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Thread: Doc says wash you fabric wash your fabric wash you fabric

  1. #1
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    Just got home from dermatologist. Excema on hands really bad. She gave me refill on one med, a new one to try and said if you have issues on your hands...breaking out, itching, etc. to wash your fabric 5 times to get all the...can't spell it correctly...formeldahyde out. So now I know, washing fab once won't do it with laundry detergent. I use liquid w/no perfumes or other chemicals.

    Just thought I'd pass this along. I know there is a huge populatioin of quilters who don't believe in prewashing fab, but know you know why LOTS of us have to do it.

  2. #2
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    I've also learned that from the cheap shift type dresses that I order through a catalog. I have to wash them several time before they stop making me itch.

  3. #3
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    Did Doc recommend with or without soap? When I prewash, I don't use soap. Guess I never thought about it before.

    It's downright amazing the junk we're exposed to these days. Nanny government.

  4. #4
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    It's funny you brought this up! I always prewash, (with the exception of precuts), because of the chemicals. Today I was working with a bali pop and wondering why my skin was so itchy. I forgot how bad it can be when my skin gets irritated. I love the precuts, but I probably will cut back on buying them now.

    I always use hypoallergenic soaps. Just noticed that Arm & Hammer added a "fresh scent fragrance" to their soap for sensitive skin...what's up with that??? Hello, what do they think people are sensitive to???

  5. #5
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I have washed precuts but I have never bought a precut square before today...I got them when I signed up for Keepssake quilting. I also have been wearing white gloves for my last quilt I just made...I was amazed to see how dirty they got. And that was washed fabric....

  6. #6
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    Yup - clothes and fabrics have that "poison" in them...I got contact dermatitis from trying on new clothing.

  7. #7

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    I'm sorry, I don't understand your comment. Are you saying that you think that the government is responsible for the use of formaldehyde in the manufacturing process? The government has regulations to try to minimize the impact of its use.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDog
    Did Doc recommend with or without soap? When I prewash, I don't use soap. Guess I never thought about it before.

    It's downright amazing the junk we're exposed to these days. Nanny government.

  8. #8
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I don't think our government has much to do with the chemicals as most fabric comes from Asia now. Thank the overseas manufacturers for it. :<

  9. #9
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    five times? Wow!

  10. #10
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    I know when I handle fabric a lot at work my hands get really dry and such. Cracked and hurting. Burlap really is bad on my hands. I wash my hands asap after dealing with it.

  11. #11
    Super Member Carron's Avatar
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    Thanks for this information.

  12. #12
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    good to know both me and baby have eczema

  13. #13
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    This is very good to know. I never thought of new clothing being suspect of having skin irrating agents in them! Thanks for the information.

  14. #14
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I have posted several times on QB about pre-washing fabrics because of the chemicals in the fabrics. I have psoriasis and in the past year or so it has gotten incredibly worse. My hands have become involved so much so that they crack and bleed and are swollen to almost twice regular size and it has flared it up on other areas of my body. It has been linked back to fabrics. My hands will itch and burn after an afternoon of touching fabrics in a shop (favorite pasttime!!) I have different creams for different parts of my body and I take oral medications as well as I am now on the injections to get my psoriasis under control. There are so many chemicals in the fabric from manufacturing and to make it look crisp and pretty in the store. Thanks for the information about washing it 5 times. I definately will from now on. . .

  15. #15
    Super Member luckylindy333's Avatar
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    I can just barely touch denim jeans in the store- if I get any of the dye on my hands, they go numb. I don't consider myself particularly sensitive- I guess I need to prewash more...

  16. #16
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Just think--formadehyde is the main ingredient in the dying process of fabric design. Formadehyde is also the main ingredient in the embalming process. One wonders...if a quilter dies, will she ever fall to 'pieces'??

  17. #17
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I thought they had quit using formaldehyde in fabric dyes years ago. I used to have problems with my eyes burning just walking into a fabric shop. That hasn't happened to me in the last thirty or so years. Of course I'm sure they now use other things that are just as irritating to some people now.

  18. #18
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info -- I usually don't wash until I am ready to use the fabric, and then I throw it in with our clothes. I won't be doing that now.

  19. #19
    Junior Member nantucketsue's Avatar
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    I wash all my cotton fabric with ordinary detergent in the washing machine at 40 degrees, and again when the quilt is finished. The only exception might be if it is to be a wallhanging that is machine quilted, so I am not handling it so much. I hate the thought of giving someone a quilt that is full of chemicals, especially a child's quilt. I do think five times seems a bit over the top. PS: I wash all the fabrics together, but I will pre-wash the darkest ones separately first so that any excess dye is removed. So far I have been lucky and not had any disasters.

  20. #20
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    I believe I'll begin washing, washing, washing all my fabrics, as I make a lot of quilts for babies, and wow! How I'd hate for the quilt to be the fault of excema or psorasis, or any of those difficult to get under control skin irritations... not to mention it'd be healthier for me too. Thank you for the information - as it is something we all should take into consideration when doing quilts for chairty - whether it be for babies, or hospital victims, or even nursing home residents; they all have less immune systems when ill or first born, so need to be "pampered" with our gifts, not hurt by them.

  21. #21
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    I have been told chemicals in fabric is bad and not to wear anything before it is washed but I did not know about the 5 times I had a new pair of tennis shoes make my feet burn so bad that I had to go to the doctor and was told that a lot of people had the same problem because of chemicals used in them to so makes one wonder what really goes into this stuff and the laws here does no good when it comes in from all over

  22. #22
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    Thank you for the information.

  23. #23
    Senior Member supergma's Avatar
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    I wash new fabric three times. I don't have skin problems, but do have breathing problems. I'm going to my LQS to "feel" the fabric today. I think I need to wear a painter's mask.

  24. #24
    Senior Member janeknapp's Avatar
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    form·al·de·hyde   

    a colorless, toxic, potentially carcinogenic, water-soluble gas, CH 2 O, having a suffocating odor, usually derived from methyl alcohol by oxidation: used chiefly in aqueous solution, as a disinfectant and preservative, and in the manufacture of various resins and plastics.

    Fabrics are treated with urea-formaldehyde resins to give them all sorts of easy care properties such as:

    Permanent press / durable press
    Anti-cling, anti-static, anti-wrinkle, and anti-shrink (especially shrink proof wool)
    Waterproofing and stain resistance (especially for suede and chamois)
    Perspiration proof
    Moth proof
    Mildew resistant
    Color-fast

    Read more: http://organicclothing.blogs.com/my_..._and_smel.html

  25. #25
    Senior Member vickimc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom-6
    I thought they had quit using formaldehyde in fabric dyes years ago. I used to have problems with my eyes burning just walking into a fabric shop. That hasn't happened to me in the last thirty or so years. Of course I'm sure they now use other things that are just as irritating to some people now.

    I am like you. I thought they quit using it. we must be wrong. back to washing more often. I have gotten lasy about it. mostly because I dont want to iron it until I am ready to use it. a lazy streak.

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