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Preshrinking wool for quilting

Preshrinking wool for quilting

Old 09-22-2012, 07:17 PM
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Default Preshrinking wool for quilting

I was wondering if you could help me, Iam new to quilting and I have 7 children so I really want to make them all quilts. I purchased some huge pieces of wool (probly bolts at one time) at a yard sale this wool reminds me of the old army blankets, but it is navy blue, gray and black. I would like to Pre shrink the wool and use it as batting. How do I do this and would I be able to wash it and dry it after preshrinking?
Thank you Julie Bernier
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:24 PM
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To shri k put in washer with just a bit of soap on H O T.
Agitate as much as you can dry on hottest setting.that ahould do you.
Oh, welcome and dont forget to ahow us a pic.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:26 PM
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Suggest you search for instructions about shrinking wool for garment making. I remember years ago this was done by wrapping the wool in a wet towel and then pressing with pressing cloth and steam iron. I do have a book at home about quilting with wool. I will look to see if it has some instruction for shirnking wool. I don't believe you toss it in the washing machine and dryer.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:54 PM
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Default wool

Ty very much
Will I be able to wash and dry it as needed after that without alot more shrinking?
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:21 PM
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I think what you want to do for quilting is "felt" the wool. This involves the washing machine, soap and hot water, followed by the dryer. Google for instructions from multiple websites. I found this one:

You may have to run the wool through the washing/dryer process more than once until it stops shrinking. (Measure a piece before and after to see if it has shrunk.) After that, you can wash and dry as needed without further shrinking.

One of the advantages of felting/fulling wool is that, once done, the edges won't fray.

Edit: Here's a website that talks about fulling wool for quilts:

Last edited by Prism99; 09-22-2012 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:19 AM
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one other mention to add what was offered above...WASH IN HOT- RINSE IN COLD! THEN HOT DRYER...part of the process that is important is the cold water rinse.
when your wool is finished you can steam iron it if necessary to remove wrinkles (not always necessary- depends on the wool) it is done shrinking-finished projects are washable. you can cut it up & use it or use it whole-
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:47 AM
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I was just thinking about this again. I believe it makes something of a difference in how you intend to use the wool for quilting.

Felting wool to the max is what is used when you want to use it for applique. Felted wool does not fray, so there is no need to turn the edges under.

On the other hand, since this is yardage, you may be thinking of using the wool to make pieced quilts. In this case, I think Holice is right -- treating it much as you would for garment making. I would probably simply soak it in hot water, rinse in cold water and (being me) would possibly throw it in the dryer.

When a quilt is pieced and then quilted to a moderate degree, the batting is what ultimately controls shrinkage of the fabrics in the quilt. That is, the fabrics cannot shrink more than the batting shrinks. (This does not apply to tied quilts, or to quilts in which the quilting is 12" apart. That is not enough to create a single "fabric" out of the three layers of the quilt sandwich.)

I attended a workshop given by Harriet Hargrave, and she showed us a quilt she had pieced entirely out of flannel, with flannel backing. She did it with *unwashed flannel* to prove that it would not distort after washing and that, even though it was flannel, the flannel would not shrink more than the batting. She measured the quilt before and after washing, and shrinkage was what would be expected from the batting. She showed us the quilt, let us feel it and examine it up close, and the quilt was beautiful! Of course, she had done her usual machine quilting magic on it, but it was a moderate amount of machine quilting -- not dense quilting. The same should apply to wool fabric.
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