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Thread: Fabric Won't Lay Flat

  1. #1
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    Talking Fabric Won't Lay Flat

    Hello everyone,

    I am working on my first quilt and am trying to lay my material flat so I can cut out the applique pieces. However, I can't seem to get the material to lay flat (please see attached photo). The "ripples" are worse on one side than the other, but covers pretty much the entire piece of fabric.

    The fabric is not wrinkled, and I have washed and starched the material.

    It is a Robert Kaufman Kona 100% cotton fabric and was purchased from an online quilt shop, so fabric quality shouldn't be an issue.

    Any idea what caused this and how to correct it? I'm afraid if I use this material right now, the applique will not lay flat on the background.

    Thanks for any and all help!
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  2. #2
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    You said you washed and starched the fabric, so I assume you ironed. It appears you may have ironed and stretched the fabric. Even 100 percent cotton will stretch. If you pressed salvage to salvage it will ripple and stretch.

  3. #3
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I would also say that you stretched it when you ironed it. Often the selvedge edge is a tighter weave. I would spray it with water & press using an up & down motion. You can also try re washing and finally, remove the selvedges. Don't know how large your applique pieces are, but normally they are pretty small so the ripples aren't really going to be an issue, especially if you are using a fusible interfacing.
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  4. #4
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    Cut a piece of fabric off the big piece to break it down into more manageable pieces. Make it larger than the size of applique pattern. Re-starch and re-iron.

    I would use a heavy hand with the starch.

    Are you using fusible on the back of the applique?

    Good luck with your project and fabric.

  5. #5
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    I would rewash it and dry it in a dryer until "almost" dry.

    Then iron it with the grain (lengthwise) instead of edge to edge.

    Also, if the selvages seem "tight" - I clip them at intervals instead of cutting them off to make the piece lay flat.

    I do not use selvages in a "patch" - but I prefer to keep the selvages on the yardage as long as possible.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    If the selvage was left on then it shrunk more then the fabric causing the wrinkles. Cut off the selvage and then re press to smooth. If it was skewed by ironing then wet it and let it dry then press to smooth. Honestly the little waves woudn't bother me if I was cutting the fabric. They would go away with the cutting.
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  7. #7
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I'm another one who wouldn't be bothered in the least by this.

    It looks to me as if you were "wiping" the iron across the fabric as you were pressing it, instead of lifting the iron directly up off the fabric, then moving it. Spritz the fabric with water and re-press it. Oh, and yes, cut the selvedges off first.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    A new one on me. I haven't seen this before now.
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  9. #9
    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    I would rewash it and dry it in a dryer until "almost" dry.

    Then iron it with the grain (lengthwise) instead of edge to edge.
    The only unwashed fabric I ever had shrink after it sewn into a block was a fabric from that company. I don't how know it snuck through w/o washing, but when I steamed the block, it shrunk. Wash, dry and repress. I think it wil flatten out.

  10. #10
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Thanks, Lady Ag, for asking that question. I had that happen, too, with a different brand of quilt fabric. Now I know why! I was blaming the starch!!
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  11. #11
    Super Member Ariannaquilts's Avatar
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    I have never seen any appliquéd piece have wrinkles in it after you apply your fusible web, I guess it could happen but you seem to have a pretty large piece of fabric there that you could try it. Good luck and lesson learned!
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  12. #12
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    I always cut off the selvage. That selvage shrinkage seems to be your problem. Cut off the selvage and wet the fabric again, let dry and reiron. It will be fine. Just relax and have fun!!

  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone so much! I had never heard of cutting off the selvage, but it definitely worked! I cut off the selvages, washed the fabric again, and starched and ironed it. This immediately got rid of 90% of the waves in the fabric! (And like other people have said, this won't be a problem for the smaller pieces I cut for the actual applique pieces!)

    Thank you so much to everyone that replied!

  14. #14
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    If you are using fusible web ( like steam a seam or wonder under) you may not want to starch your material. Most of them don't want starch and ask you to perwash

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