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Thread: Becoming a prewasher

  1. #1
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    Becoming a prewasher

    In my quest to become a prewasher, I am spending my day going through my enormous stash, cutting 2.5" strips and then cutting my yardage into 3yd cuts and washing them. I can't even believe how much fabric I have!! I'm trying to get into the prewasher mode to keep from ruining the quilts I make. I wish that I had always done this because it is hard doing it now. I keep trying to wash like colors for piles that have 3yds or less. But that's tough with my rather eclectic stash and having to do repeated washings to clear out the dye! Long day ahead of me here.
    Tanya
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 11-24-2012 at 04:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    Why not wash it as you use it? That's what I'm going to do, because like you I never washed first and Ive had some fabrics shrink more than I wanted them to.
    Joyce

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  3. #3
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    Prewashing fabrics

    Quote Originally Posted by Quilt-T View Post
    In my quest to become a prewasher, I am spending my day going through my enormous stash, cutting 2.5" strips and then cutting my yardage into 3yd cuts and washing them. I can't even believe how much fabric I have!! I'm trying to get into the prewasher mode to keep from ruining the quilts I make. I wish that I had always done this because it is hard doing it now. I keep trying to wash like colors for piles that have 3yds or less. But that's tough with my rather eclectic stash and having to do repeated washings to clear out the dye! Long day ahead of me here.
    Tanya
    I have always prewashed my fabrics but I don't do it when I buy them - only when I am going to use them. I overlock the raw edges before washing, starching and ironing them. This way, I know which fabrics have been prewashed, and which haven't - and it prevents a real mess of tangled threads in the washing machine and on the fabric!

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    That had been my plan until I had some bleed and some shrink more than I wanted them to later. Plus, we will be moving to another base by the summer and if it's Stateside I will want it all washed by then because it will be stored in a crate and then shipped on a boat before we get it. It took 3 months for our stuff to get here. I can only get so much done per day anyway since we have shared washers and dryers here. I never used to prewash and I may go back to that after today-lol!

  5. #5
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    It is time well spent, in my opinion. When it comes time to use the fabric, you will be so glad that it is ready to go!

    Dayle

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    My problem is that I never washed. Now I have so much and as I am planning new projects, I am wanting this fabric washed already. I may need to start washing as I buy and then I won't have so much to catch up on later.
    Quote Originally Posted by Somerset Val View Post
    I have always prewashed my fabrics but I don't do it when I buy them - only when I am going to use them. I overlock the raw edges before washing, starching and ironing them. This way, I know which fabrics have been prewashed, and which haven't - and it prevents a real mess of tangled threads in the washing machine and on the fabric!

  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    When fabric comes home with me, it is all washed before it enters the stash!
    That way I know anything I have is ready to go ... and if I'm wanting to start a project, I can, rather than needing to wash it.

    What I don't understand, is ..... Why would you want to cut your longer lengths into 3 yd lengths?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    When fabric comes home with me, it is all washed before it enters the stash!
    That way I know anything I have is ready to go ... and if I'm wanting to start a project, I can, rather than needing to wash it.

    What I don't understand, is ..... Why would you want to cut your longer lengths into 3 yd lengths?
    It's mostly just because I haven't needed it in more than 3 yd lengths at present. It isn't all getting cut like that. Just when I have anything that is more than 6 yards. I cut a 3 yard chunk off of those. The stuff that is 6 yards or less is left as is. Plus I have friends that I trade with and it's usually 3 yard cuts that they trade.

  9. #9
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilt-T View Post
    It's mostly just because I haven't needed it in more than 3 yd lengths at present. It isn't all getting cut like that. Just when I have anything that is more than 6 yards. I cut a 3 yard chunk off of those. The stuff that is 6 yards or less is left as is. Plus I have friends that I trade with and it's usually 3 yard cuts that they trade.
    While I appreciate your reasons ... For the sake of a little time to cut when you need it downsized, I would leave it all in one piece. It's disappointing when you don't have enough fabric for a project ... and even worse when you have enough, but it requires extra seams to get it back into one piece. Another example ... when you only need 2 yards of that three. Then when you only need 2 of the 2nd three yards, and have a yard left, you now have two one yard pieces ... that would be more usable as a two yard piece.

    Yes, JIMHO!
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    I always washed everything I bought when I got it home. Somehow along the way I have stopped doing that, in favour of washing the colors I think might bleed. I normally cut a snip off the piece and put it in a glass of hot water and watch, then I decide if I need to wash.

  11. #11
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    I wash before it goes into my stash. If I had a stash like yours I'd just wash as I used it. If it is going to be boxed up and shiped I wouldn't worry about washing untill It arrived, after being stored who knows where, under who knows what conditions I might want to wash it again before using it. LOL

  12. #12
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Everything in my stash has been washed in hot water and dried in a hot drier. I add a little note to my quilts that says "Wash any temp, Dry any temp". I am hoping my gifts get used, I'm not going for heirlooms so if the fabric fades a bit with this treatment that is okay with me. :-)

    All fabric purchased goes straight to the laundry room shelves. The lights get washed pretty quickly because I just wash those along with a load of whites that get washed/dried in hot. The other colors may sit on the shelves a while until I get enough for a load of a certain color.

    Then I wash the finished quilt in warm water with color catchers just to be sure they won't bleed when the recipient washes them.

  13. #13
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    When I get ready to make a quilt. I wash all the material (always using 2 or 3 color catchers) lights together and then the darks in warm water. Dry them on medium for 10 minutes and hang them up forcing any wrinkles out that might occur. When still a tad damp, I iron them using spray starch and hang them on a old fashion wooden rack or the clothes line. Fold them up when all are done and put them in a project box with the threads, any additional tools that I need and the pattern. Then, I am ready to work. I usually do this about a week before I am ready to start cutting. Hope this helps.
    Busy in Ohio

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    A quick tip. When you wash yardage take a snip off one corner. Then when you pull out a piece of fabric, you will know for sure if you prewashed it.

    This will also help if you do not get all your fabric washed before you have to pack it up.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

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    Super Member oksewglad's Avatar
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    I began prewashing fabric as a carry over from my clothing construction days. Disappointing to sew something that doesn't fit after it's been washed. And I still do, but I wash on a quick cycles--could save you some time. I don't feel washing for longer period of time is going to benefit and the heat in the dryer will take care of the shrinking.

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    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilt-T View Post
    we will be moving to another base by the summer and if it's Stateside I will want it all washed by then because it will be stored in a crate and then shipped on a boat before we get it. It took 3 months for our stuff to get here.
    I'd probably want to wash after it was shipped and in storage to freshen it up. Plus, you're going through your stash to wash, fold and put away. Then you'll have to go through it again to pack and again to unpack. Why not wash as you're unpacking. Just my two cents worth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltsRfun View Post
    I'd probably want to wash after it was shipped and in storage to freshen it up. Plus, you're going through your stash to wash, fold and put away. Then you'll have to go through it again to pack and again to unpack. Why not wash as you're unpacking. Just my two cents worth.
    This makes sense to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by judylg View Post
    I always washed everything I bought when I got it home. Somehow along the way I have stopped doing that, in favour of washing the colors I think might bleed. I normally cut a snip off the piece and put it in a glass of hot water and watch, then I decide if I need to wash.
    Great idea!!

  19. #19
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    I always wash it as soon as it comes home. I want it to be ready when I have a brain farkle and want to make it right then!!!

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    I used to wash all the time and now just wash batiks and darker colors, especially reds. I find my cutting is more accurate when I don't.

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    Senior Member donna13350's Avatar
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    I tend to wash my batiks, just to make sure they don't run...but then I have to pre-wash any other fabric that I put with them so the quilt will shrink uniformly...then I end up with some pre-washed and some not...
    I take a paper punch, (the thing that punches a hole) and put holes up and down the selvage of what I wash..that way I can keep it all straight...otherwise I'd be washing some 3 times and other not all!

  22. #22
    Member needlefruit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Somerset Val View Post
    I have always prewashed my fabrics but I don't do it when I buy them - only when I am going to use them. I overlock the raw edges before washing, starching and ironing them. This way, I know which fabrics have been prewashed, and which haven't - and it prevents a real mess of tangled threads in the washing machine and on the fabric!
    Same practice here, and it works really well for me!

  23. #23
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oksewglad View Post
    I began prewashing fabric as a carry over from my clothing construction days. Disappointing to sew something that doesn't fit after it's been washed. And I still do, but I wash on a quick cycles--could save you some time. I don't feel washing for longer period of time is going to benefit and the heat in the dryer will take care of the shrinking.

    QE what's your opinion?
    Oh ... you already know OKSGlad , that I am a confirmed hot water, hot dryer fabric abuser!
    And ... now commited to Colour Catchers as a check for any bleeding.
    If so, then re-wash and/or retayne treatments!

    Gets it all sorted out in the pre-sewing stage ... and avoid disappointment later.
    I sure as heck don't want to do all that work and have my quilt end up a new colour and/or stained from bleeds!
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by judylg View Post
    I always washed everything I bought when I got it home. Somehow along the way I have stopped doing that, in favour of washing the colors I think might bleed. I normally cut a snip off the piece and put it in a glass of hot water and watch, then I decide if I need to wash.
    That is my way of "washing" fabric too!!!!!!!why waste all that water and electricity, not to mention gas, if your dryer is that......my rule: I only "wash" dirty clothes, things.........

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    Why not wait to wash your fabrics until after your move. If the fabric will be stored in a crate for months on a ship,it will probably be at the least musty smelling, so after you are settled in at your new home, then wash. Otherwise, if you wash everything now, you will have to do it again after the move.Just my thought. Good luck on your move!

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