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Thread: Do you wash your fabric before you cut and sew it?

  1. #1
    Senior Member SWEETPEACHES's Avatar
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    Normally I don't wash my fabric before or after. But I'm making a special order quilt for someone. What do you all do.

    If you wash it, do you then starch it before cutting?

  2. #2
    Senior Member sandybeach's Avatar
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    I always wash my fabric. I also "wash" the batting. I want them to pre-shrink before I sew because I don't like the wrinkly look. I have even "washed" the quilt top before quilting if I used pre-cuts such as jelly rolls. I just put them in the water, spin dry on slow, then put into the dryer with a bath towel. It takes some careful ironing to get the seams to lay flat, but I think it is worth it.

  3. #3
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    Yes - I want it to shrink & relax before I cut.

  4. #4
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    No. Only flannel fabrics.

  5. #5
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    when i feel the finished product will be washed then i wash everything before i cut and piece the project.

    if i feel the finished product will never be washed i do not wash the fabric before hand.

    i also use tons of hand dyed fabric in my work so by the time the fabric is ready to be used in a product it has been in water numerous times during the dyeing process so any shrinkage has already occurred and the fabric has been treated so that it will never bleed.

  6. #6
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I wash and dry all my fabric before it goes into my stash. I starch occasionally, depends on the pattern.

    I prefer to know if my fabric is a bleeder before putting it in the quilt. I also prefer working with washed fabs. Never know what the fabric picks up between manufacturer and point of retail sale. Have read some real horror stories here but I always washed before anyway. Even before reading about bug eggs, insecticides and other harsh chemicals.

  7. #7
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    Wash all my fabrics...I can't stand the pesticides/insecticides that are sprayed on them in the warehouses, so if I want to breathe, I wash. I don't iron them until I am going to use them, then I do starch them.

    Had a friend make a lovely quilt, hand quilt it, then wash it (no color catchers) and her turquoise bled on the white fabric and ruined the quilt. Too many hours invested in a quilt to risk that, even with color catchers.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SharBear's Avatar
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    I do wash them - then before I cut them I iron lightly then starch. I have found that lightly ironing before applying starch allows the starch to be better absorbed into the fabric.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SharBear's Avatar
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    oops - hit send 2x!

  10. #10
    Senior Member sarahrachel's Avatar
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    I don't usually wash, I like the "wrinkley" look as I like to do traditional designs and I feel like they look older than they are. I only wash the fabric if when I pick it up it feels like it would bleed or is stiff. Gentle cycle cold always. I only usually iron if it's really wrinkley too. I don't have enough time to worry about washing and ironing fabric before cutting. and as most are scrappy, I don't think it really matters much anyway

  11. #11
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Yes. I wash, dry and starch the whole piece before i start cutting. BTW, I have an Accucut Studio and still starch everything. Makes cutting and piecing so much easier.

  12. #12
    Senior Member COYOTEMAGIC's Avatar
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    I've started washing every single piece in my stash. I started doing to because once I came up with an idea, I would pick out the fabric, wash it, line dry (we don't have a dryer) then iron. By the time it was all done, I had moved on to somethingelse. This way I can just grab fabric from my stash, give it a quick pressing and on with my quilt project.

    Now every new piece of fabric coming through the door is washed before it makes to to the sewing room.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Essiescott's Avatar
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    You are going to get as many different answers as there are people. I myself do not prewash any of my fabric. I have never had any problems with mine. I also like the crinkly look kinda old fashioned look of the fabric. I have never had any problems with running of dies either. But sometimes you can tell by the way the fabric feels. I have never starched fabric either. But that is just me.

    Sibyl

  14. #14
    Senior Member Kristin in ME's Avatar
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    I always wash it when I bring it home, before I add it to my stash. I don't want to worry about bleeding, and then I know that it's all the same, not some washed and others not.

  15. #15
    BMP
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    Super Member BMP's Avatar
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    NOPE- NADA -NEVER

  16. #16
    Senior Member Kehoeta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Essiescott
    You are going to get as many different answers as there are people. Sibyl

    Very True...


    I like the feel of washed fabric better - so I aways wash mine.

  17. #17
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    No, I do not prewash my fabric.

  18. #18
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    I always wash and iron before cutting. I like starched fabric, too, but I cannot buy the blue liquid starch around here any more and when I use the spray starch, I get overspray on everything and I hate it, so I use unstarched fabric - so far, so good though.

  19. #19
    Senior Member SWEETPEACHES's Avatar
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    Well this sure was an interestng poll! lol

    Thanks for all your input

  20. #20
    Super Member caliquocat's Avatar
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    Yes!

  21. #21
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Wash - usually. Starch - generally not.

    I have a "Why you should prewas fabrics" story. I made curtains for my sewing room - just basic rectangles and I lined them with muslin. All the fabric came from my stash. I was so proud of myself that the pattern lined up and everything, and then I washed them...... Well, the lining shrank at a different rate than the main fabric and suddenly my curtain looked like it wore a slip that was too long.

  22. #22
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    99% of the time I don't wash or starch. I do wash and dry flannel though. If you put this topic into the search function you will see many different opinions on the topic.

  23. #23
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    I do for several reasons.

    *Shrinkage. Even if its listed as pre-washed or its a batik that's been through so many dye baths and rinses (some quilters think that all the rinsing equals no shrinkage or bleeding and that definatly was not the case with a lot of my batiks and hand dyes).

    *Excess dye. Lately a lot of the fabrics I've been using have had to have a Retayne bath to set in the dye. I put them in the wash with a Shout color catcher after rinsing and air drying just in case I didn't rinse it out enough after the Retayne bath (some of those fabrics shed a bit of extra dye during the bath).

    *Its got this "new fabric feel" to it, but that's not how its going to be once the quilt is washed. So why not just start off with fabric that's already washed BEFORE you put it into the quilt? It gonna be washed anyways!

    *You never really truely know where your fabric has been and fabric gets dirty. Think of all the people who handle the fabric before it reaches the store and then how many quilters feel it up before you buy it. On the more extreme side, there have been horror stories where someone bought fabric from a garage sale or something and later found th fabric had bugs in it. I buy a lot of things off eBay and definatly pre-wash just for the reason that I'm not entirely sure where its coming from or where its been. Particularly if I'm buying used band t-shirts for my quilt...it might be gently used, but for all I know it could of been previously worn by some sweaty guy at a concert. That thought makes me want to throw it in the wash.

    In a nutshell, I'd just rather be safe than sorry and not possibly ruin a perfectly good quilt.

  24. #24
    Super Member Lindsey's Avatar
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    I wash most of my fabric before using and then i do spray starch before cutting and sewing. If the pattern calls for the fabric not to be washed then I don't or if its a precut kit I don't wash..

  25. #25
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I always pre-wash for many reasons: to remove the formaldehyde and other chemicals, to pre-shrink it, to get rid of loose dyes (runners are rewashed with Retayne), so it's ready for fusibles, and to tighten the weave. I never starch, ever.

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