash.
    I am the same way. I have had things shrink that I didn't expect to and dyes run that I didn't expect to. One thing I have learned even if its expensive fabric it can run....

  20. #70
    Senior Member rj.neihart's Avatar
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    I prewash, dry and iron all fabrics before quilting. I learned long ago, when I created a very large quilt without prewashing the fabric, and there were shrunk areas! What a disaster that was. Needless to say, that was one quilt I could not give away. I wash all fabric in cold water, sometimes separating the dark from the light.

  21. #71
    Senior Member leighway's Avatar
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    That's what I was wondering, Lori. The hand on most of the fabrics is heavy and very smoothly textured, but based on this one response, I'll be pre-washing (damn!)

  22. #72
    Senior Member leighway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    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!
    I thank ALL of you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to weigh in on this. I think Jacquie said it best (above) and so I'm off to start the process.....

  23. #73
    Senior Member stchenfool's Avatar
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    Typically I do not prewash, however, if I have a black, red or something very intense in color I will prewash those fabrics. I use color catchers in the wash when I wash the quilt after it's been quilted. Hope this helps. Everyone has their way and I hope you find the right way for you!
    Love 4 stchen

  24. #74
    Junior Member judord's Avatar
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    I ALWAYS prewash any fabric that I bring into the house for quilting. The very first quilt I made, (from scraps) faded all over itself and I will not take that chance.
    Judy
    Friendship is the fabric of our lives!

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by leighway View Post
    I've been quilting for over 25 years and until about 2 years ago always pre-washed my fabrics. Then I just stopped doing it...maybe too much trouble. And I saw a blog where Alex Anderson said she didn't pre-wash hers.

    So, I've gone and invested the equivalent of a second mortgage in many yards of Kaffee Fassett fabric to make up some of his quilts. Here's the question-

    Have any of you who have used Kaffee's fabrics ever had them bleed? The colors are so intense and saturated that I wonder but still finding that inside me I actually loathed all that pre-washing, drying and folding.

    And you are free to call me a dimwit for even asking, but I really want to know. And, not only about Kaffee's fabrics bleeding but who out there isn't pre-washing? Thanks for the input!
    To Leighway -
    I did see a "Simply Quilts" show in which Alex Anderson said that she had a fabric bleed and ruin a quilt that she
    had done - she had to use Synthrapol over and over to get the red out...
    I soak all my fabrics in hot water and a tsp of Retayne per yard. I have never had a problem with bleeding, but
    I do find the washing, drying and folding to be tedious...
    But Kafee's fabrics are so intense that I would be reluctant to put in a lot of work and then have them bleed.
    The trick mentioned by another responder works, but I have always heard it as putting a small amount of Retayne
    on a white scrap and then ironing it with the fabric in question. If the white scrap is no longer white, you again have
    your answer.

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