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Prewashing flannel

Prewashing flannel

Old 07-23-2016, 06:58 AM
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Default Prewashing flannel

I want to try quilting with flannel pre cuts but I keep reading that I have to prewash flannel. How do I do that with precuts?
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:18 AM
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What kind of precuts are they? If fat quarters, I would prewash them. Anything smaller, probably not.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:35 AM
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I pre-wash everything that comes into my house due to contact allergies. Doesn't matter if it's a 2.5" mini charm. I use the soak cycle with cold water (Tap water cold if that's available) and a small amount of detergent. When they're done, I dry them partway on Low Heat in the dryer & iron them the rest of the way dry (or lay flat to dry if it's too late at night when I pull them out of the dryer).

Quality fabric really doesn't shrink or fray that much anymore. If you want to be overly cautious, you can run a zig-zag or overcast stitch along the edges of the pre-cut. I've done that once or twice back when I bought cheapy fabric & it works fine. The other thing I've done if I'm going to be cutting it down further (e.g., for applique) to where I have more than 1/4" extra from the edge is to run a narrow bead of Fray Block or Fray Check along the edge. I wouldn't recommend leaving that on there, but if you have as little as an extra 1/8" (meaning 3/8" total), you can easily trim it off.

Note: if you suspect the end-user is going to be washing the quilt in warm water or a medium dryer, you will need to pre-wash in those same conditions -- and then I would definitely recommend securing the edges with stitching because heat & and agitation will both cause the flannel to shrink and fray more. There's no need to wash in those conditions if the recipient is willing to wash on gentle cycle, cold water, low heat tumble dry, but flannel that was pre-shrunk under those conditions will shrink again if exposed to higher heat and/or more agitation in either washer or dryer.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:13 AM
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The quality statement was made by the woman at the fabric store. I'm gonna see.! I'm finishing a quilt w/ a flannel backing. Although, I do put a lot of quilting in it and I'm using Dream Cotton which doesn't really shrink. I hope i'm not sorry.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:19 AM
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I have had flannel strips and I just first baste a few together to keep them from tangling then throw them into a lingerie bag. I picked a couple really nice lingerie bags that look like pillow cases (you can use these also). I throw them into hot water and a hot dryer to make sure the shrinkage is done.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:05 AM
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I usually do prewash only flannel but NOT any precuts. They will shirk a bit and you won't have the original size any longer.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:09 AM
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Thanks so much ladies!
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:12 PM
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I seem to be a dissenter--I frequently use flannel as backs and rarely prewash. In more than 20 years, the warranty to replace worn quilts has never been used! I will prewash if it is bargain store quality. When that shrinks it is the weight I want it to be. I believe that the quilting holds it in place or that it shrinks equally with the rest of the quilt. I like to think I'm efficient rather than lazy. 8^)
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Bree123 View Post
I pre-wash everything that comes into my house due to contact allergies. Doesn't matter if it's a 2.5" mini charm. I use the soak cycle with cold water (Tap water cold if that's available) and a small amount of detergent. When they're done, I dry them partway on Low Heat in the dryer & iron them the rest of the way dry (or lay flat to dry if it's too late at night when I pull them out of the dryer).

Quality fabric really doesn't shrink or fray that much anymore. If you want to be overly cautious, you can run a zig-zag or overcast stitch along the edges of the pre-cut. I've done that once or twice back when I bought cheapy fabric & it works fine. The other thing I've done if I'm going to be cutting it down further (e.g., for applique) to where I have more than 1/4" extra from the edge is to run a narrow bead of Fray Block or Fray Check along the edge. I wouldn't recommend leaving that on there, but if you have as little as an extra 1/8" (meaning 3/8" total), you can easily trim it off.

Note: if you suspect the end-user is going to be washing the quilt in warm water or a medium dryer, you will need to pre-wash in those same conditions -- and then I would definitely recommend securing the edges with stitching because heat & and agitation will both cause the flannel to shrink and fray more. There's no need to wash in those conditions if the recipient is willing to wash on gentle cycle, cold water, low heat tumble dry, but flannel that was pre-shrunk under those conditions will shrink again if exposed to higher heat and/or more agitation in either washer or dryer.
bree. What do you use to wash?
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:13 PM
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I never pre-wash decent quality fabrics. They just aren't going to shrink much. I won't waste time on it, and haven't for many years.
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