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Thread: pre wash oops

  1. #1
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Red face pre wash oops

    I never prewash my fabrics, well maybe not ever. This time I had some large scraps that were sent to me in a scrap swap and I wanted to use them, but they had me questioning if I should pre wash them or not, as they seemed to be heavy in dye. The one piece was blue and very pretty and seemed to be an artist hand dyed fabric and was very stiff. I thought for sure it would bleed. Then the other was about a 12" square batik that was a very dark purple and was stiff as well. So I put them in hot soapy water in a bowl. As soon as the purple one hit the water it was bleeding bright pink dye! It bled and bled, I even put a color catcher in the bowl and let it sit over night. The color catcher was bright pink and so was the water, I took them out threw out the color catcher and redid the hot water on the fabric and the fabric came out clear. So I am using it. The blue hand dyed looking piece never bled a bit. So weird.

    So just to say that you never know till you check them out if you should pre wash. All of my batiks will be checked before using! I know there is always a lot of discussion about prewashing or not and thought someone may be interested in this little experiment!
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  2. #2
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    Interesting. I guess I better wash all the dark batiks for the wedding quilt for my niece. Thank you. I normally do not prewash my fabric either.

  3. #3
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    It's great if you have the time. I recently started a quilt at classes in a quilt shop. I purchased fabric at time of class, due to travelling distance. No time to wash so can't always wash which I do like to do. It is always amazing to me which fabrics run . I find purple and reds usually run.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  4. #4
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I find solids run more than prints, and almost always reds/purples/blacks....I prewash any intense colors by themselves and group the rest of the fabrics by color....but always prewash...I refuse to take any chances on ruining a quilt that has taken my time and effort to complete.

  5. #5
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    I always prewash too. Not only to check the color, but to remove odors, sizing, etc that comes on it. New fabric stops in the laundry room, gets washed, then on to be pressed, folded and put away. Was hard getting into this routine, but worth it. Before we started this, my DILs hands started itching, peeling and really hurting. Now, no problem.

  6. #6
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    I prewash because of instances I've come across, odor, dye and origin (previous owner). I have mentioned before seeing people wiping their perspiration from their bodies, head neck and faces and underarms in the big box stores. Do you really want to use that fabric when you make that new baby quilt without prewashing?

  7. #7
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I prewash everything. It's just me, but I don't want any surprises after I have gone to all the work (enjoying every minute of it) to make a quilt only to have it ruined with the first washing.

  8. #8
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I always prewash, mostly to get rid of all the chemicals and other contaminants picked up in transit, but also to preshrink and remove excess dyes. I never bother with color catchers since I only prewash like colors in the same batch and the water clarity or a gentle rub test will tell me when any bleeding stops.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  9. #9
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I pre-RINSE--no soap but in water as hot as I can tolerate. I find that takes care of bleeding colours and limits the shrinkage. It also gets rid of a lot of the sizing in the fabrics. Anything under a yard is done in my bathroom sink and then gets thrown into the washer for a quick spin to get rid of excess water, and then into the dryer.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tessagin View Post
    I have mentioned before seeing people wiping their perspiration from their bodies, head neck and faces and underarms in the big box stores.
    Oh geckh! I've never seen that, and I guess I haven't seen you post that, because I've never thought about that. I'm a pre-washer anyway, but...yuck. I think I'm going to pretend I never saw that. LOL

  11. #11
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tessagin View Post
    I prewash because of instances I've come across, odor, dye and origin (previous owner). I have mentioned before seeing people wiping their perspiration from their bodies, head neck and faces and underarms in the big box stores.
    thanks for the first laugh of the day. The mental image of people lined to the wipe their faces on a bolt of fabric and sticking the bolt under their armpits?

  12. #12
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I agree with you. I do only a pretest if I am suspicious of the fabric. Not enough time or money to pre-wash since I live in an apt complex.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  13. #13
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    Most of the time I do not pre-wash. If my fabric is an intense batik or a red, black, dark blue, etc. then I will pre-wash but it is very rare.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Toni C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tessagin View Post
    I have mentioned before seeing people wiping their perspiration from their bodies, head neck and faces and underarms in the big box stores.
    That just make me gag. How disgusting!

  15. #15
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    Why hot water?
    Grandma of 5 beautiful grand kids, 4 crazy cats & 1 dog!

  16. #16
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    I buy my batiks at quit shops, but all have had dye issues. Basically, I don't want to make a quilt that may have that issue. Color catchers are great, but in my experience, it's just easier to buy non-batik and rinse in hot water once or twice (if there's a dye problem). I'm on the fifth rinse with color catchers and a turquoise batik! I soaked it 5 times before that. The resultant color is okay,but way not what I bought. So I'm off batiks.

    Edited to add: hot water because it will do the job quicker...gets out the most dye and shrinks the most.IMHO
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  17. #17
    Junior Member Quilt Fan's Avatar
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    Previously I prewashed but now just soak a bit and rinse in hot water. This seems to take care of chemicals my daughter and myself are quite sensitive to when sewing pieces together. Actually batiks go through so much in the dying process that they cannot be hurt by prewash or rinse and almost always release some color. Granted some of the newer batiks are looser weave than the first ones in my stash. They do NOT seem to tighten in a wash or rinse.

  18. #18
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    Anyone else do hotwater prewash? I always did cold as that is what I wash the finished quilts with.
    "Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver." Barbara De Angelis

  19. #19
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Anyone else do hotwater prewash? I always did cold as that is what I wash the finished quilts with.
    Raising my hand... I prewash in hot water with a warm rinse and then dry on high heat because I want maximum shrinking before I start to cut out a quilt. Besides, there's no guarantee at all that the finished quilt will be washed in cold water by a new owner even if you (strongly) suggest that's how they should care for it.

    If my batiks are still losing dye after two (gentle) cycles, I add Retayne to set any remaining loose dyes. It's never failed me. There's no way I would ever stop using batiks.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  20. #20
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I only pre-wash if I find ANY color rubbing off when rubbed with white paper--what I was told to do by a LQS owner. So far it has worked fine. And since I test all fabric, I'm always amazed what fabric bleeds and which don't! Think we all expect the dark reds/purples/etc to bleed, but always blown away when a neutral with just a little red or blue bleeds!

  21. #21
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    I pre-wash all my fabrics, not only to make sure they don't bleed, but to get the chemicals and smells out.

  22. #22
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    I started out - years ago - just washing my fabrics in warm water
    Then i had a bleed with a solid maroon when I washed that quilt.

    NOW -

    If the piece is big enough to warrant it, I overcast the raw edges before it hits water
    Soak it (like colors) in hot water - a bucket, sink, kettle, bowl - whatever will hold it but not use a zillion gallons of water
    Let it set until the water cools down - or i get back to it -
    Wash - gently - in cold to warm water -
    Dry - if at home, in the dryer - when away - on a line - When line drying, I fold the "good" side in and line up the selvages so that it will dry "straight"

    I feel that agitation is what makes new fabric look worn/used -so I try to keep that to a minimum.

    As I've said before - something I've made will probably come through most washings not too much worse for wear - UNLESS the washer is compulsive about bleach (NO NO NO NO NO) or setting it on a LOOOOONNNNGGG cycle, or washing it three times a week. (Super frequent washings only make sense to me if something liquid has come in contact with it.)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingshorttimer View Post
    I only pre-wash if I find ANY color rubbing off when rubbed with white paper--what I was told to do by a LQS owner. So far it has worked fine. And since I test all fabric, I'm always amazed what fabric bleeds and which don't! Think we all expect the dark reds/purples/etc to bleed, but always blown away when a neutral with just a little red or blue bleeds!
    I had a Kaufmann or Hoffman with a bland background and red flowers - that water turned blood red when the fabric hit the water.I was very surprised!!

  24. #24
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    I never prewash, but always wash before giving a quilt. I have a great recipe that I found here (recipe to keep colors from running). It works well and I use a lot of batiks.

  25. #25
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    I had never pre washed my fabrics. Saying that I just did a lap quilt as a gift and wahed it and laid it to dry and the maroon batik started bleeding. Had to wah it twice before it stopped bleeding. Lesson learned
    SewSewGal

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