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Musings on washing vs not washing fabric

Musings on washing vs not washing fabric

Old 07-14-2019, 05:10 PM
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Default Musings on washing vs not washing fabric

I am firmly in the "wash before I cut" camp for a number of reasons, mostly because I'm not a fan of how a quilt looks after it's washed if the fabric wasn't preshrunk. However, I'm in the middle of a quilt from pre-cut fabrics so I couldn't wash them. I am shocked at how much more lint there is in the bobbin area of my machine. It is significantly more than normal. Of all the reasons I prewash, lint in the machine was not one of them. Has anyone else noticed the difference?
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:14 AM
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Like you, the only time I did not wash before cutting was when I bought some novelty pattern squares off the internet. Buy the time I finished piecing, my bobbin area was full of lint. I'm fairly sure those fabrics were of a lessor quality than fabrics from my LQS. Maybe better quality fabrics would have less lint.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by lberna View Post
I'm fairly sure those fabrics were of a lessor quality than fabrics from my LQS. Maybe better quality fabrics would have less lint.
i wouldn't bet the farm on that.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:41 AM
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I too always wash my fabric beforehand, except for precuts. I do it because I have so many allergies, I want to wash off the finishing of the fabric and the fragrance of those who have touched the fabric before me. I’ve only bought batik precuts and haven’t noticed any different in lint, but maybe I was just oblivious.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:59 AM
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I have never bought a precut less than a fat quarter and I prewash those along with everything else. I did get a free charm pack (5" squares) from Missouri Star, it was one of the daily deals. I really liked the fabrics in the package but haven't thought about using them yet. I don't know if prewashing reduces lint or not.

When I made my all flannel double sided quilt (out of all prewashed flannels) I had a lot of lint in my bobbin. It also created a good amount of lint in the bobbin area of my longarm. I also notice the extra lint in my LA bobbin on any flannel backed quilt. I know it isn't the thread because I am using a trilobal poly that makes no lint. So prewashing doesn't help when it comes to flannel.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:04 AM
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What an interesting idea. I never wash my fabric but generally don't have a problem with lint. I attributed it to the great amounts of starch or Best Press that I use before cutting and stitching as well as using Aurifil thread.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:35 PM
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I always prewash to know what Iím really getting, for colorfastness, and preshrinking. I have used a few precuts here and there and usually do see more lint with them. Iím not a fan of precuts.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by lberna View Post
Like you, the only time I did not wash before cutting was when I bought some novelty pattern squares off the internet. Buy the time I finished piecing, my bobbin area was full of lint. I'm fairly sure those fabrics were of a lessor quality than fabrics from my LQS. Maybe better quality fabrics would have less lint.
My fabrics were a line by Dear Stella, straight from my LQS. Low quality wasn't the issue.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:21 PM
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I very rarely prewash, but, if I have any question, I test a small piece. I haven't yet had any issues. I don't have any allergies to worry about. I like the way a quilt looks after it has gone through the washer and dryer. I use cotton batting to help it get that vintage look. In my case, I think the lint is related to some threads, although I started a project using something called "Eclipse" black fabric from my local quilt shop where I think the fabrics are good quality. This is the black they keep in stock. This fabric leaves dust! I end up with it under my fingernails! I am half way through Leah Day's Friendship Quilt along and don't want to change background fabrics midstream.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:30 PM
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I will not use any fabric in a quilt without washing unless I have tested it for bleeding first in straight hot water. Made a baby quilt for great grandson with 3” blocks. The center of the blocks were prints and the outside edges white. The blocks formed diamonds of color with a white zigzag between the vertical rows. I press and starch seams as I go. When I looked at some completed rows color had bled into white. Colorful words were spoken and some unsewing took place. Used to prewash everything but everyone kept saying “you don’t have to wash the new fabrics. Learned my lesson Trust but verify.
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