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Thread: If I'm going to pre-wash material, do I have to...

  1. #1
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    sew along raw edges before I wash and dry them?

    dry material 100% in the dryer for best results?

    I've never pre-washed before and want to make sure I don't mess up before I even begin. I want to try the 9 patch.

  2. #2
    Senior Member echoemb's Avatar
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    If I prewash (Which I don't very often), I pink the edges with pinking shears but if you don't have pinking shears, sewing along the edges should work. You will find if you don't do something with the edges you will have a big mess usually...with lots of strngs. I dry until just slightly damp and then press.

    Good luck, it should be fine.

  3. #3
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    I put my fabrics into zippered mesh bags, some quilters put it into pillowcases that they close some how. I guess sewing the raw edges would keep the fabrics from raveling. Let's see what some of the other quilters have to say.

  4. #4
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    There are two ways of nipping the raveling in the bud. One is to pink your raw edges and the other is to just cut across the corners of the raw edges.

    I personally do not dry cotton fabric 100%, too hard to iron afterward.

    All of us typing at the same time, good advice everyone!

  5. #5
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    Sewing the edges is your choice, but it will help keep the strings down. Some people use pinking shears to cut the ends, some cut the corners at a small 45* angle. The best way to prevent strings is to serge or fold down a 1/4 inch and stitch.
    Good Luck.

  6. #6
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    Pinking shears are the zig zag ones, right? If so, I've got them!

  7. #7
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    my sister zips hers through the serger, I just clip my corners and then pin all 4 corners together!
    for smaller than 1 yd I use a mesh bag!

    I do NOT dry in the dryer, that would set the wrinkles for sure.

    I generally hang them out. BUT in winter will dry for 15 minutes then remove and iron them. OR put them on a wooden drying rack over night in the kitchen!

  8. #8
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for responding so quickly. I appreciate it. I used pinking shears on the larger pieces and sewed the fat quarter. Pics to come in the future of the disappearing 9 patch.

  9. #9
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I always prewash and I don't do anything to my fabric before washing. It has been my experience that the higher quality fabrics fray very little. Low quality fabs fray more.
    Flannels and homespuns will fray a little more than most. I have never lost more than 1/4" of fabric to fraying and rarely do I have that much fray on me. I lose more to inaccurate cutting on the part of the seller and squaring up. Too bad fabric shops don't give us an extra 1/2 to 1". I am probably dating myself but I can remember the days where that was the norm, to automatically cut the customer an extra inch to account for the fabric being out of square on the bolt. :?

  10. #10
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    I overcast with a wide narrow zigzag stitch or with a wide narrow serging - the serging stitches are easier to remove than the zigzag one. I just feel that it's worth it for two reasons - 1) minimizes the strings and 2) I don't lose any fabric due to raveling - and in a bad case, that can be over half an inch on each end

    As far as fraying goes - in my experience - SOME LQS fabric fray/unravel very badly.

    I dry the fabric in the dryer - at a permanent press setting - don't overload it - and if necessary take the fabrics out and unwad them (for long lengths) - if it's "good" fabric, it usually dries relatively wrinkle free and I just "hand press" it while folding it.

    If a dryer isn't available, I'll line dry. Usually turns out nicer for me when dried in a dryer. Fewer wrinkles.

    Basically, I treat fabric like I would treat a garment made of the same fabric.

    (Well, not exactly - I do soak the fabrics in hot water now before washing them)

    Not that big of a deal.

    I make things that I know will need to be washed - so I try to do "preventive maintenance" ahead of time.

    My fears are bleach, burns, and tears.

    See - already almost as many opinions as posters! ? ! ?

  11. #11
    Member lelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangeroom
    sew along raw edges before I wash and dry them?

    dry material 100% in the dryer for best results?

    I've never pre-washed before and want to make sure I don't mess up before I even begin. I want to try the 9 patch.
    I aways pre wash. I do not sew the raw edges...just too much extra work. You can try zig zag cutting that sometimes helps the shred. But I do always wash the material Even if it is just in the sink to wash out the factory sizing and factory smell. Then if possible I wrap it in a towel and put it in the drayer. I just do it till damp that way I do not have to spritz or spinkle it when I iron. Hope that was helpful

  12. #12
    Member lelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    I overcast with a wide narrow zigzag stitch or with a wide narrow serging - the serging stitches are easier to remove than the zigzag one. I just feel that it's worth it for two reasons - 1) minimizes the strings and 2) I don't lose any fabric due to raveling - and in a bad case, that can be over half an inch on each end

    As far as fraying goes - in my experience - SOME LQS fabric fray/unravel very badly.

    I dry the fabric in the dryer - at a permanent press setting - don't overload it - and if necessary take the fabrics out and unwad them (for long lengths) - if it's "good" fabric, it usually dries relatively wrinkle free and I just "hand press" it while folding it.

    If a dryer isn't available, I'll line dry. Usually turns out nicer for me when dried in a dryer. Fewer wrinkles.

    Basically, I treat fabric like I would treat a garment made of the same fabric.

    (Well, not exactly - I do soak the fabrics in hot water now before washing them)

    Not that big of a deal.

    I make things that I know will need to be washed - so I try to do "preventive maintenance" ahead of time.

    My fears are bleach, burns, and tears.

    See - already almost as many opinions as posters! ? ! ?

  13. #13
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    I don't do a thing with fabric to (always) wash. It gets tossed in the washer with little raveling. If the fabric is cheaper, it will ravel some. I don't dry till bone dry. It is easier to iron the fabric if slightly damp.

  14. #14
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Crafter
    I don't do a thing with fabric to (always) wash. It gets tossed in the washer with little raveling. If the fabric is cheaper, it will ravel some. I don't dry till bone dry. It is easier to iron the fabric if slightly damp.
    Exactly what I do.

  15. #15
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    I don't do anything to it before washing (try to buy extra to account for ravel and such. I dry bone dry because I don't always fold right away. It is washed before it goes on the shelf I use liquid starch and then dry on a rack before I iron whatever the current project is.

  16. #16
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    I stay-stitch the cut edges.

  17. #17
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    I prewash everything. Lately I have been clipping the corners. It does seem to cut down on the fraying, but I never had too much problem anyway. I like the clipped corners because I can be sure later that it was washed and didn't get missed. I dry in the dryer, take it out and fold it. When I am going to use it, I starch and iron it.

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