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Thread: Prewashing batting

  1. #1
    Senior Member carol45's Avatar
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    Prewashing batting

    I like to preshrink batting, and I had a problem doing it in my dryer. So what I did recently is soak Hobbs 80/20 in hot water in the bathtub. I tried very hard not to stretch it at all when i dried it. However, it measured 125" x 126" before I soaked it, and it measures 136" x 136" now. How is that possible?

  2. #2
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Then I guess you stretched it!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member carol45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    Then I guess you stretched it!
    Actually I've had it happen before as well, but I really don't believe I stretched it--yes, yes, I know it's bigger. What I'm worried about is that it will shrink when it's in a quilt. What do you think? What can I do more besides soaking it in hot water?

  4. #4
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    When using the bathtub method... use a plastic laundry basket to remove it. I use my washer .. and soak overnight.. then spin.. then gently remove and place in the dryer. Most of the shrinkage takes place in the dryer.
    You could try re- shrinking to get the batting back to its "final" state. I would be cautious that any stretching you did will revert the first washing/drying.

  5. #5
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    You know I never pre-shrink my batting in any way shape or form. Never have any trouble with it.
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  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Did you measure the 125x126? or was that the size on the package?
    Perhaps it came larger that the package said?

    Perhaps call the Hobbs 1-800# to tell them your concerns and ask your questions.
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  7. #7
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    I like the little bit of shrinkage I get when a quilt is washed. I also like to use Hobbs 80/20 fusible batt for machine quilting. It is water soluable so if I washed it, no fusible which defeats the point in using it. I don't know why your batt has grown unless the hot water relaxed the fibers? I think you need to do a few experiments to see if it will shrink again. Cut a couple of 8 inch quilt sandwiches and quilt them with the same pattern. Wash one that you didn't pre-shrink/stretch the batt and one that the batt stretched in it. Re-measure them both to see if they are still 8 inches after washing and drying and go with what look you like best. Good luck!

  8. #8
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    I heard that the shrinkage in fabric happens in the last 10 minutes-ish of drying. Since batting is a fiber also, would spraying the batting with water til wet (but not as much as actually soaking in water) and putting it in a hot dryer do about the same as actually washing it? I also like the pucker so I haven't tried the method, but it seems if it weren't so wet, it would not stretch so much when handled.

  9. #9
    Super Member babyboomerquilter's Avatar
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    I have never prewashed my batting before. It sounds risky, but it looks like the gals have and it sounds like it works.
    Bonnie

  10. #10
    Senior Member carol45's Avatar
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    The starting dimensions, I measured, so it did somehow stretch. I'm taking yngldy's advice and spritzing it with water and putting it in the dryer. If that doesn't work, before I try the other suggestions, which were really good, I will call Hobbs and see what they suggest.
    I'm making a quilt that I don't want to look antique--it's kind of modern, so I want the batting preshrunk.

  11. #11
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Preshrinking batting seems to be a lot of hassle for little results. Isn't preshrunk batting available?
    Got fabric?

  12. #12
    Senior Member carol45's Avatar
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    Well, it came out of the dryer the same size. I called Hobbs and they were very helpful. They said that if you put any of their battings in a quilt and then always wash the quilt in cold water, gentle cycle, lay flat to dry, it will not shrink. So that's what I'm going to do. And I don't think I'll even try to preshrink any more.

  13. #13
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    You know what? I would re-measure it. Maybe it was a mistake in math moving the ruler along... its a little odd that it stretched EXACTLY 10 inches in width and 10 inches in length... maybe your math was off

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