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Thread: Pre washing flannel precuts????

  1. #1
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    Pre washing flannel precuts????

    I have the most awesome flannel rag quilt to make out of these precut flannel pieces (picture attached). I am very concerned about colors running when this is washed...and since it is a rag quilt, it will be washed numerous times. And we all know how flannel can shrink!!! I have always pre washed my flannel, and I have experienced extreme shrinkage in some instances. But I know you shouldn't prewash or dry precuts, as they will ravel themselves into oblivion..especially flannel!! And I have never purchased precut flannel before. I couldn't resist this...the fabrics are adorable!!!

    Please let me know what you have done that worked well for you, to avoid color run and shrinkage on flannel precuts. I am not going to touch this until I hear some words of wisdom from members of this awesome group. Thanks in advance for any advise or suggestions!!
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    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 01-06-2018 at 03:33 AM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps

  2. #2
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    i would buy a mesh lingerie bag and put the pieces in it.

    then i would soak rhem in very hot water in a sink, large kettle, or bucket for at least an hour. ( like colors together - just in case there is a bleeder.)

    i would rinse them.

    my dryer will let me start at the spin cycle - so i would spin them

    i have a drying rack - and would hsng the pieces on that.

    there should be min8mal raveling doing it that way.

    it is a bit of a bother to wash little bits of fabric - but i actively dislike unpleasant surprises.

    i also prefer to get most of the shrinkage out of the way because i prefer a flatter look.

  3. #3
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    I think it was the pattern Jumping Jacks that Jenny from Missouri Star Quilt co. working with cotton and flannel. She said not to prewash flannel pre cuts. You might want to watch that videos to see what else she said. I think it was something about holding your flannel up to the light to see if you can see holes. Good quality flannel you should not see holes and the shrinkage will be minimal.
    Last edited by Tartan; 01-05-2018 at 08:44 PM.

  4. #4
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    I would not prewash precut flannels if I was making a rag quilt. After made, I would only wash in cold water to make the flannel ravel.

  5. #5
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    I'm sorry -- I'm not a very experienced quilter, but first, I know I wouldn't buy "flannel" precuts. As a matter of fact, I don't buy any precuts because I don't want to deal with the problems inherent with those products. It is my person opinion that flannel precuts, unwashed as far as you know, are an invitation to disaster. JMHO

  6. #6
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I wouldn't wash them either - omg, the raveling would be such a pain in the butt to deal w/!!! (even in the bag). When you quilt the quilt, that will stabilize the fabric, minimizing the shrinking and allowing the raveling. I don't ever prewash flannel when i use it on the back of a quilt.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  7. #7
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    I never prewash my flannels when making a raggy quilt. I’ve never had a flannel fabric bleed color. I’ve never prewashed precuts. And, I’ve never had a quilt not turn out because of these practices. Flannel raggy quilts come out great. I made one from precut flannel 9” squares that turned out so great.
    I only wash a new made raggy quilt once, I clip, take it outside & shake it really good, wash it in a normal cycle. Take it outside again & shake it good then toss it into the dryer. I take it out every 15-20 minutes to shake it again & empty the lint trap until it’s done. Fabulous soft, cozy much loved quilts.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  8. #8
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I think the best option is to make the quilt without pre-washing. This sounds contradictory because I am normally a pre-washer, I have had flannel that shed a lot of dye in the wash, and I have had flannel that shrank very unevenly. Some of it has been cheap flannel, but some of it has been the "good stuff". Still, I would not want to pre-wash flannel pre-cuts. (I would pre-wash it if it were yardage, even FQs.)

    When I make a rag quilt I use 3 layers of flannel and no batting. In your case, the center layer could be white or grey or lavender - whatever color blends with your flannel pre-cuts. That way there's no quilting necessary, because the 3 layers are sewn together and have no chance to shift around. Even if some of the flannels shrink unevenly when the quilt is first washed, I don't think that would be a problem with a rag quilt. Use some color catchers in case any of the fabrics bleed.

  9. #9
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I made several rag quilts a few Christmases ago and didn't pre-wash the flannel. I bought yardage so I can't vouch for pre-cuts but I wouldn't wash them. I use regular cotton pre-cuts and never wash them first.
    My quilts came out fine.

  10. #10
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    I am a pre-washer. I made a small flannel rag quilt with precuts. I never prewashed. The quilt came wonderful, if there was shrinkage, it was all the same. This quilt has been washed many times, I use it in my fur babies, kennel. She loves it.

  11. #11
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    I would not prewash. I used to prewash everything but I haven't done that in years. You can throw a couple of colorcatcher sheets in with the quilt when you wash it and they will absorb the extra color while it's washing. Last year, I did a quilt for my grandson using gradated fabrics that ranged from a very light beige to an almost black dark brown. I threw in the color catchers and there was no bleeding of the dark onto the light.

  12. #12
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    First, you don't say what size the precuts are, so I'm assuming charm packs. I'm thinking that would be a bear to sew after washing. You will have to iron each square, etc. Then, they probably aren't going to be square anymore, plus they would have raveled to some degree. It doesn't sound like sewing them would be a good experience.

    All and all, I don't think I'd want to deal with what I end up with after washing. I might wash a couple of squares to see, if you are convinced it will improve the outcome. Then, you will have a better idea of how washing will turn out.

    Since it's precuts, it's all made by the same manufacturer. So, I would assume the squares will all shrink the same amount.

    I agree, that's a nice assortment.

    bkay

  13. #13
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    This is what I would do, too. I would leave the squares in the lingerie bag while drying in the dryer, though. I have also safety pinned pre-cuts together before washing and then put the pre-cuts into the lingerie bag to prevent the raveling.

    It's a pain, but it works.
    Last edited by cathyvv; 01-06-2018 at 07:43 AM.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  14. #14
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I would use what you have as is. This way you can see for yourself and you may be pleased or you may learn a lot.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
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  15. #15
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I think prewashing is an invitation to disaster and making the kit unusable because of the raveling. Even if you wash and dry in a lingerie bag it will still ravel a lot and then it might shrink unevenly making it unusable whereas once quilting the batting will control the shrinkage. I would just use color catchers in the wash but I rarely prewash including flannel but I only buy flannel from connecting threads and it has minimal shrinkage.
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  16. #16
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I agree with those who recommend not prewashing. In terms of shrinkage, fabric (including flannel) shrinks very differently after being quilted than before. What I would recommend is quilting a large X in each block. This will stabilize the layers so they shrink together.

    As for colors bleeding, I like to do the first wash with Synthrapol in a machine that uses a lot of water. Most domestic front-loaders do not use enough water to dilute dye bleeds. Domestic top-loaders and large front loaders at laundromats use sufficient water. Very few fabrics bleed these days, but it's always good to have insurance. Synthrapol helps keep loose dye particles suspended in water so they get rinsed away instead of settling into fabric. Although it's most effective with hot water, for this kind of flannel quilt I would use cold water and add a few color catchers along with the Synthrapol. That should be more than adequate, especially if you use lots of water for that first wash.

    One thing to watch out for with flannel is pilling. To minimize pilling, always wash the quilt by itself and preferably in a front-loader. Top loaders that have a central agitator posts are hard on fabric because of the rubbing of the quilt against itself. Avoiding that kind of friction will help minimize pilling.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jokir44's Avatar
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    PLEASE don't prewash, please DON'T prewash, please don't PREWASH.

  18. #18
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    What jokir44 said!! In spades!!!

    I am a pre-wetter. I wet down most everything that comes into my house because I have an alergy problem with the sizing in most fabric. I rinse stuff in as hot a water as I can stand and then dry in a dryer. It gets rid of enough of the sizing so that I can work with it comfortably and also controls shrinkage. But precut flannel is something that I would never even think about pre-wetting.
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  19. #19
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerK View Post
    What jokir44 said!! In spades!!!

    I am a pre-wetter. I wet down most everything that comes into my house because I have an alergy problem with the sizing in most fabric. I rinse stuff in as hot a water as I can stand and then dry in a dryer. It gets rid of enough of the sizing so that I can work with it comfortably and also controls shrinkage. But precut flannel is something that I would never even think about pre-wetting.

    Why not fill the washer with hot water and turn it off to let the item soak, not agitate, then select drain and spin. Much easier.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  20. #20
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Onebyone, I have a front loader. Plus, by using a sink full of water, I can weed out and selectively treat any bleeders.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  21. #21
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerK View Post
    Onebyone, I have a front loader. Plus, by using a sink full of water, I can weed out and selectively treat any bleeders.

    Ok. I use every timesaver I can.☺
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  22. #22
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    I agree to not prewash and it will turn out great!
    Suzanne
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