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Thread: Pre-washing fabric question

  1. #1
    Senior Member CindyinNY's Avatar
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    When you pre-wash fabric, should you add softener?

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I read somewhere not to use fabric softener, but they did say why. Interesting question. I will be curious to see the replies.

  3. #3
    Senior Member CindyinNY's Avatar
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    Me too, Sadiemae. I have some in the washer right now. lol Guess I'll just have to stop it before it goes into the rinse cycle.

  4. #4
    Super Member magpie's Avatar
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    I don't remember why, but I do know everything I've read says do not add softener.

  5. #5
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    From what I've heard, fusibles do not adhere well to fabric that has been "softened"

    Some people are allergic to fabric softeners.

  6. #6
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    Softeners make it soft, so if we want to starch to make stiff for cutting, sort of a waste, ?????

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    From what I've heard, fusibles do not adhere well to fabric that has been "softened"

    Some people are allergic to fabric softeners.
    Yep! But I always use softener because of the static.

  8. #8
    np3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteQuilts
    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    From what I've heard, fusibles do not adhere well to fabric that has been "softened"

    Some people are allergic to fabric softeners.
    Yep! But I always use softener because of the static.
    Good point, but then do you starch it before you cut it?

  9. #9
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Fabric softeners are fats. I only use fabric softeners on synthetic fabrics.

  10. #10
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    I never use softener until project is completely done then use it.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    For a great alternative to fabric softener, use this:
    a small amount of vinegar in the rinse water. Just regular white vinegar. No joke! Your fabrics/laundry do not smell! And the vinegar helps with static too.
    I use a Downy ball, and put my vinegar in that. Have done it that way for a long time! :)

  12. #12
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    it depends... if you are going to use any fusable product or starch you should not add fabric softener.
    when prewashing i never add fabric softener, i do add it when i wash the finished quilt. but never when prewashing, in fact when i prewash i run the fabric through the cycles twice, first with a small amount of detergent the second time without so i know there is nothing left in the fabric that may cause a problem no matter what i'm going to do...be it using a fusable or dyeing the fabric.

  13. #13
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    For the dryer, I got some blue balls with spikes on them, (or that's what they look like). I got them at Bed Bath & Beyond or some where like that, and then found them at Walmart. My Walmart has them for about $5.00 right now. I have 2 sets of 2 in my dryer, and they work well to keep the static away.
    Make sure the balls are soft, and not hard as a rock!! A pair that I first got at Walmart got quickly taken back and exchanged. They went THUMP, THUMP,THUMP in my dryer and I couldn't stand the noise. The soft ones are quiet.

  14. #14
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    I don't use softener - I don't even always use detergent.

    One thing to remember is that some fusible weg will not stick well if you use dryer sheets.

  15. #15
    Super Member G'ma Kay's Avatar
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    I don't use softner because I want them to be stiff when I cut. Static isn't a problem because of starching and pressing. I don't press fabric until I'm ready to cut. When I bring a new haul in, I wash it, fold it and stash it until an inspiration.

  16. #16
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    i don't prewash cotton fabric..never had a problem. i only prewash flannel because it shrinks more than cotton.

    i had wash/soak and air dry on a towel,batiks..because i have had the colors run.

    i wash after the quilt is all done, before it leaves the house..

  17. #17
    MaxineB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watterstide
    i don't prewash cotton fabric..never had a problem. i only prewash flannel because it shrinks more than cotton.

    i had wash/soak and air dry on a towel,batiks..because i have had the colors run.

    i wash after the quilt is all done, before it leaves the house..
    Do you pre-wash flannel if you're making a rag quilt? I thought it wouldn't fray if it was pre-washed.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CindyinNY
    When you pre-wash fabric, should you add softener?
    No, never.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxineB
    Quote Originally Posted by watterstide
    i don't prewash cotton fabric..never had a problem. i only prewash flannel because it shrinks more than cotton.

    i had wash/soak and air dry on a towel,batiks..because i have had the colors run.

    i wash after the quilt is all done, before it leaves the house..
    Do you pre-wash flannel if you're making a rag quilt? I thought it wouldn't fray if it was pre-washed.
    no, i don't prewash it for a raggedy quilt. what makes it fray, are the cuts you make..then after it is washed, it will fray beautifully!
    cotton and flannel shrink differently, with flannel being the most ..sometimes on baby quilts i mix cotton and flannel.
    and of course, this is just my humble opinion!

    i used to wash all my fabric..then spend a day pressing it..when i first started quilting. not anymore. i think the colors in fabrics are made differently than they used to be.
    occasionally i use a color catcher in the wash with a quilt..not very often.
    if your not sure if the color will run, wash it. better safe than sorry. but me personally, no problems.

    and I NEVER wash nickles/pre-packaged charms or jelly rolls.

  20. #20
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    what are nickles...? oops, besides the 5 cent piece :lol:

  21. #21
    Super Member natalieg's Avatar
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    I double wash as well, with detergent only the first time and without anything the second run through. Then, I hang the material on the line to dry, or inside if the weather doesn't permit. Then, no static!

  22. #22
    Kas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Fabric softeners are fats. I only use fabric softeners on synthetic fabrics.
    I'm confused about the fats thing. Does that mean the fabric will become a dirt magnet like the spot on the carpet where the milk spilt? I had never thought of that. I always use fabric softner unless I will be fusing which is hardly ever.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by eightylady
    what are nickles...? oops, besides the 5 cent piece :lol:

    5 inch charm squares..
    and then there are 10" squares

  24. #24
    Super Member sewingladydi's Avatar
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    I never use softener on anything.

  25. #25

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    softner makes fabric harder to cut
    no softner fabric still a bit stif

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