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Thread: Do I wash fabric or not?

  1. #1
    Super Member jeannie t's Avatar
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    I am trying to learn applique . do I need to wash fabric to remove sizing before I applique or not? and what do you use steam a seam or something else this is for a wall hanging thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I don't wash fabric and I use Wonder Under. Works fine.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    I always wash my fabrics, and I use either wonder under or steam-a-seam.

  4. #4
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Two answers, two opinions. I think you'll hear of advantages and disadvantages for each. Try it both ways and see what works best for you. :)

  5. #5
    Senior Member debp33's Avatar
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    I always wash fabric if it's a fat quarter or larger. And I use Wonder Under.

  6. #6
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I seldom wash and I use light weight fusible interfacing. I like to stitch interfacing to the right side of the fabric and then turn it to create a nice turned under edge.

    Now, you are up to three answers and three opinions. Pick one and try it out. Try out another one on the next project and soon you will know what works best for you.

  7. #7
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Some iron-on applique products actually state on them to prewash fabric and dry without dryer sheet or the sticky may not work right. I try to get the chemicals off the fabric before adding the iron-on. (However, I have done small pieces without washing - but those were for wall-hangings)

  8. #8
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    lots of options on this one - will you be leaving the applique raw edge or stitching it by hand or machine? The advantage of pre-washing for an applique project is that by removing the sizing, the bonding material adheres better to the fabric. If you're stitching it down anyway after, the amount of bonding isn't too big of an issue since the stitching will hold the piece in place. If you think that the piece will ever be washed, be aware that NOT pre-washing will result in some shrinkage..a carefully bonded should not pucker up, but you never no (all cotton fabrics will shrink some.

    If you plan to fuse only with no stitching of any kind, use the bonding agent for non-sewing projects, in which case I'd for sure pre-wash so that the bonding will be as permanent as possible.

    So, you see, there really is not one single answer to your question...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeannie t
    I am trying to learn applique . do I need to wash fabric to remove sizing before I applique or not? and what do you use steam a seam or something else this is for a wall hanging thanks in advance for any help.
    You will get 500 replies pretty much evenly split down the middle. Some people SWEAR you must prewash to prevent bleeding etc. Others (like me) SWEAR you don't need to. So, in the end only you can make up your mind. :-D

  10. #10
    Junior Member Lobster's Avatar
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    I always prewash to prevent bleeding, and also because fabrics may shrink unevenly. If you want to see some of my appliqué (hand done), look at my avatar!

  11. #11
    Super Member rusty quilter's Avatar
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    You will find equal amounts in both camps (wash/don't wash). Do what feels best to you, and if after the first one you don't like it--do something else! We work with beautiful fabric--not with lives!

  12. #12
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I always prewash, but everyone has there own opinion on it1

  13. #13
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    Bleeding is MAINLY not a problem today, unless you are using cheap fabrics, HOWEVER, different fabrics may shrink at different rates. It took me awhile, but I learned to wash everything. I do hand applique, so for me, getting rid of the sizing helps me to shape the fabric as I wish.

  14. #14
    qnana's Avatar
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    I always wash fabric when I buy it. You only have to deal with a ruined quilt from bleeding once to be convinced. All that work to repair hurts! Especially hand applique, which was my learning experience.

  15. #15
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qnana
    I always wash fabric when I buy it. You only have to deal with a ruined quilt from bleeding once to be convinced. All that work to repair hurts! Especially hand applique, which was my learning experience.
    If you had just washed it a couple more times before you dried it, that probably would have taken care of the problem. If it's loose dye in the original that isn't set, it probably won't be set in whatever picks it up. With modern dyes you generally have to set them with other chemicals.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    The age old question--Do or don't I???

  17. #17
    7dwarfs's Avatar
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    I don't wash the fabric except for red. Some red fabric will bleed when wet. If you wash the fabric you can put use sizing or Best press to put the finish back on the fabric. You can test a piece fabric to see if it will bleed by soaking it in warm water.

    I use wonder under if I am doing machine applique.

  18. #18

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    I never wash my new fabric and I really like steam a seam Lt

  19. #19
    Senior Member 19angel52's Avatar
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    a wall hanging - I wouldn't bother washing then. I do prewash all fabrics for a quilt though. That I learned the hard way - especially with batiks!!!

  20. #20
    Junior Member bethanywoman's Avatar
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    I wash and dry all cottons except for fatquarters. New fabric stays separate until washed. when using, I use wonder under or steam2steam. I found starching well before fusing controls most potential fraying on edges another suggestion from Polly and friend pollyv9, says don't rush pulling the backing off until it is entirely cooled and I have found this usually is best. Flannels get washed and dried at least 2 times before using.

  21. #21
    Senior Member tinliz's Avatar
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    I pre-wash fabric to check for bleeding, to insure a good bond with fusible, to insure even shrinkage, and to check quality of questionable fabric. As my dad used to say, "better to be safe than sorry" :)

  22. #22
    llcathey's Avatar
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    Same here I don't wash the fabric ,Iv never had reds bleed onto other pieces but I use good fabric,,,,I do like steam a seam its pricey but works great

  23. #23
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    I would prewash all fabric to used in applique project to allow for shrinkage of both base fabric and applque fabric before they are fused together. Other fabric that I use for quilt making I do not wash since I want the crinkle look when finished.

  24. #24
    Super Member jeannie t's Avatar
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    I am trying to do free spirit the horse sihoutte and it has raw edges , I was planning to strait stitch on, plus I have wonder under here so was going to use that

  25. #25
    Senior Member Vickymomof6's Avatar
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    Oh, you are opening a Pandora's box!!!

    I'm in the wash everything camp!

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