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Thread: Fabric Allergies and Washing Fabric- PLEASE DO

  1. #26
    Super Member pojo's Avatar
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    I don't wash my fabric either I like the crisp feeling.

    If any of you carry a purse it is so dirty on the bottom of it for laying it on the floor where ever you put it. Like restraunts, Doctor offices, restrooms, etc.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Bluphrog's Avatar
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    I've got to say that the staf infection thing sounds like an urban legend to me. When I think of how many things we touch inside and outside our homes that may have bacteria on them, we'd be washing our hands constantly.

    And I think I remember reading somewhere that the ink that money is printed with has an antibacterial ingredient in it.

  3. #28
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    During a recent visit to my LQS I had a rash break out all around my waist. I had to leave the store. I know it was some fabric. They were looking at me strangely for all my scratching. The owner said they never had anyone allergic. I've never had allergies but there it was.

    It went away later that day.
    Quilter68 (who is really 69 now.)

  4. #29
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA
    OMIGOSH! After of 30 years of washing and not washing fabric, it never occurred to me to think of overseas, 'dirty' environments, multiple hands handling, infections and germs, ALONG with the yucky dyes and starches and finishes and other chemicals that make me feel all gummy-eyed and itchy! My washer will definitely be getting more of a workout these days!

    UUUUUKEY!!!

    Jan in VA
    She said it all and this is why I alway's wash all my fabrics. "Nuff said.

  5. #30

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    You know their are germs on everything and you can catch
    almost anything by just opening your door. I try to keep my house clean and I wash my hands a lot. I don't wash my material because that is my choice it is your choice if you want to wash it both sides have good reasons for their choice, but if we as careful as everyone tells us to be we
    would never get out of bed. Most of my colds and virus are caught from my grand children and they take a bath every day. I guess I could quit holding them and kissing them NOT!!!!! To each his own

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tweetee
    The only fabric I wash is the stuff I use for the swaps, and i will soak peices that tend to bleed in some hot water then line dry. Never have I put fabric in the washing machine, all mine when i do wash it is hand washed.

    I am also not overly concerned about germs. I was also brought up on a farm, and got into all sorts of mischief and unimaginable situations that were not pleasant, but had to be done. I beleive all this clap trap about 'must rid the home of all germs' is not a good thing for anybody, and contributes for the amount of allergies that we have today, and infections, as the body does not build up a good imune system to the every day germs that you will encounter on the outside of the home. Such as the "buttcrack" money (had to laugh at that one)and filthy supermarket trolleys and door handles that millions of people touch each year. Of course, keeping your home clean and tidy is a must in my book, but to go to extremes such as disinfecting every surface every day is rediculous. Have you ever noticed that the people that do this tend to get sick more often than others who are not so bothered about it? Thats just my opinion
    I second your sensible opinion. I read a woman's comment on Facebook yesterday that her child had gotten chickenpox from teething on the grocery cart handle. With all the dirty things in everyday life, I wondered how she narrowed this down, if she carried a forensic kit to determine this and, if so, why she didn't carry antiseptic wipes or secure the child so he couldn't reach said handle with his mouth.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaigai
    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbie
    I know there have been several posts in the past on this subject, but I need to add this to all others. Sat. when I was in Hancocks, my husband had to leave the store, because something in the store was bothering his allergies. The floor manager was cutting my fabric at the time and related this story to me about washing fabric. She has a friend who was sewing and cleaning up in the evening when she scratched her finger on the needle in her machine. The skin wasn't broken, so she didn't think anything about it. The finger begin to show some infection a day or so later and she went to her doctor. He put her in the hospital with a staff infection. He asked her what she was doing and when she told him, the Dr. told her to always wash all of her fab. before using it in any way, because of the dyes and what ever else might be on it, since most of the fab. comes from overseas now. Their processes may not be the most sanitary. She spent 5 days in the hospital and almost lost her finger the manager told me. She (the manager) saw the finger after the hospital stay and said it looked horrible, her finger had split open and really looked bad. SO PLEASE folks take the time and effort to WASH your fab. before using it. We just can't be too careful, and we don't want any of our other sewing friends to have any problems. I almost always wash mine, but I certainly will wash any of it now.
    As an ER and Critical Care nurse, this sounds like one of the alarmist stories that Snopes.com regularly debunks. Sorry, I'm not buying it. And BTW, Allergies and Infections are two very, very different things, not caused by the same process at all. If this person got an infection, it was from the needle, or something she touched AFTER the scratch, not the fabric.
    Folks I realize that everyone has their own ideas about washing fab. I am only relating a story I was told. I don't know the lady that told me the story, but I was just relating what I had been told. I know there are so many germs everywhere and some people don't catch something that the next person does from the same germs. I also know that this is the type of story that Snopes normally says is not so. I really don't know if it is true or not, but just in case it is, I thought I would relate the story.

  8. #33
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    I wash my fabric b/c I like to get out the sizing and excess dye. I use starch to spray it when I'm pressing it and probably again when I'm about to use it for a project. It's nice a crisp then.

  9. #34
    Super Member natalieg's Avatar
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    A quilting friend of my mom's ran over her finger with the sewing machine needle and had an infection so badly that she lost her fingertip from it. I never thought something so small could do so much damage.
    I prewash my fabric due to allergies to the chemicals. Now that I have been doing that, I immediately notice the difference when I walk into a LQS or Jo-Anns. I thought it was odd that I never noticed that before as being a trigger, but when I would be around my fabrics every day, I guess I was around it enough that walking into a LQS was really no change. If I would have taken a few days here and there away from my fabrics, then walked into a LQS, I might have been able to pinpoint it faster. At least now I know what my trigger is.
    Incidentally, I just got my gallon of Mary Ellen's Best Press in and used it yesterday to press several pieces of fabrics to prepare for cutting. I love it-it works great, but dried my throat and nose out enough to make me cough up a storm. I am going to call them today and see if it has the chemical that I can't handle in it. If so, I will sell it to a local quilty friend and maybe try a small bottle of their free and clear one.

  10. #35
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Shivesa
    Quote Originally Posted by justwannaquilt
    Next time you hold a dollar bill in your hands think about how many stipper buttcracks its been in. Are you going to wash it?

    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    I'm sorry, but that line totally made me crack up laughing (no pun intended?), although it's kinda gross to think about. ;)

    I don't wash any of my fabric, because most of what I have was given to me and is smaller, almost scrap size. Well, that and I've never been very concerned about germs. I was raised on a farm, and, well, germs have just never bothered me.

    With that said, I do think it's a different matter entirely if you're doing something for a swap.
    Me too. Nothing like wearing your dad's oversized rubber boots in the winter out to the lot, slipping on ice witha puddle of pe on it.... SPLASH! happened more than once. LOL Is that what they mean by good ole days???

    I rarely get sick and neither does my daughter. I believe you play hard and work hard all day, wash your hands often, and take a shower/bath before bed.

    I do, however, agree that some people have terrible allergies and need to take more precautions. i wash all my quilts before they are given to the new owner.

  11. #36
    Super Member Lilrain's Avatar
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    I am in the group that wonders whether the staph actually came from the fabric. Staph is on everyone's skin. To wash or not to wash is a personal decision everyone needs to decide on for themselves. i like to prewash so that if I make something there are no tragedies the first time my quilt recipient washes the quilt. if something is going to happen with the fabric, I want it to happen before I put all the time and effort into a quilt. Believe me, I have had experiences with not prewashing and don't want repeats. The one exception i would make, is to advise all to prewash fabrics for a baby quilt, or wash the quilt before giving it away.

  12. #37
    Super Member AnnaK's Avatar
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    All this being said, I'll tell you what really has me concerned. I have been reading and watching the stories on TV about the spreading of BED BUGS. They are all over the country now. I am going to be a lot more careful about things I buy at garage sales, thrift shops and so on. Apparently these bugs are even in movie theatres! They give me the creeps. Once you have them in your house, you will need a professional exterminator to get rid of them. I hadn't heard of these in decades and it seems they are making a major comeback.

  13. #38
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    I always wash my fabric as soon as it comes into the house. That way, I can start a project at any time and not question if it was washed. I also usually do a small zig zag edge to the raw edges and that way I know just how much it may ravel.

  14. #39
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    I got a staph infection from our medical clinic. It was years ago, I was cleaning in one of the exam rooms and took off my gloves because my hands were sweating. A day or so later I was in the drs office and he told me I had picked up a staff infection.
    I have often pricked my finger while sewing and I never wash my fabrics and I have yet to pick up a staff infection from the fabrics or dyes. Maybe there is more to this person's story than what was told.

  15. #40
    cka
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    I wash all my fabric. My decision came after seeing a black fabric bleed a lovely shade of purple and destroyed a quilt my friend made. She was sick and so was I. But, if you ever look at the water you wash your fabric in, you'll notice it is filthy. This stuff gets handled and stored in warehouses, shipped in containers on pallets maybe wrapped, maybe not. Dirt, bugs, rodents, yuck! Staph hangs around a long time on surfaces. I am not willing to take the chance. Hygiene aside, a little caution can save us from a lot of heartache and pain.

  16. #41
    Junior Member firecrackerpam's Avatar
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    I have started washing all fabric because it started with the darks and the reds. I thought if I washed part of the fabrics I should wash them all so they all started out with fair "shrinkage" if there is such a thing. I sniffle in the fabric store,(which I thought was the chemicals and dust from the fabrics) and I sniffle after they are washed when I am cutting them up. I have determined that I am allergic to the "dusty" fabric fibers. Am I going to give up my hobby? NO WAY...Zyrtec and Claritin are my friends.

  17. #42
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    wow what a horrible ordeal that lady had to go thru, i always wash my material before it gets in to my sewing room

  18. #43
    Super Member Lilrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firecrackerpam
    I have started washing all fabric because it started with the darks and the reds. I thought if I washed part of the fabrics I should wash them all so they all started out with fair "shrinkage" if there is such a thing. I sniffle in the fabric store,(which I thought was the chemicals and dust from the fabrics) and I sniffle after they are washed when I am cutting them up. I have determined that I am allergic to the "dusty" fabric fibers. Am I going to give up my hobby? NO WAY...Zyrtec and Claritin are my friends.
    My sentiments exactly. i take anti-histamines.

  19. #44
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    Very interesting. Thanks for the info.

  20. #45
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    I have gotten lax on washing fabric. But I would rather be safe than sorry. I will start washing all my fabric, I use starch when I iron them, so they have that crispness back.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by justwannaquilt
    Next time you hold a dollar bill in your hands think about how many stipper buttcracks its been in.
    ROFLMAO
    Thanks for the visual, I could have gone all day without that crack! LOL

    But i do wash all my fabrics because of the formaldehyde, it just makes me feel bad. I get that way in the fabric stores as well and sometimes my eyes will start watering if I stay in the store a longer then an hour but I have learned to get over it long enough to buy what I need so I can get it home and run it through the washer.

  22. #47
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pojo
    I don't wash my fabric either I like the crisp feeling.

    If any of you carry a purse it is so dirty on the bottom of it for laying it on the floor where ever you put it. Like restraunts, Doctor offices, restrooms, etc.
    Not me-I never put my purse on the floor, anywhere, ever. I put it on a chair or on my lap or I might hang it from my chair (as long as it doesn't touch the floor). Never ever in a bathroom-ugh. I don't even want to put my feet on the floor in a public bathroom. lol. I've seen women put their small, crawling, thumbsucking children on a bathroom floor while they use the toilet. ick. btw I never did that either. I was lucky enough to always have help with me or I could hold it until I got home.

  23. #48

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    I washed some fabric today but I usually don't. I sure will now. Two weeks ago I had a bad week and sewed right through my index finger. The needle broke in two and I had to pull the point part out the bottom with the string still in it. Got an x-ray but the needle was a clean break.Talk about severe pain. The end of that week, I will be darned if I didn't do it again on my middle finger but just took a piece of nail and meat off the tip. Like I said, a bad week. I am very surprised now that I didn't get an infection. So you know now I WILL WASH!!Thanks a bunch for telling us the cons of not washing fabric.
    Can anyone tell me how to wash fat quarters?? I would appreciate it. Thanks, Marlene

  24. #49
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I have had a similar infection recently but doubt that it would 'live' in material. Most infections would come from personal transfers and gardens, plus over - use of antibacterials causing resistance. These antibacterial fad/obsessive cleaning behaviours also kill the good bacteria. Any puncture wound or cut in the skin allows these type of germs to enter the body as they live on the skin anyhow. Those with low immune systems need to be careful.

  25. #50
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    I've always washed everything new, including clothes, can't stand the smell of new fabric.

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