Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 47

Thread: Prewashing Fabrics -Why Shouldn't I use my Tide Pods?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    61

    Prewashing Fabrics -Why Shouldn't I use my Tide Pods?

    I began quilting rag quilts and was taught to not prewash the flannel fabric; I've made several, and they turn out wonderfully. I then "graduated" to "real" quilting, so to speak (no insult to rag quilting, I still make them and have friends who absolutely love them!). Because of the severe arthritis in my hands, I use a lot of combinations of pre-cuts: jelly rolls; jolly rolls (5"X10"), charm packs, and layer cakes. I do NOT prewash any of these.

    I have just purchased fabric to make a birthday quilt for my grandson who will be 30 years old on May 12 (my other two grandchildren are ages 3 and 6!). I am making him a Star Wars quilt, queen size. Because recently had SO MUCH trouble quilting a fairly large quilt, which was donated to charity via my quilting group, because of arthritis in my hands, I started looking at quilt-as-you-go techniques as a possible solution. I came across a wonderful You Tube video by Darlene Michaud called "How to Quilt as Your Go with Sashing and Self-Binding. It is wonderful! I even made a sample of her technique, and this is the one I will be using for my grandson's Star Wars Quilt.

    I think I should prewash the fabric. The backing -that also serves as the sashing and the binding- is Kona Cotton (steel gray); there are four different star war pieces of fabric to be put together as a panel of four, each separated by sashing per this technique There are some bright colors and some subdued colors in these fabrics; none of it was cheap, so I don't want to ruin it, potentially, through bleeding, or what ever. Okay, enough of this! I guess I scared to make this quilt. It would be easier to not prewash the fabric, but I just think I really should. SO, NO PROBLEM! Then I read that I should not use my regular fabric (Tide Pods). WHY NOT? I'm supposed to buy something like Orvas Quilt Soap. Huh?

    So, since I really need to get started on this quilt, could anyone out there advise me about (1) prewashing/non-prewashing and (2) can I just use my average laundry detergent or do I have to buy something special like "Quilt Soap."

    Thanks for helping a slowly maturing quilting novice!

  2. #2
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,408
    I soak my fabric in HOT water (separated by colors on this round - in case there is a bleeder- dark green on dark green does not bother me too much) - in a sink, a bucket, a bowl - depending on the size of the piece of the fabric.

    After the fabric passes the hot water phase (water is clear or almost clear) - then I wash it on a brief gentle cycle in lots of water with only a small amount of regular gentle detergent - and then dry it.

    I think keeping the agitation to a minimum and leaving "room" in the dryer and washer help minimize abrasion of the fabric and helps prevent that "worn" look.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    61
    So, for the Star Wars blocks, are you suggesting I soak EACH of the four fabric blocks in hot water to check for bleeders and then if there is little bleeding, go ahead and was them in my basic home detergent?

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    292
    I prewash my fabrics in the same way I would wash the finished quilt. I just put them in the washer with my regular laundry detergent. I usually separate by color family. Also put a "color catcher" in with the fabric.
    Pat

    Pfaff 7510, Viking Mega Quilter, Viking Quilt Designer II

  5. #5
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    19,408
    Quote Originally Posted by mountainwoman View Post
    So, for the Star Wars blocks, are you suggesting I soak EACH of the four fabric blocks in hot water to check for bleeders and then if there is little bleeding, go ahead and was them in my basic home detergent?

    It's what I do. I've had enough bleeders and serious shrinkers to make it worth my effort.

    There are many who think the whole washing thing is totally unnecessary.

    So - it does come down to individual choice.

    I have measured before and after hundreds of pieces of fabrics to see if it was actuallyu worth the effort. For me, it is. I have also had at least one bleeder from every color family.

    Once the item has been assembled, I want it to be as care-free as possible.

    I still do fear bleach, burns, and tears.
    Last edited by bearisgray; 04-21-2017 at 07:18 AM.

  6. #6
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    1,857
    Blog Entries
    2
    if you are using a lot of pre cuts then I would not wash personally I do not wash my fabrics

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    7
    I just handwash my fabrics with warm water in my sink, then either line dry or put them in the dryer (low heat) until they are just barely damp, then iron.

    I always debate with myself whether or not to pre-wash, but just last week I had a dark blue bleeder, so I'm glad I did!!

  8. #8
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East Oklahoma - pining for Massachusetts
    Posts
    7,924
    I have been very lucky never to have had a bleeder. When I started quilting (1992) I knew nothing, so did not pre-wash. I am still in that group, but do wash in cold water with the color catchers before I give them away.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    61
    Yes, in terms of the four different star wars fabrics, prewashing them -and I think separately- is a good idea. Thanks!

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    61
    Yes, I think given the richness of color in the four Star Wars fabrics, I definitely need to prewash -I just don't want to take any chances. Per the advice of another poster, I am just going to use my regular fabric detergent, too. This is high quality fabric, and I just don't think I should have to buy special detergent for a quilt that is going to get a lot of use. Thanks for your advice!

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    61
    I don't wash precuts -too difficult and not recommended by the manufacturers. For this quilt, though, I will be cutting yardage -four different Star Wars fabrics- plus Kona Cotton Solid Steel Gray, which will make up the backing, binding, and sashing. Because of the richness of the colors in the Star Wars fabrics, I've decided to go ahead, per another poster's advice, and use my regular fabric detergent. Thank you for your advice!

  12. #12
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    home again, after 27 yrs!
    Posts
    15,693
    Blog Entries
    2
    look at Retayne for keeping colors bright and strong

  13. #13
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,095
    I wash the fabrics just like I do regular fabrics. Darks and lights with regular detergent.
    I have a fear of shrinkage, so always pre-wash and dry my yardage.

    Watson

  14. #14
    Super Member Onebyone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    8,020
    I have never used special quilt soap and don't know many who do. I use Tide or All Free and Clear pods for all my laundry including quilts. Use Shout Color Catchers the first time you wash your quilt. I pretest for bleeding by putting a snip of the fabric in a cup of hot water. I then rub it on a piece of white cotton fabric. If no color is present then it's fine. If color rubs off on the white fabric I don't use it and I don't try to wash it a dozen times to get it from bleeding.
    I love my life!

  15. #15
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    ELVERTA, CA
    Posts
    15,173
    Blog Entries
    1
    I make my quilts as "utility" quilts, meaning I expect them to be used and loved and washed. Since I have no control over what others do, they have to be able to withstand regular detergent.

    Depending on the intensity of color saturation and contrast, I may decide to prewash. Most often, I end up not prewashing and tossing 4-5 color catchers in the laundry with the finished quilt. So far, so good.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  16. #16
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Chula Vista CA
    Posts
    5,968
    I am with Onebyone, I wash my fabric with my regular laundry detergent. I use warm water (don't know anyone that uses hot when washing colored items anymore) and I do throw in Color Catchers if there are different colors. Since I found Color Catchers at Big Lots for $3 a box of 54 they get used a lot. Since my great-nephew is a big Star Wars fan I have made quilts and pillow cases for him and none of the fabric ran. The main reason I prewash is to remove the chemicals from the fabrics, they destroy my fingers and finger nails.

  17. #17
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    kansas
    Posts
    2,811
    Blog Entries
    37
    I rarely pre-wash--but I always pre-test! I take a slip of white paper and rub REALLY hard on the fabric, especially if the color is dark or looks heavily dyed. If ANY color shows on the paper, then I will just wash, cold water/short cycle/regular detergent. Otherwise I like the fabric to retain it's sizing which makes it easier to cut and handle without fraying (and I don't have allergies to the sizing, etc).
    Then, the first time I wash the completed quilted I will use cold water, Woolite or Orvus or quilt soap, and always throw in 2-4 Color Catchers (depending on quilt size).


    As far as shrinkage is concerned, I put any washed fabric into the dryer for a short, mostly dry, cycle and pull out and use my steam iron to dry it completely--gets the wrinkles out and will shrink it at same time.

  18. #18
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    11,171
    Blog Entries
    1
    When I prewash fabric I use my regular detergent and a regular cycle on the washer and dryer. I don't know why you would need to purchase something different. I've been laundering my fabrics and finished quilts for 40+ years, sometimes I might use a short wash cycle but I've always used my regular detergent. If it's ( smelly) fabric I sometimes add vinegar to the wash cycle to help get rid of the odors.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  19. #19
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    2,938
    I do wash my quilts in Orvis. But I buy the big plastic container of Orvis and use it for my delicate clothes also. The quilts I'm giving to other get washed in regular detergent with color catchers. I figure that the recipients will probably wash it in regular detergent so I it that way also.
    Patrice S

  20. #20
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Va.
    Posts
    1,712
    Unless the fabric is really smelly, I don't prewash. After quilting I wash with my regular detergent on the regular/ normal cycle in my washer and throw in a few color catchers. So far, so good.

    Smelly fabrics get pre-washed same way and thrown in dryer. If that doesn't get the smell out, they get run through a quick wash cycle with detergent and hung out to dry in the sun. For this method I fold it in half right sides together before hanging to prevent fading. I once had a fabric that was so stinky (smelled like cat pee, but was fresh from the printer so must have been the inks) that it took 3 days of hanging outside in direct sunlight to get rid of the smell. But it was a fabulous fabric at a very reduced price due to the smell, so worth going through the trouble.

    Rob
    1955 Singer Featherweight 221/ Late 60's early 70's White Selectronic 970/
    1975 Kenmore 158.1914/ 1981 Brother VX560/ Brother PC420PRW/
    Brother PQ1500s

  21. #21
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Corpus Christi, Tx.
    Posts
    15,804
    Blog Entries
    3
    I prewash all my fabric including the precuts. Some of the fabric like batiks especially bleed only in certain areas. I throw them in the laundry just like my other laundry. I use hot water and a hot dryer. This allows for all shrinkage to be taken care of. my colors still look good. I used to use a basting stitch along the edges of the pre-cuts so they wouldn't fray so much but I got tired of buying pre-cuts and the sizes all inconsistent. Some were correct size but more were shorter and more narrow. Cheaper to purchase yardage and cut my own. I also prewash because of the odor on some of the fabric from the factory.

  22. #22
    Super Member EmiliasNana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,283
    Quote Originally Posted by PatPitter View Post
    I prewash my fabrics in the same way I would wash the finished quilt. I just put them in the washer with my regular laundry detergent. I usually separate by color family. Also put a "color catcher" in with the fabric.
    Me too. I don't see any reason to use something other than the recipient will use. I never wash pre-cuts for the shrinkage and fraying mentioned earlier.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    here
    Posts
    707
    Its COTTON FABRIC, for petes sake! Why would you not wash it with whatever soap you want? The only difference in the cotton in your clothing and the cotton for quilting is the price. Tack "quilting" in front of cotton and raise the price $2 a yard. That said, other than batiks and hand dyed fabrics, a quality modern fabric shouldn't need prewashed. I haven't done so since 1972.
    Ageing is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been............David Bowie

  24. #24
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Ballwin, MO
    Posts
    1,730
    The Orvis would be for washing the finished quilt; I use Orvis for my finished quilts, but regular detergent can also be used.

    There would be no need to use special soap for pre-washing the fabric. I'm not sure what detergent pods are, but you wouldn't need the same amount of detergent you use for a load of dirty laundry. I just use a very small amount of Woolite liquid when pre-washing my fabric.
    Lisa

  25. #25
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    2,938
    Quote Originally Posted by EmiliasNana View Post
    Me too. I don't see any reason to use something other than the recipient will use. I never wash pre-cuts for the shrinkage and fraying mentioned earlier.
    I did prewash some fat quarters I bought. But I did it by soaking in the sink with hot water and then drying on the drying rack in my dryer. Seemed to work well.
    Patrice S

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.