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Thread: Prewashing batting

  1. #1
    Member lylamarie's Avatar
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    Prewashing batting

    Does anyone prewash cotton batting. I just finished a 38.5" table topper and after I washed it, it now measures 36.25 inches. It doesn't appear that the fabric has shrunk, mainly the batting. If you do wash it, how do you do it. In machine or by hand. Thanks Lylamarie

  2. #2
    Super Member trif's Avatar
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    I have never pre-washed my batting and have not had any problems. I use mainly warm n natural cotton. Could it be the brand you bought? I will be watching to see if others have had issues with that much shrinkage.

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    you can purchase batting that does not shrink- many people use fusable fleece or the thinnest batting they can find for table toppers-
    most batts do have instructions on the packaging for pre-shrinking if you really feel it's necessary
    also the more quilting done the less shrinkage occurs....so densly quilting will keep shrinkage to a minimum.
    what ever batting you have you should follow the instructions on the package though- they are all different- and i could tell you one way-and your batting could come out shredded- a horrible mess-
    i never ever deal with pre-shrinking- i read the packages before i buy them and buy the one that works best for my project
    i usually make runners for my mom & aunt- they like them to stay really flat- i use inexpensive single sided flannel i pick up for $1 a yard- that i do pre-wash- and dry in a hot dryer- then i use it for batting- works out great.
    different batts shrink different amounts- or not at all- and have different (lofts) , quilting recommendations- choose the batt that works best for your project-
    the packaging contains a wealth of information (including pre-shrinking instructions)
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
    Senior Member pscott392's Avatar
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    I did prewash one time and had some "thin spots" in the batting. I think the package said it could shrink by 2%. Not sure I'll prewash again. Totally agree with ckcowl's posto above.

  5. #5
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
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    I never pre-wash. But I do toss in a cool dryer to remove the folding wrinkles so it will lay flat when I pin baste. Most packages say that the batting will shrink 2 to 3 %.

  6. #6
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    You can wash batting to avoid the more crinkly look but do not agitate. Tried that one time with Hobbs 80/20 and came up with swiss cheese batting. I dry in the dryer after spin cycle.

    mltquilt

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    An easy way to pre-shrink batting is spritz it with water until it's fairly damp and then put it in the dryer. The heat of the dryer does most of the shrinkage anyway.

  8. #8
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I pre-shrink batting( unless its poly) for tablerunners . I soak in the washingmachine overnight , and spin, then dry . I use mostly Warm and Natural for runners as I prefer the structure of this batting for runners, and it will take pre-shrinking well.

  9. #9
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    I don't pre-wash or pre-shrink my battings. I like the crinkly look of the quilt after I finish it and wash it.

  10. #10
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    I really don't care for the crinkly "old fashioned look" for the quilts I make for children so I pre-shrink everything. I very heavily spritz the batting with H2O and then put it into a zipper plastic bag overnight to make sure that the moisture is evenly dispersed and then dry in dryer on med-high heat.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the great info on batting and prewashing - I have never prewashed and when I wash them they get the "old-fashion" look. Now I know how to "pre-wash" when I don't want that look.

  12. #12
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    I prewash batting only when I don't want it to shrink such as for placemats or table toppers. As you saw, it shrinks. Instructions on preshrinking is on the package. I don't know if you can preshrink all batting. The batting shrinks in the dryer, so soak it without using agitation, then run it through the spin cycle. Then stick in the dryer on low. Dry only until it is just damp. Then take out and spread out to complete the drying process.

  13. #13
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    An easy way to pre-shrink batting is spritz it with water until it's fairly damp and then put it in the dryer. The heat of the dryer does most of the shrinkage anyway.
    That is what I do too to remove any wrinkles at the same time !!!
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  14. #14
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    I pre-shrink batting( unless its poly) for tablerunners . I soak in the washingmachine overnight , and spin, then dry . I use mostly Warm and Natural for runners as I prefer the structure of this batting for runners, and it will take pre-shrinking well.
    This is what I do, too. I would rather have it shrink before I quilt it. It still puckers a little to give it that old fashion, snuggly look but not nearly as much.

  15. #15
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    This is what I do and workd like a charm. Usually only need to dry on low for 7 to 10 minutes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    An easy way to pre-shrink batting is spritz it with water until it's fairly damp and then put it in the dryer. The heat of the dryer does most of the shrinkage anyway.

  16. #16
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I just finished making 3 table toppers and only used flannel in them. If I were to wash batting, it would be by hand only.

  17. #17
    Senior Member 1000projects's Avatar
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    I also like the crinkly look.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    you can purchase batting that does not shrink- many people use fusable fleece or the thinnest batting they can find for table toppers-
    most batts do have instructions on the packaging for pre-shrinking if you really feel it's necessary
    also the more quilting done the less shrinkage occurs....so densly quilting will keep shrinkage to a minimum.
    what ever batting you have you should follow the instructions on the package though- they are all different- and i could tell you one way-and your batting could come out shredded- a horrible mess-
    i never ever deal with pre-shrinking- i read the packages before i buy them and buy the one that works best for my project
    i usually make runners for my mom & aunt- they like them to stay really flat- i use inexpensive single sided flannel i pick up for $1 a yard- that i do pre-wash- and dry in a hot dryer- then i use it for batting- works out great.
    different batts shrink different amounts- or not at all- and have different (lofts) , quilting recommendations- choose the batt that works best for your project-
    the packaging contains a wealth of information (including pre-shrinking instructions)
    I like your tip about using flannel. Thanks!

  19. #19
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    ckcowl said it well - decide what look you want - look at the battings - read the instructions - and follow them!

    I've had good success with washing warm and natural battings.
    I've also totally destroyed a couple of battings that looked like they would wash okay.

    Learn and live.

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