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Thread: bleeding fabrics

  1. #1
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    WITH REFERENCE TO AN ON GOING CONVERSATION LATELY, I JUST GOT THIS IN MY EMAIL FROM PENNY HALGREN, THE QUILTING COACH.

    SORRY THIS IS ALL CAPS. IT LOOKS SNOTTY. I JUST WANTED TO DISTINGUISH IT FROM THE BODY OF THE EMAIL. (I COULDN"T GET THE BOLD TO WORK )

    BUTTERFLYWING



    Thank you for your continued interest in Weekly Quilting
    Tips from TheQuiltingCoach.com

    Here's another tip:

    You can never hear this one too often. ALWAYS pre-wash your fabric
    once you get it home from the fabric store. Washing in warm water
    using normal detergent (never with bleach) will remove any
    lingering chemicals from the fabric dyeing process, as well as
    shrink your fabric before it becomes part of your quilt.

    Some may say you don't have to pre-wash, but we think it's better
    safe than sorry! If you don't pre-wash your fabric, you could have
    a quilt whose fabrics bleed onto each other, or where the fabric
    puckers and your entire quilt shrinks! After all of your hard work,
    no one wants that. Always pre-wash, and you won't have to worry!


    Happy Quilting!

    Penny Halgren
    www.TheQuiltingCoach.com[b]

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    There are pros and cons to this advice. Harriet Hargrave does not believe in pre-washing (although she will pretest suspicious fabrics by dropping a piece in water to see if it bleeds).

    I don't prewash and have never had a bleeding or crocking problem. However, I always do a first wash with Synthrapol which suspends loose dye particles in the water to be washed away and prevents them settling into nearby fabrics.

    I haven't had any problems with undue shrinkage either, but I avoid very cheap loosely woven fabrics. Also, I use cotton batting and like the crinkly look it gives. Any slight shrinkage in a fabric would be well-hidden by the crinkling.

    Some people do need to prewash because of allergies and adverse reactions to chemicals.

  3. #3
    Super Member Ducky's Avatar
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    Thanks, BW. I was told by an instructor that fabric bought at a quilt shop (instead of a JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby, WalMart, etc.) did not need to be prewashed because it's higher quality. But I DID prewash my black and white fabric with Orvus, and afterward decided I will start doing this. I like the "Better Safe Than Sorry" philosophy.

  4. #4
    farscapegal
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    I prewash all my fabrics. Batiks are over dyed and the excess dye will run off. I buy most of my fabrics from quilt stores and have seen some of them run too. I won't take chances with my quilts. Even if they didn't run I would wash them so they will do all the shrinking they are going to do. Cotton fabric is going to shrink.

    Sybil

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    When I worked at a quilt store up north, we experimented with this. We had been getting our bolts of Benartex flannels and they came with cards that said "colorfast - no need to pre-wash!" We tested it, and sure enough... they didn't bleed. But they shrunk from 43" to 39". We tried several pieces. When we attended quilt market, we asked the Benartex people about it and they said, "well, most people are only concerned with bleeding." And then they tried to tell us that when people make flannel quilts they like the puckery look, yada yada yada... We were NOT impressed.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Ethel A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky
    Thanks, BW. I was told by an instructor that fabric bought at a quilt shop (instead of a JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby, WalMart, etc.) did not need to be prewashed because it's higher quality. But I DID prewash my black and white fabric with Orvus, and afterward decided I will start doing this. I like the "Better Safe Than Sorry" philosophy.
    I always buy my fabrics at the lqs because it's only three blocks from my house (I walk there, rather than drive). I bought six red fat quarters two weeks ago. I let it soak in warm water. You should've seen how red the water was.

    Same thing with blue. The water did have some dye from the fabric bleed into it.

    Regardless of where you buy your fabric, it's not the brick-and-mortar building that determines whether your fabric will bleed. It is the manufacturer, and how they dyed their fabrics.

    Given my recent experience, I have decided to prewash each and every piece of fabric I plan to use for purposes of removing any lingering dyes; as well as shrinking the fabric prior to cutting it. Also, for wall-hangings, I will always pre-soak the batting in hot water to shrink it as much as I can before I go to quilt with it.

  7. #7
    Power Poster littlehud's Avatar
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    I wash some fabrics. Like the ones I use for and exchange or flannel. Some I don't. I like the crinkly look. My one rule is if I wash one fabric for a quilt I wash them all.

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