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Thread: Do you wash your fabric before quilting?

  1. #1
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    Do you wash your fabric before quilting?

    I never have....but I am about to work with red and white fabrics for the first time.

  2. #2
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    I only wash the red's to check for bleeding. All the others, no. Always use a color-catcher though.

  3. #3
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I do wash reds but that's about it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    When I bring the fabric in the house, it immediately goes in the washing machine in warm water and then into the dryer (10 minutes) and then hung up to dry. Most of the wrinkles hang out and if the fabric shrinks (and in this day and age, most of the time all the fabric shrinks in the washing) I will have all the fabric with no shrinkage when I start to sew. Reds and blues always leave red or blue water and sometimes the blacks and always use 5 or 6 color catchers in each washing load.
    Busy in Ohio

  5. #5
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    I don't prewash, but with red, or any other suspicious color...I cut a piece, like 1" X 1", put in a container of hot water and see if it bleeds..if it does, then I decide if I want to use or replace......so far so good .

  6. #6
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    what is a color catcher?

  7. #7
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    They look like fabric softener sheets. You buy them in the laundry section.

  8. #8
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I always pre-wash lengths of fabric before using them. Someone on this board gave the tip to sew the two raw edges together with a zig-zag stitch to avoid twisting and ravelling in the washer and that works really well. If I have dark fabrics then I use a color catcher. I don't wash pre-cuts, so if I'm giving a quilt made with those I always give a color catcher with it.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  9. #9
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I prewash everything including pre-cuts. I know that the quilting is supposed to stabilize everything, but I don't want any shrinkage or bleeding surprises.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  10. #10
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    But what if your fabric is precuts?

  11. #11
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    yes - including small scraps that i have acquired.

    i have had a few unpleasant surprises and - for me - it' s very much worth the extra effort of soaking and washing the fabrics before cutting them.

  12. #12
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    if a large piece of fabric has "issues" - it seems to me that small pieces of that same piece of fabric would have the same "issues".

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgagnon905 View Post
    what is a color catcher?
    They pick up any excess dye that might be in the water from bleeding fabrics.

    I wash all fabric before using. Smaller pieces get dunked by hand, spun in a garment bag and hung to dry.

    Fabric shrinks unevenly, much more along the width than along the length. I want any shrinking to take place before I stitch the fabric into a quilt.
    Lisa

  14. #14
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I cut off a small piece and soak it, lay it on a paper towel to see if it bleeds. I hate washing fabric. I use color catchers also with my quilts.

  15. #15
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    I prewash everything except jelly rolls (which I rarely buy) and it gets washed before it makes it upstairs to my stash. I make 30-40 quilts a year, and don't like working with unwashed fabric. I recently bought a new washer and dryer - the washer has no central agitator. I looked in that large open space and fell in love lol! Right now I have a bolt (15 yards ) of beige sitting on my dryer waiting to be washed.

    About the largest I wash at a time is 7 yards of 105" backing. I usually have to take it out of the dryer several times to unroll it so it dries evenly. I find the backing shrinks quite a bit, but it also relaxes and evens out so it loads on the LA much easier.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    I prewash everything including pre-cuts. I know that the quilting is supposed to stabilize everything, but I don't want any shrinkage or bleeding surprises.
    I do this as well. ~
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  17. #17
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    I've been an avid prewasher as well...it's a throwback from garment sewing days. Like bearisgray says, I don't like unpleasant surprises either! Really dismayed when a prewashed fabric bleeds during pressing with steam...that has happened to me with a fine quality fabric.
    Don't worry spider.
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    Nothing's too small...I love miniatures.

  18. #18
    Junior Member Caroline94535's Avatar
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    Yes!

    I enter my house through the mud room/laundry area. All new fabrics go in the washer immediately. They are washed, dried, pressed if necessary, folded, and then put in the sewing room.

    This saves mevfrom stress and worry. I know everything in the fabrics area is ready to go.

  19. #19
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    The only fabric I prewash is flannel. Not precuts.

  20. #20
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I prewash everything except jelly rolls, layer cakes, and charm squares. Although I almost never buy those, I've still accumulated a few. I also wash any scraps that I'm given. I prefer to have the shrinkage and any bleeding done before I start using the fabric. I also want any chemicals used during manufacturing removed before I handle the fabric. I usually press the fabric after washing.

  21. #21
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    no I do not wash

  22. #22
    Junior Member TAMARATJO's Avatar
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    I prewash all fabric, but not pre-cuts. As soon as I get the fabric, it goes into the washing machine, gets ironed, folded an put in a plastic storage bin. I like to have my fabric ready to go. I often "play" with my fabric. Laying out color families, or collections to review with quilt patterns I want to make.

  23. #23
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    I used to prewash everything.. now I have gotten away from that. If I buy good fabric I don't prewash - - - even with reds I don't think I would if I knew it was good fabric. I would definitely use color catchers when I was the final product though

  24. #24
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    I don't pre-wash, but I do feel guilty. I really think I should.

  25. #25
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    I only pre wash flannel.

    Cari

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