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Prewashing problem solved!

Prewashing problem solved!

Old 08-01-2020, 01:14 PM
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Default Prewashing problem solved!

I’m probably late to the party with this, but I discovered something ..yesterday.

I don’t normally prewash my fabrics, because the few times I have, it was a nightmare. I did yardage and it came out of the dryer twisted and tangled and stringy. I’ve been washing fabric for masks, but I’ve been using scraps and it was easier to just do it on the stovetop in a big pot. My scraps are low (woot!) so I needed to wash several yard cuts of colors and one length each of 6yd and 3yd of white. I had a load of sheets to do, so I tossed the white in with them. And guess what? The fabric came out normal! No twists or tangles. Some strings, but nothing like I’ve seen before. I put the colors in with my normal “darks” and threw in a color catcher, and same thing.

it was amazing. We won’t talk about how pathetic my life is that this is so exciting. 😆

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 08-01-2020 at 05:35 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:47 PM
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I am a big believer in prewashing and I do it exactly the way you describe, I just throw the fabric in with my regular wash, warm water and fragrance free soap. I don't use dryer sheets, but I do have wool balls.

I use color catchers (I did tests with the ones that I found at the dollar store and they were fine), and I do pretest fabrics I'm worried about by dunking an end into a white coffee cup and boiling water and see if there is any immediate bleeding.

After prewashing comes ironing, and I do not like to iron! I find I don't want to deal with much more than about 6 yards in any given load.

I don't buy or wash jellyrolls, just don't want to mess with them. I'll wash odd sized scraps, but I think the worst in turns of getting twisted and knotted up are old style 1/4 yards. I do put the smaller, odder, and long and skinny pieces into lingerie bags.

After washing and before drying it is important to take out any snags/knots in the fabric and I like to give them a good snap! to set the fibers in place. I dry until just before full dry, take out the fabric neatly and try to iron as soon as possible there after.
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:46 PM
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My washer has a hand wash cycle and that eliminated the string problem so no twisting in the dryer. Probably the delicate cycle will work too. No agitation or no swishing, if no agitator, in the hand wash cycle.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:15 PM
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I put my fabric in sweater bags and throw them in with my regular wash. Then dry separately 2 or 3 at a time . Minimal fraying and much less wrinkly.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:36 PM
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serging the ends will stop the fraying
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:43 PM
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I've always hand washed my fabrics, if I have a large amount of one color, I've always cut them down to one yard increments and then pinked the ends so the fraying wouldn't be so bad. I found out over the winter that they now have pinking rotary blades and bought a half dozen of them.
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
serging the ends will stop the fraying
That would work, but I don’t have a serger. 😕
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Railroadersbrat View Post
I've always hand washed my fabrics, if I have a large amount of one color, I've always cut them down to one yard increments and then pinked the ends so the fraying wouldn't be so bad. I found out over the winter that they now have pinking rotary blades and bought a half dozen of them.
Oh, I could definitely be on board with a pinking rotary cutter!
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:02 AM
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Years ago a quilter posted how to kind of bi-fold your yardage, and pin along the top before putting into the machine. That is what I do and it really keeps the fraying down to a minimal. You just take the fabric out of the washer and give it a good shake before putting it into the dryer. I can do 10 metres at a time this way.
I see back in 2012 we had a similar conversation, you can search it under Folding Fabric for washing, unfortunately on this old PC I can't do links here anymore.

Last edited by thimblebug6000; 08-02-2020 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:04 AM
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The pinking blades have been around for decades. I bought my first one for a quilt class back in the 90's. They are much sharper now then they use to be. There use to be a scallop blade too but I haven't seen those around much anymore. The spaced hole blade is still available but mostly used for working with wool.
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