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Thread: prewashing and fraying

  1. #1
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    I'd heard or read somewhere that if you clip the corners of your fabric before washing it would prevent fraying. I always do that, but they still fray. Would they fray even more if I didn't do that?

  2. #2
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I also tried the "Clip the Corners" method and my fabrics still frayed, didn't seem to be any less or more than if I did nothing to the edges. This was also LQS type fabric. I tried the pinking shears trick and it didn't stop the fraying. I've also sewed along the edges prior to washing but it still frayed. Some fabrics don't fray at all and then some others I will loose at least an inch off the total cut. I ALWAYS was in cold on a delicate cycle and only put in the dryer until damp them iron. sorry, I don't have any positive answers for you!!

  3. #3
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Probably. Some people pink the edges, others sew or serge them, some even sew the two raw edges together. Me? I just let 'em fray, and then rip off the strings. Sometimes I get civilized and use the scissors. I figure the last inch or so of fabric is going to be cut away anyway.

  4. #4
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster
    Probably. Some people pink the edges, others sew or serge them, some even sew the two raw edges together. Me? I just let 'em fray, and then rip off the strings. Sometimes I get civilized and use the scissors. I figure the last inch or so of fabric is going to be cut away anyway.
    I agree that there is always fabric to spare to cut off the fraying. I have learned to never get just a 1/4 yard of anything because a lot of times, you will loose an inch or two and no longer have the 1/4 yard required by the pattern.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Grammashel's Avatar
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    By clipping the corners the fraying is limited. When I don't clip the threads will keep pulling from one side to the other. Clipping stops that. I always clip.

  6. #6
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    I've found if you don't clip far enough in, it still frays the same (or nearly the same) as if you didn't. If I clip past the selvedge, it seems to do better. Like 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch triangle might not be enough, but 3/4 x 3/4 might, kwim?

  7. #7
    Super Member MaryAnnMc's Avatar
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    I agree, everything I've tried still frays. But I've decided to stick with pinking: it does cut down on the fraying considerably, and I can always tell which fabrics in my stash have been washed. that alone is a good reason.

  8. #8
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    I use a pinking blade in my rotary cutter. It reduces fraying, but doesn't eliminate it.

  9. #9
    Junior Member gaevren's Avatar
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    I always serge the very edge of my fabric before washing and since I started that I haven't had a single fraying issue with washing.

    Pinking shears would also work very nicely and are much much faster than clipping. Also a lot cheaper than a serger! I was making a satin dress for a friend a few months ago, and although I serged the edges of the fabric before washing (yes, it was a washable satin, but it did not go in the dryer!!) when I cut out the pattern pieces they immediately began to fray. So I took my pinking shears and carefully pinked the very edges and didn't have another fray at all the entire time I sewed the dress together.

  10. #10
    Senior Member shnnn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryAnnMc
    I can always tell which fabrics in my stash have been washed. that alone is a good reason.
    That's a good idea!

  11. #11
    Super Member M.I.Late's Avatar
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    I also just let it fray and just rip off the threads. When I wash fabric, I open it all the way up. I find that some manufacturers don't get it rolled on the bolt completely straight. So, I open it up completely, wash and dry it, refold it so there are no diagonal waves when held selvage to selvage, (I usually lose 1-2 inches here - but it has been as much as 3.) Then I trim it with the rotary cutter and iron it and it gets either used then or stashed for future use.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster
    Probably. Some people pink the edges, others sew or serge them, some even sew the two raw edges together. Me? I just let 'em fray, and then rip off the strings. Sometimes I get civilized and use the scissors. I figure the last inch or so of fabric is going to be cut away anyway.
    Ditto. I have had very expensive fabric fray and less expensive fabric not fray. Just go with the flow. It is going to do what it's going to do. There may be a fail proof way to stop the fraying but I don't know what it is. Of course there is a lot I don't know. If someone does I am sure they will tell us about it. BrendaK

  13. #13
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I do a zig zag stitch along the edges . It really does not take long ( no need for prescise sewing) and is worth the effort .
    Before sergers became readily available thats how we "overcast" garment seams to prevent fraying.

  14. #14
    Super Member EagarBeez's Avatar
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    I just stitch the bottom, toss in one of those laundry bags and use gentle cycle on machine

  15. #15
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    I finally learned to either serge the raw edge or overcast the raw edge with a long, narrow zigzag stitch before washing.

    I lose - at the most - about 1/8 inch of fabric when I zigzag the edges - none when I overcast if I remove the stitching.

    Two other advantages: I can tell which fabrics have been washed - or not

    It totally eliminates all those threads and wads and fabric loss.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Super Member valsma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster
    Probably. Some people pink the edges, others sew or serge them, some even sew the two raw edges together. Me? I just let 'em fray, and then rip off the strings. Sometimes I get civilized and use the scissors. I figure the last inch or so of fabric is going to be cut away anyway.
    Me to. I just let them fray. Clean it up later when I rip the fabric.

  17. #17
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    If one has a piece of $12.00 yard fabric - and lose 2 inches of it due to fraying (one inch from each end) - That's about $0.67 of fabric that was lost.

    At $10.00/yard - That's only about $0.55 of fabric that is lost.

    Doesn't make sense to me to waste fabric like that - especially when so many people are crying about the high cost of cotton fabrics.

  18. #18
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I have no trouble trimming the strings from frayed fabric edges. It is still faster than spending time edge-sewing a piece that will be cut off anyway. To me that's a waste of thread.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    I have no trouble trimming the strings from frayed fabric edges. It is still faster than spending time edge-sewing a piece that will be cut off anyway. To me that's a waste of thread.
    I got a few spools of super big serger thread "cheap" years ago.

    To itch his own. (Depending on where the itch is, or course. :mrgreen: )

  20. #20
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster
    Probably. Some people pink the edges, others sew or serge them, some even sew the two raw edges together. Me? I just let 'em fray, and then rip off the strings. Sometimes I get civilized and use the scissors. I figure the last inch or so of fabric is going to be cut away anyway.
    Yup. That's me to a T.

    I've tried snipping the corner and noticed no difference at all.

  21. #21

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    i am one of the new people, however, i mind ya, not just yardage, i rip off the selvages, and rip the top and bottom edges,if they are small i put them in a net bag and wash, rinse, what ever is required, and that is that, bye

    jan

  22. #22
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    Well, thanks, ladies. I guess I'll just go with the flow and let it fray and cut off the tangles later. I do like the idea of pinking the edges so you can always tell if the fabric was washed. Trouble is my pinking shears are hard to open and close.

  23. #23

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    i fixed my pinking shears with pb blaster (auto dept in wally world), let them sit for a couple of hours and then cut up every rag i could find, the stuff is greasy, and wiped them down really well, it took some time to loosen them up and get all the smelly pb off them, but it worked. and the nasty stuff will help with tools too. (had to hide mine from bob, bf, as he keep thinking it was his, he has his own, lol) but i have also used it to get adhesive off stuff. it will take the finish off paint, so if you have any be careful. silicone spray will also help. (i do upholstery on boats, that is why i have some really wierd things under the cabinet.

    happy quilting

    jan in palatka

  24. #24
    Senior Member It'sJustMe's Avatar
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    I put my small cuts (1 yd and under) in dollar store lingerie bags and prewash that way. No fraying. My bigger cuts I run off on the serger before washing. Again, no fraying.

  25. #25
    Senior Member quiltbuddy's Avatar
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    I wonder if it would work to lay a line of glue down the edge. Fray check would be too expensive but maybe another household glue that doesn't wash out.

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