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Thread: Flannel and shrinkage?

  1. #1
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    Hi All-

    I would like to use flannel for the backing of a quilt I am making for a child. I was wondering, do I need to WASH the flannel first AND DRY IT? How much will it shrink?? What is the "right" process?? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    I always wash flannel. I am not a pre-washer but I have found even the best flannel has a shrinkage factor. Can't say by how much because that would depend on the flannel you are using, but it is significant.

  3. #3
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I wash and dry all my fabrics before I use them. It they are going to shrink (Flannel shrinks) or the color run, I wnat to know that BEFORE I use it in a quilt.

  4. #4
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    Definately wash your flannel, your you might be disappointed with the outcome. Flannel can shrink quite a bit.

  5. #5
    reach for the stars 2's Avatar
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    If you buy good flannel (I like Maywood Studios) I never wash it. After all is said and done and I wash the quilt, I never have a problem. Maywood Studios flannel is brush like 3 times and is so soft, and the more you wash the better it gets.

  6. #6
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    With flannel unless you are making a rag quilt , needs to be washed to get rid of the shrinkage, especially if you are using it with cotton. Cotton and Flannel will shrink at different rates .Some have even suggested washing more than once and use hot water.

  7. #7
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    Ok, so do I just throw the fabric into the dryer too? or do I need to hang it outside on the line to dry it?

  8. #8
    Senior Member redpurselady's Avatar
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    I would definitely use the dryer.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Corry's Avatar
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    I wash mine as I know it does shrink. I do alot of machine embroidery on flannel as well and always wash it because if I embroider it before hand then when it shrinks the design is all scrunched. Probably will cause you shrinkage problems with quilting it too if you don't wash it before hand.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hockeyrabbit
    Hi All-

    I would like to use flannel for the backing of a quilt I am making for a child. I was wondering, do I need to WASH the flannel first


    AND DRY IT?


    How much will it shrink?? What is the "right" process?? Thanks!

    Sorry - sometimes my mind goes very "literal"

    You were planning to sew it while it was WET?


    Measure it before you wash and dry it and then measure it afterwards. Let us know the results.

  11. #11
    Senior Member JackieG's Avatar
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    Always wash flannel. It shrinks much more than other cottons. And...I learned the hard way that the Snuggle Flannels, Cozy Flannel Solids, and Quilter's Flannels all vary in shrinkage. Be careful when you combine brands of flannel.

  12. #12
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I always wash a dry flannel. It shrinks a lot.

  13. #13
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    I always wash flannel on warm and dry it long in the dryer. Flannel shrinks and I'd rather it shrink before rather than after. The first quilt my DIL made was flannel and she didn't know to wash the fabric. When she washed the quilt it fell apart due to the shrinkage.

  14. #14
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    It will shrink at least a couple inches....I also straight stitch across t he width of the fabric 1/2" from the edge so that raveling is limited....

  15. #15
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    ALWAYS prewash flannel and dry it in the dryer to get the most shrinkage. Make sure you use a walking foot or darning foot to quilt it and keep it really tight because flannel will move on you.

  16. #16
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I have often washed flannel twice and put it in a hot dryer. Surprising the amount of dye runs and shrinkage, even with good quality cloth.

  17. #17
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    thanks where do you find that brand of flannel???

    Quote Originally Posted by reach for the stars 2
    If you buy good flannel (I like Maywood Studios) I never wash it. After all is said and done and I wash the quilt, I never have a problem. Maywood Studios flannel is brush like 3 times and is so soft, and the more you wash the better it gets.

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