Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > Main
Prewash Fabric or Not? >

Prewash Fabric or Not?

Prewash Fabric or Not?

Old 01-15-2010, 05:53 AM
Thread Starter
NancyRose's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 29

When I first began quilting, I was told to prewash the fabric before cutting. Later, the people at my LQS said that they did not. I came across some fabric that I had prewashed, and I would like to buy some complementary fabric to use with it. Should I prewash the new fabric, because the other has been washed already? If I mixed prewashed and unwashed fabrics, will it cause problems when the whole quilt is washed?
NancyRose is offline  
Old 01-15-2010, 06:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: North East Lower peninsula of Michigan
Posts: 6,223

If part of the fabric is prewashed I would wash any others I used in that quilt, Normally I don't prewash my fabrics unless I think they will bleed. I like the crispness of the fabric.
Up North is offline  
Old 01-15-2010, 07:29 AM
Super Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
Posts: 3,502

I would also pre-wash the additional fabric because the other is washed. If I am using a jelly roll and mixing it with yardage (usually from the same collection), then I don't wash the yardage because I don't wash the jelly roll.

Otherwise, I do pre-wash. To get that nice crispness of new fabric I use startch.
pittsburgpam is offline  
Old 01-15-2010, 08:14 AM
Senior Member
crashnquilt's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lebanon, Missouri
Posts: 602

I prewash all my fabrics for several reasons.
1. Different manufacturers fabrics will shrink different percentages.
2. Removal of chemicals, formaldehyde, sizings, cotton polish, etc. helps to fabric to be "true"
3. Prewashing gives you a view of the finished quilt.

If you do not prewash fabrics, after sending your quilt out to be quilted, after that first washing, if you have different percentages in shrinking the quilting can become totally lost in the fabrics.

The chemicals used for fabric finishing can be a health concern to several people. Some may just get some annoying "unknown" itching, rashes may appear on the skin, but more important, eye irratant.

I have been fighting an infection in my eyelids for over 2 years. I've rubbed my eyes hard enough to look like I have been hit, and my eyelashes have fallen out. Recently, an opthalmologist said it is a reaction to the chemicals in treated fabrics. Now that I prewash everything, even customer quilts, the infection is starting to clear.
crashnquilt is offline  
Old 01-15-2010, 08:38 AM
Power Poster
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: SW Iowa
Posts: 32,856

I usually don't prewash, but if part of the fabric is prewashed I prewash the rest.
littlehud is offline  
Old 01-15-2010, 09:27 AM
Super Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Alturas, CA
Posts: 9,133

I agree with Up North, if the rest of the fabric that's going in the same quilt has been washed, then I wash, otherwise, I don't prewash anymore.
pocoellie is online now  
Old 01-15-2010, 09:40 AM
Super Member
Lneal's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,078

I usually don't pre wash my fabrics either.
Lneal is offline  
Old 01-15-2010, 10:15 AM
Super Member
JJean's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,583

I pre-wash everything but pre-cuts. Some colors run. I was glad I used Shout Color Catchers with my Downy Kid's quilt. I washed it 3 times and used a TBS of vinegar on the last.
JJean is offline  
Old 01-15-2010, 10:35 AM
Senior Member
cindyg's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Cypress (NW Houston), TX
Posts: 581

I wash everything. I wash the dark colors after letting them sit in a vinegar soak for a while. As soon as I don't wash the darks, one will bleed. I wash all the other fabrics because I washed the darks and to get the chemicals out of them as well. To put body back into the fabric I press it using Mary Ellen's Best Press (a starch alternative). It smells so good! Everything goes to the laundry room for washing before it ever sees my sewing room. I do not, however, wash charm squares or jelly rolls, etc.
cindyg is offline  
Old 01-15-2010, 10:52 AM
Super Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,933

I made a dress one time for display at a fabric store I worked at and did not prewash the fabric. The dress was lovely and crisp. When I washed it after being on a display for a month, it looked like a dead towel :( I was really disappointed. The fabric was seersucker, so I couldn't even starch and iron it)
isnthatodd is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
12-17-2011 03:39 PM
12-02-2011 01:02 PM
05-05-2011 04:32 AM
05-31-2010 01:42 PM
05-27-2010 10:49 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

FREE Quilting Newsletter

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.