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Thread: Pondering shrinkage

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Pondering shrinkage

    As I was pinning my muslin backing to the living room carpet, preparing to sandwich, I was thinking about the batting that says 2 to 3 percent shrinkage. On 100", that's 2 to 3 inches. That seems like a lot to me. Now I have to measure my muslin to see how much it shrank. Wow.

  2. #2
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    all the more reason to send it through the washer/dryer first.

  3. #3
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    I prewash everything, and find most will shrink more in one direction than another. I wash my layer cakes, and routinely they go from 10 square to a rectangle that is around 9.75"x9.5". Don't think I've ever had one that did not shrink up unevenly. I wash charm squares too, and they do the same thing.

    This does not seem like much but if we expand it to 100" x 100". we'd end up with 97.5" by 95", so a 2.5% shrinkage in one direction and 5% shrinkage in the other.

    I also use color catchers and 90% of what I wash (and I have a large stash now) has left die on the catchers. Though I've found it's more an issue if a fabric will accept loose die than if a fabric will lose die.

    I had one quilt with a navy that still bled after a few washes. I used in as a background in a scrappy quilt, and three or four lighter fabrics were affected, but more of them stayed white/pink. It was very interesting to see this.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  4. #4
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    Macybaby...you are so right! I get a lot of unwashed fabrics from friends as scraps; lots of small pieces. I don't wash whem, but I do spray them with water to help shrinkage. If I'm concerned about running colors on these pieces I slip them in a container with hot water and a little bit of Dawn..let them soak, rinse and then dry.
    Don't worry spider.
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  5. #5
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    I'm another big believer in prewashing and heat drying -- no softener or dryer sheets. I loved the original Dye Magnet but wasn't so thrilled with them when they went to the more papery substance, stopped using them. Since I mostly work with scrap and charm quilts, it's important that the fabric be ready for me to use when I'm ready to use the fabric.

    When I'm washing unknown scraps pieces from a fat quarter up I wash with my general laundry. Smaller pieces I'll put several in a lingerie bag, but I don't bother with tiny pieces (which for me is anything smaller than 6" square).

    I've only had one really bad experience with color bleeding, it was a reddish tone on tone, reputable maker. Also used a navy blue from the same line in the same quilt. I had prewashed once and didn't think about it -- until I washed the completed quilt top and the stylish maroon, blue & silver top with bits of bright white turned into bits of baby pink. And to make matters worse, some poly blend white squares had snuck into the whites so there were still bits of bright white. But that's why I wash my quilts before I give them away so if anything bad happens it happens to me and also why I purged all the poly blends from my collection!

    I found another piece of that fabric at the goodwill, I've washed the second piece about 7-8 times now, it still casts off dye. I should dig under my desk where the two pieces are and take a picture of them. You would never believe they started out the same color.

    All you have to have is one project ruined by bad dye or bad shrinkage to never want to risk that again...

  6. #6
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    I use the lingerie bag on bigger small pieces as well, Iceblossom.
    Don't worry spider.
    I keep house
    casually.
    ---Basho
    Nothing's too small...I love miniatures.

  7. #7
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    It only takes a very small piece of a bad bleeder to ruin a very large project when it it washed.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I always prewash and dry new fabrics before I put them away.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

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