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Thread: Does everyone pre wash their fabric?

  1. #1
    Member kalena's Avatar
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    I am sort of new at quilting. The person who taught me so much, said don't pre wash. But reading on here it sounds like most of you pre wash. Can you all give me advise? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    I don't, some do. If you do a search you'll probably find a lot of discussions about it. :)

  3. #3
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    Wow this can really cause a debate. I personally wash all my fabric because the chemicals on the new fabric irritates my skin. After a while my fingernails starts to split and my hands itch.

    It is a personal preference - what ever your prefer. Sometimes it is a matter of how fast you want to start the project when you bring the fabric home. Or lack of water, if you need to super conserve. Some really like the look of the fabric before it is washed, it is easy to handle too.

  4. #4
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    nope.

  5. #5
    Super Member AlwaysQuilting's Avatar
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    I never do unless it's flannel

  6. #6
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalena
    I am sort of new at quilting.
    Really? Cause that's an AWESOME quilt in your avatar!

    I don't pre-wash anything bought in a LQS or made in a commercial environment (like batiks).

    Personal preference. And I've also vowed never to make a red and white quilt. :mrgreen:

  7. #7
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS

    Personal preference. And I've also vowed never to make a red and white quilt. :mrgreen:
    Good point - I was thinking after I posted earlier that I actually did wash the reds in my current quilt!

  8. #8
    Senior Member qbquilts's Avatar
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    I usually prewash, if I get it done in time. Some of my baby quilts I'm finishing the stitching on the label just a few minutes before heading out the door. It ensures that I've left no germs or loose threads on the quilt. Plus it gives me the assurance that the quilt will withstand being washed, the seams are secure, and that the fabrics shouldn't bleed. I wash just like my normal laundry - cold water, regular cycle, dry on hot (my dryer is :-( and only has "cool knit" or "hot regular"). I use my normal detergent (either all or purex "free and clear").

    Ooops, just realized this was "pre-washing fabric", not "pre-washing quilts prior to giving" - I don't prewash fabric purchased at stores. If purchasing from someone's stash, I do sometimes prewash due to possible animal hair and smoke.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I don't pre-wash fabric. Saves me a lot of time! However, I do test suspicious fabrics for potential bleeding, as I do not want to put a bleeder fabric into a quilt. To test I just cut off a 2-inch square of fabric, drop into a glass of water and watch to see if any dye seeps into the water. I also will rub the dampened fabric against white fabric to see if any dye "crocks". In my experience, something like 99.8% of all fabrics do not bleed; however, it only takes one bleeder to ruin a quilt.

  10. #10
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    I don;t

  11. #11
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I don't. I make a lot of scrap quilts so it would be hard. I got my scraps from a lady who had a cottage industry making hundreds of quilts a year. She never prewashed.

  12. #12
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    some people do=some don't - it is a personal choice...if you choose not to you need to at least color test reds- dark bright colors to make sure they don't bleed other than that == people make fabulous quilts with unwashed fabrics---and with washed fabrics...

  13. #13
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    I prewash because some sizings make my asthma act up and I start weezing

  14. #14
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    There are all sorts of people that will jump in here and tell you all kinds of reasons why you really, really, REALLY should wash your fabric or else!

    If you don't want to spend a whole lot of time washing and ironing fabric, ignore them. It's a whole lot of work to wash and iron and starch 10 yards of fabric before you even get to cutting.

    The main reason people give for washing seems to be dye bleeding. If it's not set in the original it won't be set in anything that picks it up and will wash out of that item too. Most fabrics don't pick fugitive dye up out of the wash anyway. Wash a red and white together. If the red bleeds and the white doesn't pick the dye up, it's not a problem.

    One of the top quilters in the counry, Harriet Hargrave, does not prewash fabric. She and her daughter have written a series of books called "Quilter's Academy" and I highly recommend the first book for all quilters. Harriet has been quilting since the '70s at least so I'll bet she's had more than enough experience to be a true authority.

  15. #15
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Most fabrics don't pick fugitive dye up out of the wash anyway.
    :thumbup: Phrase of the day! ;-)

  16. #16
    Senior Member mmdquilts's Avatar
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    I don't usually unless I'm afraid it will bleed. I usually test a small piece in a white coffee filter soaked in a bit of water to see if it does

  17. #17
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Oh gosh, we have had many many discussions and very little agreement on this topic!!! I don't prewash, except for flannel, but sometimes pretest a small piece of the fabric.

  18. #18
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmdquilts
    I don't usually unless I'm afraid it will bleed. I usually test a small piece in a white coffee filter soaked in a bit of water to see if it does
    Do this experiment, wash a load of clothes with plenty of colors, that doesn't have anything new in it, and throw in a color catcher. Bet the color catcher comes out with dye on it. Before you threw that color catcher in you didn't even know any of the dyes were bleeding but it wasn't a problem either. I have clothes that I've had for at least a couple of years that are still bleeding dye. Nothing picks up the fugitive dye though so it's not a problem.

  19. #19
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    Always prewash, don't like surprises. You get a good feel for the material when you do. Always starch when pressing the material to give back the sizing.

  20. #20
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I prewash reds as they are notorious for bleeding and all flannels as they shrink. And then always wash after completion to get rid of any remaining sizing, basting spray, and soils from my hands. It also gives it that soft and cuddly look and feel which I love.

  21. #21
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    ALWAYS.

  22. #22
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    good tip

    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    I don't pre-wash fabric. Saves me a lot of time! However, I do test suspicious fabrics for potential bleeding, as I do not want to put a bleeder fabric into a quilt. To test I just cut off a 2-inch square of fabric, drop into a glass of water and watch to see if any dye seeps into the water. I also will rub the dampened fabric against white fabric to see if any dye "crocks". In my experience, something like 99.8% of all fabrics do not bleed; however, it only takes one bleeder to ruin a quilt.

  23. #23
    Super Member Jennifer22206's Avatar
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    I prewash flannel and for swaps. Otherwise - nope.

  24. #24
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    I don't prewash my fabric, but I know I'm running the ragged edge of disaster. I recommend prewashing despite what I do. You will never remember what fabric you prewashed and what you didn't.

    For flannel, I only buy high qualify flannel. It DOES shrink. It all does release dye. I still don't prewash. I just don't use lights.

  25. #25
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    I pre wash everything! That's the way I was taught 60 yrs ago. If I don't I will worry and stew about shrinkage,an color running, untill I wash the quilt for the first time, It gives me piece of mind, and I enjoy the whole process a lot more.

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