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Thread: To pre-wash fabric or not

  1. #1

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    My friend bought a kit at a LQS & the owner said she no longer washes batiks prior to cutting the fabric. Am I the only one out here who still washes fabric first? We did prewash the fabric & lost a half an inch on one side. We're squaring up to 9 1/2 & it'll be OK, but I was amazed that "we no longer pre-washing fabric."

  2. #2
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    Lots still pre-wash.

  3. #3
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    Some of us are adamant about having everything washed/shrunk before cutting it.

    Others are equally adamant that it is not necessary to bother with doing it.

    My personal experience has been that it's worth the effort. It's kind of in the same category as using seat belts - most of the time the fabrics are okay enough to use "as is" - but every once in a while I come across a stinker.

    Same for seat belts - most of the time I get to and from wherever with no problems. Once in a while one doesn't.

  4. #4
    Super Member JanetM's Avatar
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    I always prewash. I don't understand why anyone would take the chance of one of their fabrics shrinking or bleeding and ruining a project they spent hours and hours making.

  5. #5
    Super Member Darlene's Avatar
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    I prewash in my bathroom sink to shrink. I have never done a lot of it.

  6. #6
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    There will always be a debate to wash or not to wash. I wash because of the chemicals on the fabric. If it is small pieces like in a kit, you can always wash them by hand and set them on a towel to dry. I have a salad spinner that works well too.

  7. #7
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    I always prewash. It only takes one fabric to shrink or fade to ruin an entire quilt.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Scotlass's Avatar
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    I guess I don't fit into any one category. Some fabrics I wash (cut ends with pinking shears so I can tell they are washed) if I get the fabric from a source other than the LQS or if I think the color will run. Some I leave alone and just take my chances. No hard and fast rules for me.

  9. #9
    Super Member Sandee's Avatar
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    I don't prewash very because the extra work is kind of hard for me & then the standing to iron. I've been lucky & not had any problems.
    I will wash batiks because so many have talked about them bleeding.
    Another thing, if you are going to do applique with a fusible web, the fusable do not stick to the fabric very well if the fabric is not prewashed.

  10. #10
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    Some pre wash, I don't.

  11. #11
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    If you do a search on this topic, you will see that there are lots of opinions on both sides!

  12. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I would not risk a batik fabric .. too many bleeders.

  13. #13

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    Thanks for your words of wisdom. I like your picture. I, too, have a Westie.

  14. #14
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Batiks shouldn't shrink since they've been boiled to remove the wax resist. Batiks may shed excess dye but that's only a problem if another fabric picks it up permanently. On most fabrics even if they pick up some excess dye in the wash it's still not set and will wash out of whatever picks it up.

    I don't pre-wash.

  15. #15
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    It is a personal preference. I do not pre-wash.

  16. #16
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    As had been said you will find as many that say no pre-wash as those that say to pre-wash. I pre-wash all my fabrics. Size depends on how I pre-wash: machine, bathtub or sink.
    I firmly believe that batiks for sure need to be pre-washed. You will find what works best for you. May take more time and effort but for me it's worth it. BrendaK

  17. #17
    Super Member blondeslave's Avatar
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    I have so little time to quilt that if I prewashed and had to iron I'd never get anything done. Plus there's the whole hate to iron thing.

  18. #18
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    Some of us are adamant about having everything washed/shrunk before cutting it.

    Others are equally adamant that it is not necessary to bother with doing it.

    My personal experience has been that it's worth the effort. It's kind of in the same category as using seat belts - most of the time the fabrics are okay enough to use "as is" - but every once in a while I come across a stinker.

    Same for seat belts - most of the time I get to and from wherever with no problems. Once in a while one doesn't.
    good analogy. i always prewash

  19. #19
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if I would prewash a kit because sometimes kit pieces are cut skimpy and if the fabric shrinks, I might not have enough. Then again, I generally don't buy kits and generally prewash my yardage.

  20. #20
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan
    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    Some of us are adamant about having everything washed/shrunk before cutting it.

    Others are equally adamant that it is not necessary to bother with doing it.

    My personal experience has been that it's worth the effort. It's kind of in the same category as using seat belts - most of the time the fabrics are okay enough to use "as is" - but every once in a while I come across a stinker.

    Same for seat belts - most of the time I get to and from wherever with no problems. Once in a while one doesn't.
    good analogy. i always prewash
    Actually it's a bad analogy. It's only fabric. Nobody dies.

  21. #21
    Super Member starshine's Avatar
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    recently a Quilt Store owner said she doesn't prewash unless she is concerned about bleeding, that fabrics are pre-shrunk.
    I still pre wash. And I think I will continue as I have seen some shrink even recently.
    I'd hate to spend my time on a quilt and then have a patch tear because that fabric decided to shrink.
    With kits that are already cut though I don't think you can prewash as the edges fray and then you won't have the right size.

  22. #22
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRANNYMO
    I always prewash. It only takes one fabric to shrink or fade to ruin an entire quilt.
    ........ or to bleed!

  23. #23
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Batiks shouldn't shrink since they've been boiled to remove the wax resist. Batiks may shed excess dye but that's only a problem if another fabric picks it up permanently. On most fabrics even if they pick up some excess dye in the wash it's still not set and will wash out of whatever picks it up.

    I don't pre-wash.
    And yet the first poster noted that the batik DID shrink!

    And good for you for emphasizing one of the reasons for pre-washing .... Too.Much.Risk!!!

  24. #24
    Super Member Jennifer22206's Avatar
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    I pre-wash for swaps.

  25. #25
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I wash and dry all my fabrics as soon as I get them home. I fold them with a ruler and put them in my fabric cabinet. I use warm warm amd dry on the regular setting. Wash and dry them again all the same way.

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