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Thread: Fabric Allergies and Washing Fabric- PLEASE DO

  1. #51
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    I will agree that some people are sensitive to some of the chemicals added.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by marlene tarzwell
    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
    I usually wash them in a sink by hand and dry in dryer if they don't bleed. If they bleed, they get handled individually depending on what I have to do. My quilting friend puts hers in a mesh bag in her washer.

  3. #53
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    Don't quite buy the story in the OP, but I DO wash all of my fabric now as I seem to have developed a sensitivity to the sizing or something in fabric that hasn't been washed. My fingers start to hurt immediately these days when I handle unwashed fabric.

  4. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by cka
    Quote Originally Posted by marlene tarzwell
    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
    I usually wash them in a sink by hand and dry in dryer if they don't bleed. If they bleed, they get handled individually depending on what I have to do. My quilting friend puts hers in a mesh bag in her washer.
    Thanks for the suggestion. Never thought of doing by hand. Do you use soap or vinegar, or softener?

  5. #55
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    I use laundry soap to wash. If they bleed I start with a vinegar soak; if that doesn't work I go for the big guns...Retayne.

  6. #56
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    I doubt that fabric is any dirtier than the carts at Walmart. Community accquired staph infections are on the rise. Boils or spider bites are one of the first things people complain about. Wash your hands and keep your fingers and pins out of your mouth folks.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    Okay - I'm convinced!!!! Might also explain my weird allergy problems!!! thanks for the info!
    Just curious what are your allergy problems. After reading this I'm wondering if some of my symptoms are from unwashed fabric. I'm having some trouble focusing, my eyelids itch and I have a strange burning and swelling around my mouth. I thought it was drug side effects.

    I get discouraged with all the raveling when washing the fabrics. Does anyone have a solution?

  8. #58
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    Try using pinking shears on the raw edges or zigzag them before washing. I just keep a pair of scissors in the laundry room and clip the ravels when the fabric comes out of the dryer. Small price to pay for clean fabric and no color bleed in finished quilts.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudyBsquared
    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    Okay - I'm convinced!!!! Might also explain my weird allergy problems!!! thanks for the info!
    Just curious what are your allergy problems. After reading this I'm wondering if some of my symptoms are from unwashed fabric. I'm having some trouble focusing, my eyelids itch and I have a strange burning and swelling around my mouth. I thought it was drug side effects.

    I get discouraged with all the raveling when washing the fabrics. Does anyone have a solution?
    We don't have a Handcock's here, but in Texas when I went in I had the burning eyes and trouble breathing. I didn't go in very often because I was afraid my asthma would kick in. But the symptoms went away when I left the building.
    I read somewhere that if you serge or zigzag across your fabric it won't ravel when you wash it. Someone else said they use pinking shears and cut it.

  10. #60
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    If people are allergic to the chemicals added, maybe taking the fabric DIRECTLY to the washing machine might be the better way to go.

    I've heard that clipping a diagonal from each corner minimizes raveling. (I serge or overcast the raw edges - but I'm not particularly sensitive to fabrics - although I do have symptoms in some stores)

  11. #61
    Senior Member 4dogs's Avatar
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    I think what grosses me out is the idea about the fabric having been sprayed with some kind of a bug disinfectant/poisoin to keep the bugs off of it...and I dont want to be handling or breathing that poision..esp what was used in the other country...with no regulations like we have here on things like DDT and etc...yuk

  12. #62
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    This has been an interesting thread to read. I relate in both the allergy and staph issues. I always wash all fabrics. My asthma and sensitive skin don't mix well with chemical exposure. Unfortunately my kids have inherited these things from me. I think chemicals have their purpose and aren't all bad, but my family doesn't need the excess in our bodies. We breathe and feel better without them.

    As for staph, my now 6yo son was diagnosed with MRSA at 9 days old - this is one of the Superbug staphs. Eleven days, 2 spinal taps, a CT scan, 2 MRI's, daily blood draws, and one surgery later, we were able to bring him home. He had another 3 weeks of antibiotic regimen both through a picline directly into his chest, then by oral doses. Never determined the source. I do believe antibiotics and antibacterials have contributed immensely to the rise in resistant staph infections.

    Along with the chemicals we try to avoid the anti-stuffs. Just think we're better off without them and don't want to add to the greater problem.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudyBsquared
    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    Okay - I'm convinced!!!! Might also explain my weird allergy problems!!! thanks for the info!
    Just curious what are your allergy problems. After reading this I'm wondering if some of my symptoms are from unwashed fabric. I'm having some trouble focusing, my eyelids itch and I have a strange burning and swelling around my mouth. I thought it was drug side effects.

    I get discouraged with all the raveling when washing the fabrics. Does anyone have a solution?
    Try washing inside a lingerie bag, reduces the raveling

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjhughson
    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.
    I do the same. I find that if I wash till the dye comes out I know it will not run once the quilt is finished. I also use spray starch to get rid of the wrinkles and have it folded so it will stack better in my boxes. I am forever cutting myself either with scissors, knives etc. but I do make sure I wash my hand thoroughly to stop germs entering the cuts. I also put band aids on to prevent having blood getting onto other things. It is up to the individual person to decide how they treat their injuries.

  15. #65
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    money is fabric. I have washed it before and it did not dissolve.

  16. #66
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    This topic has surly given me a lot to think about as a quilter and as a nurse.
    I heard at quilt group that if you cut a triangle off each corner of the fabric, it should not ravel when washed. Guess I better go cut and wash some fabric now.

  17. #67
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    thank you for the information, I have not had a problem, but I wash my hands before I sew and after I sew, Just a habbit after being a dental assistant for 23 years. God bless.

  18. #68
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    I learned that you should wash your hands before sewing to stop the oil getting onto your fabric which in time will leave nasty spots.

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