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Thread: MASSIVE shrinkage - beware

  1. #1
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    MASSIVE shrinkage - beware

    Washed 108" backing fabric in hot water, dried on hot - and it shrank down to 97" wide. Yup, that is 10% shrinkage. By the time I removed the (rather wide) selvages it was down to 94" useable width. Aaaargh! (It is part of the Henry Glass "Baroque" line, just so you know.)

    Alison-Now-Going-To-Plan-"B"-For-The-Backing

  2. #2
    Cyn
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    Oh no! That's not good but thanks for the warning.

  3. #3
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    Why did you wash it in hot water?

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    Super Member frustratedquilter40's Avatar
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    Aaaargh! I feel your pain wow I never wash my fabric before using unless I feel there is going to be an issue with bleeding. And I am curious why is shrank that much maybe washing and drying on hot??? I hope you can figure out a good solution for the backing now. I think I would contact Henry Glass and let them know what happened and if they have had others have the same issue with that particular fabric.
    ​Christine

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    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    "Alison-Now-Going-To-Plan-"B"-For-The-Backing"


    I love your sense of humour, given the situation! Sorry it happened to you.

  6. #6
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    That is a HUGE amount of shrinkage...usually it is 2-4%...I wonder if the manufacturer knows how much it shrinks?

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    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i have to ask too....why did you wash it in hot water? did you have a (bleeder)? were you going for maximum shrinkage?
    i purchase and pre-wash wide backings all the time- some shrink a bit more than others- but i don't wash anything in hot water unless i want it to shrink as much as i can possibly make it...
    was it a loose weave?
    i bet if you check their website and check the (care instructions) for that fabric line it probably tells you to wash in cold water or maybe warm water- i've never bought a quilting fabric that when checking the care instructions says to wash in hot water....
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  8. #8
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I see on fabric.com they recommend this fabric be washed in COLD water. Now I don't know about anyone else but my quilts get washed just like the rest of my laundry. I don't think I would use a fabric that could only be washed in cold in any of my quilts. That is just a ridiculous idea for a fabric manufacturer of QUILTING fabric to make fabrics that could only be washed in cold water. Sounds like they already know there is an issue with shrinkage. Sorry this happened to you.
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  9. #9
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Oh no!!! So sorry!! I always prewash my fabirc but have never use hot water. Again I am so sorry this happened to you!!!

  10. #10
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    curious to the reason behind washing in hot water and drying in a hot dryer. I don't wash anything in hot water except maybe periodically my whites. But even then, I still dry on med heat.

    My quilts I wash cold water/gentle cycle and dry on perma press cycle.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  11. #11
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    aaaaaaaaaaah the old question resurfaces .... why wash in hot and dry on hot?


    For me ....... the answer is ..... I abuse it as much as I can up front.
    I know the shrinkage is dealt with.
    I use the Colour Collectors to know the bleed status ... and re-wash or treat with retayne until that is under control.

    Yes, abuse ... however, a far better feeling, knowing that I have done so, and minimize disaster AFTER I make a quilt.

    I sure as H**** do NOT want to put all the work into a quilt, and then have it ruined when it is accidentally washed in hot water ......... or one fabric shrinks more/less than the other ......... or someone forgets to toss in a Colour Collector ............

    That, Ladies and Gents, is why QuiltE pre-washes in HOT water ... and probably why many others do too!
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  12. #12
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackie Spencer View Post
    Why did you wash it in hot water?
    Quote Originally Posted by frusratedquilter40 View Post
    And I am curious why is shrank that much maybe washing and drying on hot??? I hope you can figure out a good solution for the backing now. I think I would contact Henry Glass and let them know what happened and if they have had others have the same issue with that particular fabric.
    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    i have to ask too....why did you wash it in hot water? did you have a (bleeder)? were you going for maximum shrinkage?
    i purchase and pre-wash wide backings all the time- some shrink a bit more than others- but i don't wash anything in hot water unless i want it to shrink as much as i can possibly make it...
    i bet if you check their website and check the (care instructions) for that fabric line it probably tells you to wash in cold water or maybe warm water- i've never bought a quilting fabric that when checking the care instructions says to wash in hot water....
    Quote Originally Posted by mighty View Post
    Oh no!!! So sorry!! I always prewash my fabirc but have never use hot water. Again I am so sorry this happened to you!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by 117becca View Post
    curious to the reason behind washing in hot water and drying in a hot dryer. I don't wash anything in hot water except maybe periodically my whites. But even then, I still dry on med heat.

    My quilts I wash cold water/gentle cycle and dry on perma press cycle.
    Thank you all for your sympathy! I always have a "Plan B" for the backing - this time it will be a pieced back!

    On the hot/hot issue: I prewash all my fabrics this way to rule out any potential color loss or shrinkage problems - especially when the final product is for a paying customer. And yes, I go for maximum shrinkage intentionally. In this case the fabric is dark red, and has what feels like a pretty normal density for a backing fabric - not as tight as you'd expect for "top" material, but closer weave than basic muslin. Since I cannot control what the recipients do with the quilts I make (even though I always give care instructions stressing cold wash and line dry) I try to make them as bullet-proof as possible before I hand them over! Usually shrinkage is in the 1-3% range, with perhaps a little distortion to the lie of the fabric.

    I have NEVER had shrinkage like this, even with flannel, and since I "pretreat" all of my fabrics the same way I feel this is (fortunately) an outlier.

    I won't contact Henry Glass because I am not expecting to be compensated: I am sure that their care instructions do indeed say "cold wash, low temp dry by blowing gently across the fabric with slightly puckered lips on a warm summer day", and that my kamikaze approach contravenes all of their instructions. Also, almost all of the sites I come across do say that "up to 10% shrinkage" is possible - I've just never had it happen before! I was posting more to show that that "up to 10% shrinkage" is a real possibility...something all the non-prewashers may want to know (she says, stirring up the wash/not-wash controversy yet again.)

    Alison-Recovered-From-Her-Dismay-And-Embracing-The-Idea-Of-A-Pieced-Back

    Edit - I see that Quilt E has just made many of the same points I have - sorry for the repeats!

  13. #13
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    Alisonquilts and QuiltE
    I agree. After I've put in $ and hours making a quilt, I don't want any surprises. So I prewash, usually on warm wash & normal dry, everything before it's put into my studio. I even like to get fabrics like dark blue that might bleed (into my faded jeans). or red into my faded red cloths.

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    Considering all the information on the news this fall and winter concerning the epidemic of bedbugs, I think that having all of your bedding washed and dried in hot temperatures is just plain good health sense. Thank you for the heads up on this fabric. Do you remember when the news stated that bedbugs could be spread by the usage of the vacuum cleaners by maids? They warned everyone to have their housecleaning services to not bring the vacuums into the house, use only the ones provided by the houseowners. And forget about traveling and bringing them home attached to your suitcases.

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    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    I also meant to say, maybe the manufacturer didn't realize the amount of shrinkage and needs a heads up. I've always thought Henry Glass was a reputable manufacturer, but after this comment my opinion has dropped several notches. I'd think Henry Glass would like to maintain their reputation and would like the opportunity to look into this issue.

  16. #16
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petthefabric View Post
    I also meant to say, maybe the manufacturer didn't realize the amount of shrinkage and needs a heads up. I've always thought Henry Glass was a reputable manufacturer, but after this comment my opinion has dropped several notches. I'd think Henry Glass would like to maintain their reputation and would like the opportunity to look into this issue.
    That is a very good point - I think I will contact them for that reason. They truly may not be aware of this issue, or it may only apply to a specific run of fabric. I have never had any issues with other Henry Glass fabrics.

    Alison

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    You would not wash your quilt in hot water so why the backing? Do you wash all your fabric in hot water?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Drue's Avatar
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    Why would you ever wash anything in HOT? I NEVER wash anything in HOT! Not even socks and underware!
    Those who are piecemakers will sew seeds.

    Hugs,
    Drue

  19. #19
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Come on. Isn't it enough that we constantly 'debate' whether or not to prewash fabric, now we're jumping on each other for washing in hot water?? And yes, I wash fabric, quilts, socks, and underwear in hot water...but not together, except for the socks and underwear. Guess I missed the memo that said it was forbidden.
    Last edited by ghostrider; 02-06-2013 at 05:43 PM.
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  20. #20
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by auntpiggylpn View Post
    I see on fabric.com they recommend this fabric be washed in COLD water. Now I don't know about anyone else but my quilts get washed just like the rest of my laundry..
    I don't prewash fabrics but the quilts get washed the same as the sheets and towels - everything is washed in hot water.
    And even on the very, very rare occasion that I did prewash something, it just gets tossed in with the current load - I wouldn't think twice about using hot water.

    @alisonqults - Normally I wouldn't care about the shrinkage (makes me laugh) but I can totally understand the frustration since you bought it specifically for that size and purpose.

  21. #21
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Seriously, If I am making a quilt that is to "live" somewhere other than my house I put the fabric under fairly brutal treatment prior to piecing/quilting. You would be very surprised at the washing/drying habits of some households. If fabric is going to "misbehave", best it does it before going into a quilt.

  22. #22
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auntpiggylpn View Post
    I see on fabric.com they recommend this fabric be washed in COLD water. Now I don't know about anyone else but my quilts get washed just like the rest of my laundry. I don't think I would use a fabric that could only be washed in cold in any of my quilts. That is just a ridiculous idea for a fabric manufacturer of QUILTING fabric to make fabrics that could only be washed in cold water. Sounds like they already know there is an issue with shrinkage. Sorry this happened to you.
    I agree! And what about those charity quilts that go to hospitals and we KNOW they will be washed in HOT water...
    Bernie

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    Alisonquilts -I appreciate your sense of humor in the facing this disappointment....

  24. #24
    Super Member Aurora's Avatar
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    I never wash anything in hot water and I never dry anything on hot. Mostly I line dry. For me it is a matter of conservation and economics.
    Aurora

    "A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot." -Robert A. Heinlein

  25. #25
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    I always pre-wash all my fabric in hot water and dry on high heat. I put too much time and money into my quilts and I don't want any surprises the first time it's washed after finished. Some fabrics shrink more than others and I'm afraid if I don't do that, it will be lopsided down the road...just my 2 cents....forwhatitsworth

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