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Thread: Need help please! Yards and yards of wet fabric

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindyw
    I found this forum the other day and have been reading here and there and really enjoying it. You guys are great! I hadn't planned on making any posts but I have an emergency.

    I moved my sewing room to our basement. I'm in south Texas and basements aren't very common and maybe they don't know to make them here because ours leaks. The hurricane last week (the week before?) gave us appx 6" of rain in a day or two and, of course, the basement leaked.

    I knew the basement leaks but what I didn't know was the cabinets I had installed on an outside basement wall would let water enter the back of the cabinets. Now about half of my fabric is damp/wet. I didn't discover it until today and it smells but I haven't found any mildew. (BTW, the contractor that installed the cabinets for me is also surprised water got into them and will try to figure out what to do to avoid this in the future.)

    What do I do??? I know normally when you wash fabric you sew the raw edges but there are literally hundreds of pieces. (I inherited my mothers stash plus what I already had so it's a lot!) Can I wash it without sewing the raw edges? Will it be a big mess? Will it unravel much? Or should I just start sewing, washing and drying? I can't imagine how long that will take but I will do whatever is necessary.

    Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
    If it is possible, spray a permanent glue on the cut ends. Let dry for a few minutes before dumping into washer so it can dry and set to hold the ravels.

  2. #52
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    HI Cindy... Your mom and I are probably about the same age.. seems every Judy, Judi, Judie, Judith I hear of are all about my age.. One of those crazy nationwide things..

    We had quite a lot of trouble with our basement when we first moved to our home.. we moved from Southern Calif. where there was always a drought going on, to S.W. Missouri where we had water flooding into our home! What a shock!

    Once you get your fabric taken care of consider doing some hard thinking about how to make and keep that basement dry. We ended up putting a positive drain in.. there was a perferated pipe around the base of the basement wall to catch and drain off any water that came to the wall..The positive drain took the water out to the street.. we also have the piping under the floor, where any water that comes up from under will be carried to the sump pump. Our water came in under the wall and up through the sump pump. We have since also terraced the back yard where alot of the water came from, made sure the guttering took any run off away from the house, and put in a larger capacity sump pump in. We haven't had water in the basement for years now.. but I'm still gun shy and have lots of sleepless nights during the spring rainy season or anytime we have lots of rain.

    I also run a dehumidifier from early spring until late fall..

    Another thing you should consider is bringing your sewing machine(s) upstairs until the basement problem is taken care of. All that moist air is not good for machines. It will ruin them in time. Also bring up any books.. they also draw the moisture out of the air and will mold or just get musty smelling. A LOT of work.. basements are wonderful, I don't think we could live without one now.. but they are a two edged sword, and are always a worry.

    I wish you strength and stamina, good humor and help. Keep on, you and your stash will get through this!

  3. #53
    Senior Member HeatherQuilts's Avatar
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    For the wet basement part... Kilz and Drylock both make a waterproofing paint, specifically for basements or garages that let water in.
    http://www.masterchem.com/masterchem...006b0910acRCRD

    http://www.ugl.com/drylokMasonry/mas...ofer/latex.php

    So, I would use one of these on your walls while you are washing all that fabric (with vinegar!!) to prevent it from happening again.

    Good luck!

  4. #54
    Senior Member calicocat's Avatar
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    Wash with vinegar and dry. You should be fine. And look at the bright side you won't have to worry about wasing your fabric before you begin a project, it will be done. Wish I could help you.

  5. #55
    Senior Member DoxieMom's Avatar
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    Sorry about the flooded basement. I love your quilt! I can't believe how accurately you piece the front and back so that the geometric quilting works perfectly with both sides. Very nice work!

    Quote Originally Posted by cindyw
    Thanks to all of you for your suggestions and comments! I just put the 16th load in the wash and have over half of it ironed and folded. I do have a front loading machine and the fabric isn't getting too messed up. Some of the fabrics are better quality than others and some of those don't even need to be ironed. I'm sure happy about that!

    Some of the fabrics bled onto other fabrics. I'm trying to figure out how to get that out. Does the color catcher (or whatever it's called) pull out that dye? When I'm doing regular laundry and something bleeds I just rewash the discolored items and the second washing takes it all out. A quilt my mom made for me was white with red stars that bled and I just rewashed it immediately and it all came out. However, this mess has been sitting there for over a week. I'm still hoping that's all I have to do. Cross your fingers for me!

    I always like seeing everyone's quilts in their posts so I'll include these pictures of one of the quilts I just finished for my almost 2 yr old grandson. Front and Back.
    [IMG]http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y16...led-9418-1.jpg[/IMG]
    [IMG]http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y16...led-9414-2.jpg[/IMG]

    Thanks again!

  6. #56
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    This happened to me with Hurricane Gustave, three feet of river water, all my stash in totes on floor and soaked. I lost everything in the house.My friends took my totes, dumped stinking water out, took to landrymat with big washers and threw it in, added color catchers and prayed. Tangles weren't too bad, almost no bleeding(those color catchers really work) and we were able to salvage 98% of fabric!!! Good luck!

  7. #57
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    also, put your pieces in a pillow case and follow the above advice. try to hang it all outside on clothes line.
    from a Hurricane surviver.

  8. #58
    Super Member mollymct's Avatar
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    I love your gs's quilt!! So crisp and bright. I'm so sorry about your basement dilemma! Hope there aren't too many "casualties."

  9. #59
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    Once you get eveything clean and fresh smelling, you might want to invest in some plastic storage bags in the future to be safe

  10. #60
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    I learned from a quilt class that if you clip the corners of your material it won't ravel in the washer, that would be much easier than sewing the edges. Good luck and move that sewing room back upstairs!

  11. #61
    Member ljwinemiller's Avatar
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    I learned from a quilt class that if you clip the corners of your material it won't ravel in the washer, that would be much easier than sewing the edges. Good luck and move that sewing room back upstairs!

  12. #62

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    I have used the pinking shears on the raw edges of the
    fabric before washing and it certainly stops alot of the
    raveling of the material
    Cleo

  13. #63
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindyw
    .....What do I do??? I know normally when you wash fabric you sew the raw edges but there are literally hundreds of pieces. (I inherited my mothers stash plus what I already had so it's a lot!) Can I wash it without sewing the raw edges? Will it be a big mess? Will it unravel much? Or should I just start sewing, washing and drying? I can't imagine how long that will take but I will do whatever is necessary.

    Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
    I recently acquired a front-loading washer. As I have only recently begun to wash large amounts of fabric again, I found that this front loader, set on delicate wash with slow spin, doesn't tangle or 'string' fabrics as my years of top loaders did. I damp dried the last batch and hung on drying racks afterward with really good results. If you don't have a front loader, perhaps a friend does, or the local laundry mat (IF they can set to delicate), or even hire it out.

    What a chore you have ahead of you, I'm so sorry! But, at least you get to fondle all that lovely fabric again!

    Jan in VA

  14. #64
    Senior Member Twilliebee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by featherweight
    You can also clip a little triangle off of each corner. This will keep it from raveling. Good luck. Just think how nice and clean it will be when you are all finished.
    I never sew edges. I do as featherweight does: clip a triangle from each corner to prevent ravelling. This also lets me know which fabrics I've washed and which I haven't. The vinegar will help and although it's a big job it's sure doable. Wash smaller pieces in a lingerie bag. If you have a freezer (or a whole lot of room in your fridge LOL) don't dry the fabric completely. Stash it in the freezer until you have time to start ironing. The cold seems to make it a whole lot easier to iron. Good luck!

  15. #65
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    You know, if it were me and I had a large back yard with some grass I would spread as much as I could to dry and start washing.
    Lot's of fabric like that can be a daunting chore to do. It can take awhile and in the meantime I wouldn't want it sitting there with water soaked getting smelly. The fresh air and sun would help wonders..

  16. #66
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    Borax will also take the mildew out of clothes. It will not bleach fabric, also can use less detergent. Always use in my wash loads.

  17. #67
    Junior Member DJRustic's Avatar
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    I feel for you. I had about a foot of water in my basement one time. I washed over 80 loads. These were mostly bolts as I tend to by by the bolt.( back then I could buy wholesale) we had a sump pump go out. Any way I washed with odo- ban worked great. I have a mangle (bet some of you don't know what that is) & I ironed all 80 loads. what a headache. you can get through this, it just takes time.

  18. #68
    Senior Member Chatfield's Avatar
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    Hope you got it all taken care of - what a mess. Looks like you got a lot of good information. Good luck!

  19. #69
    Senior Member quiltnmom's Avatar
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    I read your post yesterday AM and I thought about you all day. You said you had some fabric that ran and asked about the color catcher things. YES! they do work. My 14 year old daughter washed her new school clothes together -- new jeans and all! I could have killed her. But I rewashed them with a scoop of oxyclean and a color catcher and all turned out just fine.

  20. #70
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    I agree with all suggestions. Wash asap and cut the strings off as you take out. White vinegar is also good for keeping bright clothes bleeding on each other.

  21. #71
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJRustic
    I feel for you. I had about a foot of water in my basement one time. I washed over 80 loads. These were mostly bolts as I tend to by by the bolt.( back then I could buy wholesale) we had a sump pump go out. Any way I washed with odo- ban worked great. I have a mangle (bet some of you don't know what that is) & I ironed all 80 loads. what a headache. you can get through this, it just takes time.
    I grew up with a mangle machine by the washer in the basement. Man, I have wished a hundred times that I had that old ironing machine; new ones can't live up to that workhorse for cotton/linen sheets. tableclothes, fabric yardage!!

    Jan in VA

  22. #72
    Junior Member judith ann's Avatar
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    In 2008 we had 7 inches of rain in a few hours.My sewing rooms were flooded with 27 inches of sewer water.My fabric was in stacked totes. We found that totes float and then tip over.
    I washed and dried 52 loads of fabric.There was no time to stitch edges.I used regular laundry detergent.
    It was the most helpless feeling I have ever had. We carried the totes out of the basement and dumped the fabric on old screens,outside, so it could drip out.
    It took several days to get it all done.
    The positive thing is the basement is cleaned and the fabric is organized. New shelves built and totes are all at least 20 inches off the floor.
    There was over $7000 in damages.
    I only use those rooms for storage now. All our children are grown so I have moved the sewing machines to the family room.In one corner we left a recliner and a tv for doing hand work or for DH to watch nascar.
    judy j

  23. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by cindyw
    I found this forum the other day and have been reading here and there and really enjoying it. You guys are great! I hadn't planned on making any posts but I have an emergency.

    I moved my sewing room to our basement. I'm in south Texas and basements aren't very common and maybe they don't know to make them here because ours leaks. The hurricane last week (the week before?) gave us appx 6" of rain in a day or two and, of course, the basement leaked.

    I knew the basement leaks but what I didn't know was the cabinets I had installed on an outside basement wall would let water enter the back of the cabinets. Now about half of my fabric is damp/wet. I didn't discover it until today and it smells but I haven't found any mildew. (BTW, the contractor that installed the cabinets for me is also surprised water got into them and will try to figure out what to do to avoid this in the future.)

    What do I do??? I know normally when you wash fabric you sew the raw edges but there are literally hundreds of pieces. (I inherited my mothers stash plus what I already had so it's a lot!) Can I wash it without sewing the raw edges? Will it be a big mess? Will it unravel much? Or should I just start sewing, washing and drying? I can't imagine how long that will take but I will do whatever is necessary.

    Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
    snip all four corners and this will cut down on the raveling>

  24. #74
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    cutting the edges with pinking shears before washing will cut down on the fraying.

  25. #75
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    I would just wash and dry. I never sew my edges. Yes I do get lots of strings but I just cut them off.
    Good luck. The longer you wait the more mold you will get

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