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

  1. #76
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    wash it now and dry them. Later you can snip and tear the ends to get them straight. You are going to have a mess of thread strings, just cut them off and clean out your washer.

  2. #77

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    Hi CindyW
    I prewash all my fabric. I have not read all the posts, I had surgery and have not been on for quite some time. I just Clip a small corner on all of the 4 corners and it prevents most of the raveling. I also am fortunate to have outside clothes lines. I hang the fabric on the lines and let the wind and sun dry them. It seems to add back some of the body and cliping each corner off prevents most of the raveling. I fold it different than it was folded on the bolt and so as to change the center crease. I then press it before I begin to cut.

  3. #78
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    We had some stuff in storage and it got musty smelling. I put them in tubs with actived charcoal " you can get it at your pet store". I would put it in your cabinets before you put your fabric back in them, it really helped to get the musty smell out of books etc. We have had water run down our walls in the basement also if we have a heary rain. What a pain. I have even put my electric cords to my sewing machine on a shoe size tub setting up side down so that water can not get to them.

  4. #79
    wishiwerequilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindyw
    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.)
    Cindy, I'm sorry you've had this experience...been there, done that!
    Here in the northeast where many homes are prone to water in the basements if they are near the shore, waterproofing with paint is a must, and many folks put in sump pumps, which will work to keep water from rising in the basement as long as you don't lose power in a storm.

    As for keeping the fabrics dry in a wet or damp environment, storing on shelving which is lifted off the floor and away from walls is helpful. If your cabinets stand on the floor, put them up on cement blocks and pull them away from the walls, and then store your fabrics in bins with lock down lids. We actually used those industrial metal shelves (which you can buy at home improvement stores, or shelving places like the container store) and then put them on large caster wheels so you can wheel it away from the water if necessary. It will prevent a lot of the damage, should this happen again. Store fabrics of like color together, so that you are not storing lights against darks, whenever possible.

    If you have cabinets that are fixed to the walls (as in kitchen style cabinets), I don't think there are many options except to pull them down and get them away from the walls. Wood, particle board, cardboard (as in bolts that fabrics are wrapped on) all wick the water right to the fabric.

    Running a de-humidifier whenever possible, as well as airing the place on a good dry day is helpful as well.

    Good luck with everything! Let us know how you make out!

  5. #80
    Senior Member joann hussey's Avatar
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    Get it all together and go to the laundromat, save yourself time use vinegar in the wash Good Luck if I lived closer I would help you out

  6. #81
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    I find that if I don't put too much in my machine at a time...say small to medium...not medium, but on the small side of medium...I don't get a lot of tangling, so the fabric is not pulled and threads are not stretched and broken on the edges as much.
    You can also clip off the corners and it helps a lot.
    Sorry it got wet, but good thing you discovered it! I feel for you.
    Happy laundering...hugs ;)

  7. #82
    Senior Member pegquilter8's Avatar
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    Oh hurry and get it washed. Vinegar a great cure,as well as snipping the corners. Put as many pieces into pillow slips and pin, Will save some of the stringing. I too had a bunch of fabric get wet after an ice storm left me without power for a week in December. As soon as I could I washed and hung outside for added gift of fresh air. Hope all turns out well.

  8. #83
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    I have washed fabric without doing anything to the edges. It does unravel and make a mess, but not so badly that you can't just cut it off and go from there. If you can, you might try a pinking blade in your rotary cutter. I've done that before and it definitely helps with the raveling (or just use pinking shears). But if neither of those options will work, just wash. It'll be fine. Really.

  9. #84

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    Don't forget to check your sewing machine. If there is damp in the fabric, there maybe some in your machine. The metal parts could start to rust and then major problems. It is surprising what moisture will do in places we least expect.

  10. #85
    Super Member Lilrain's Avatar
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    Wash it on the gentle cycle

  11. #86
    Senior Member Lucky Lindy's Avatar
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    I'd wash it too, but if you have sooooo much, maybe go to a laundry mat, more machines, mean less time passes and more dryers. Just a thought....good luck!

  12. #87
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    Get a cloth bag or a net type bag, like what we use to launder our unmentionalbes. I use one all the time with a color catcher sheet when I think the fabric may run. The bag helps to stop fraying, I take it out of the bag to dry it. The bag I use came out of a wicker laundry bag. I definately would not use the fabric without washing it.

  13. #88
    Member boopeterson's Avatar
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    Been thru the same thing about 5 years ago.. We had 3 1/2 feet of water in our basement from heavy rains and sewage drains backing up along with storm drains too. I had alot of my stuff in totes but some of that even that got ruined. All my sewing patterns had to go and alot of my fabric. I could of saved more of the fabric I suppose but with the sewage in it too I didnt want to. ICK!! As for now... no more sewing in the basement, I bought the little house next door when it came up for sale and have everything over there!

  14. #89
    Senior Member bob1414's Avatar
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    Use the gentle cycle and the agitation will be less so it stands to reason that there would be less fraying of the raw edges. I, personally, would never spend the time to finish raw edges of fabric - I have thousands of yards and it would drive me nuts!!! Good luck - I think your stash will be fine. If you have a sunny day, could you spread some out on the grass, on a clothesline, etc?

  15. #90
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    I saw a tip once that if you clip a little piece off the selvedge corner - just a little triangle, that it won't give you the snarls of thread when you wash it.
    But wash them and dry them asap. If you have to, go to a laundromat and use their large capacity washers and dryers.

  16. #91
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    You might get some mesh bags at walmart (the kind you wash unmentionables in). That way it won't ravel much if any. May take more than one bag though. We lived in Texas for awhile. I can remember those rain storms.

  17. #92
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    Oh goodness you have a job. I would just wash and dry and not worry about the raw edges. because if you don't get the fabric washed to get the smell out and it goes meldew you will loose all of your stash. I have also found if you can hang your fabric outside on the line instead of in the dryer you don't have the tied in knots look which is a real pain to iron out.
    Also you can get those airtight bags at walmart that you could put your washed & ironed folded fabric in and you seal the end and then lay on the floor on top of it to get the air out . This will keep any new water problems out.
    I know this is alot of work but it is better than loosing everything. Hope this helps chin up you will get to the end of the mess faster than you think. If I was closer I would come help. kjym Kathy

  18. #93

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    Sometimes putting clean tennis balls in the dryer with wet clothes will keep them from getting all tangled up. The hint about cutting a triangle from a corner works - I would do it for all 4 corners of the fabric piece. Good luck, I too have a sewing room in basement so i know what your going through.

  19. #94
    Senior Member CircleSquare's Avatar
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    Cindy - just wondering what happened with all your wet fabric. Did you save it all? One thing that wasn't mentioned was this (although it may be too late now): What makes strings is the aggitation. Don't let the washer aggitate more than a few seconds, then let the fabric soak for a few more minutes, then turn it on over to spin, and rinse the same way. -Ann

  20. #95
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    by the way, thanks for showing us your adorable reversible quilt (back on page 3) - fantastic! Love how everything lined up perfectly for the quilting.

  21. #96
    Super Member Annya's Avatar
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    [quote=cindyw

    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.
    Can you buy those laundry bags that you use for lingerie etc. I used mine for scraps and never had the tangled mess and loss if fabric that happens in an ordinary wash. I also only hand wash my fabric and line dry them but with the amount you have you would be better putting them in the dryer on a cool setting so they will not shrink. In case the smell lingers put a bit of conditioner or lavender oil in the water. I hope this works for you and all your fabric comes out clean .

  22. #97
    twistedsheets's Avatar
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    When people remodel and they know a basement could have seepage problems there is product that can be painted or sprayed on the basement walls which will virtually eliminate this product. If you have a contractor doing work for you, he would know exactly what this product is called. If not go to like home depot, and find a knowledgeable employee who can help you, to purchase and do-it yourselves. This will save you alot of greif in the future! It is applied to the cement walls , or foundation walls>

  23. #98
    Senior Member BettyB'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.






    this works because I have washed a lot of fabric that I bought at a storage building sale

  24. #99
    Junior Member Sewingyankee's Avatar
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    I would also do smaller loads.

  25. #100

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    ON those pieces that are just as they came on the bolt, you can cut diagonally across the top and bottom corners of the cut--maybe a 2" cut. Wash and dry--very little raveling. If washing does not take out all the odor, spray with Fabreeze and let air dry completely before folding and storing again.

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