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Thread: IF you are a wash/soak your fabrics before cutting person. . .

  1. #1
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    IF you are a wash/soak your fabrics before cutting person. . .

    IF you are a wash/soak your fabrics before cutting person - - -

    Do you measure the size of your fabrics before and after dunking them?

    I've found that fabrics do not shrink/relax at the same rate. Some stay the same size - a very few have stretched - some only shrink widthwise - some shrink lengthwise - and a very few shrink/contract in both directions.

    One of the pieces that shrank the most was a Roc-Lon tea-dyed muslin that said "pre-shrunk"

  2. #2
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    As long as I wash and dry first, I don't have to worry about what the shrinkage rate is when I am ready to cut.....so, no, I don't measure.

  3. #3
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I never measure it I put it in the washer as soon as I get home with it. I always buy a little more than I will need to make up for any shrinkage. If it looks like it has shrunk to bad I measure before I start cutting to see if I need to buy more.

  4. #4
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    I wash all that yard goods I purchase and dry them to almost dry then hang them up and finger press them as I take them out of the dryer love the selvedges if I don't tidy them up a bit. I try to do this when I bring them in the house. Then, they are ready except for ironing with starch when I begin a project. Now, I have purchased charms, layer cakes, and jelly rolls and followed most of the advice saying "don't wash". I like the convenience that I don't have to cut them however, I found when I ironed them while piecing, some of the strips from the jelly roll shrank almost 1/3" after I had pieced them, was not happy. Fixed it but learned. Still I will buy them but learned...a lot.
    Busy in Ohio

  5. #5
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltingHaven View Post
    I wash all that yard goods I purchase and dry them to almost dry then hang them up and finger press them as I take them out of the dryer love the selvedges if I don't tidy them up a bit. I try to do this when I bring them in the house. Then, they are ready except for ironing with starch when I begin a project. Now, I have purchased charms, layer cakes, and jelly rolls and followed most of the advice saying "don't wash". I like the convenience that I don't have to cut them however, I found when I ironed them while piecing, some of the strips from the jelly roll shrank almost 1/3" after I had pieced them, was not happy. Fixed it but learned. Still I will buy them but learned...a lot.
    I'm a prewasher/drier, too. Although I don't buy the precuts, could you fill a container (glass or stless steel bowl--holds the heat) with the hottest water you can get from your tap; put your precuts in--maybe sort out the colors so none would bleed onto others; let soak for a 15 minutes or so; then to dry place them in a lingerie drying bag and toss in the dryer.
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  6. #6
    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    I don't care about how much it shrinks, just that all the chemicals are washed out and that it is preshrunk!!!!!
    A quilt is a blanket of love. Sharon

  7. #7
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    No, I don't measure the fabric before I wash and dry and after. I usually buy at least 3 yards of the fabric, so if it does shrink, I have extra.

  8. #8
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    No, I don't measure before hand but I am pretty religious about pre-washing and drying. As long as everything has shrunk up for the most part. My thought process is I don't want unwashed and washed scraps in the same bin. I just think everything turns out better when fabrics are washed. Just me though.
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
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  9. #9
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I wash and dry my fabrics when I get them home. I fold with a 6 x 24" ruler.
    I never soak them, I don't worry about shrinkage.
    Another Phyllis
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  10. #10
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    I have never measured so I don't know by how much the fabrics have shrunk. Often I can tell that they have (by the feel, by distortion at the selvedge edge, by the whole thing ending up cattywampus), but the only time I measured was when I had my Backing Saga last January, when the durned thing lost 11%.

    I recently bought a set of 10" squares because I needed a lot of a particular color, but ony a little in any particular pattern. They were black so I soaked them in hot water with a squirt of dish detergent until they didn't lose any more color (several rinses!!), then dried them on a rack. I was cutting strip sets out of them, so I thought I'd just stack 'em up and let it rip...but nope, they had shrunk at several different rates. Only two out of 25 didn't shrink at all; most shrunk at least 1/2" in one dimension and several lost 3/4" in both dimensions. I had factored shrinkage into my cutting plan, so it didn't undo my project, but it did leave me shaking my head!

    Alison

  11. #11
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I prewash and dry everything I buy (hot for both) before storing it, but never measure it before and after. I don't much care about the rate of shrinkage, don't see any point in it. I measure the postwash WOF when figuring cutting requirements for a particular project, but that's the only time it matters to me. I don't buy precuts.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  12. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Once in a while I will measure, just to see how much shrinkage really occurred . It is interesting which fabrics shrink .

  13. #13
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    I started measuring when some folks said they couldn't see/tell any difference - and I wanted to verify if the soaking/washing was really worth the effort.

    It is to me.

  14. #14
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I don't usually measure, but I was curious about the Rac-Lon bleached muslin I was using. I had bought several yards of it, but it was to be cut up into 10" squares for the backing to QAYG blocks. I was planning to pre-shrink in lengths of 40". Well, I cut the units more like 41" or 42". Yes, it did shrink, and I had to scrimp on the 10" squares, making each of them a little smaller. It didn't matter for the project, since the blocks were trimmed to 9.5" after being quilted.

  15. #15
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    I don't measure. But this is very good reason to preshrink.

  16. #16
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    I tend to buy yardage- drop it on the washer when it comes home (I walk right by the washer on my way into the house) like colors are washed together- I do not bother to measure before or after- I expect to have received the amount I asked for- I wash it like any laundry---with detergent- a normal cycle- if I think it may bleed I use a color catcher just to check/be safe- then I toss it into the dryer- when it comes out I iron it & either use it right away or put it away--
    I know that looser weave fabrics (muslin's vs. batiks) will shrink more than tighter weave fabrics- so I generally buy extra knowing that---beyond that I don't worry about it.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  17. #17
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    I wash all fabric except precursor, and when they're gone, I'm going to make my own. Had too many experiences, but bought a bunch before I found out.

  18. #18
    Junior Member mimmy96's Avatar
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    I prewash all mine.. but do not do any measuring!

  19. #19
    Senior Member YC Quilter's Avatar
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    Wow, I've never prewashed my fabric. I buy most of it at my LQS and always assumed it was good quality. I like a little shrinkage after I wash the quilt to get that older look. I did buy some fabric from Joann's that as I started cutting and piecing with it I thought uh oh. Havent quilted and washed that one yet so I will find out then.

  20. #20
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I prewash more and more fabric -- and no I don't measure since all I care about is getting the junk out and shrinking it if needed. I always do it if I mix fabric from LQS, Joanns and WalMart since they I know the quilt will be a mess if I didn't.

    I don't do pre-cuts but I don't think pre-shrinking will be a happy experience.
    QuiltnLady1

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  21. #21
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    I only measure fabrics that I buy mail order because I have found that they do not always measure correctly and I have gotten take a couple of times.
    If I buy in person from a store, I see what or how they measure and I'm sure to get what I paid for so those just get thrown in the washer as soon as they hit the house.

  22. #22
    Super Member katesnanna's Avatar
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    I don't measure with a tape just a rough guide along my arm.

  23. #23
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    I usually don't wash my fabric but a lot of quilters do.

  24. #24
    Senior Member bigredharley's Avatar
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    I bought some fabric the other day from Joann's. It wasn't clean (this store was dirty too) so decided to prewash. What an ironing job I have ahead of me now! Makes me wish I had that oversized ironing board ready to go.
    ​Nancy

  25. #25
    Senior Member mary705's Avatar
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    I'm a pre-washer, and when I get home I clip the corners with my pinking shears and wash (I always use a color catcher except on white/beige) and dry, FQ's I will press dry.
    My precuts I wash in my salad spinner and then press dry squares and will hang jelly rolls on plastic hangers to dry, unless I want to use it right away, then press it dry.

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