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raveling fabric.

raveling fabric.

Old 08-13-2021, 01:27 PM
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Default raveling fabric.

I just completed a kit that used Moda fabric and I understand it is excellent quality but I had a sewing room that looked like a Colorado snow storm in August. I starched as much as I could but as it was pre-cut strips for the most part I could not pre-wash. Has anyone else had this issue and any suggestions? I think the pre-wash and then starching must tighten the threads. What do you think?
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Old 08-13-2021, 03:38 PM
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I love batiks because they are so tightly woven. No shredding there. But to your question, I haven't used the Moda fabric, but have experienced significant shrinkage with a loosely woven fabric when it was washed. I have also used some loosely woven fabric that never shrunk. After a couple of experiences of having to double sew all my seams I am very careful to look and feel any fabric I buy. I can love the color, but if that fabric will play a big part in my project, it stays at the store.
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Old 08-13-2021, 03:52 PM
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The way that most quilters are taught to straighten fabric - bringing selvages together and sliding back and forth until the fold at the bottom is straight, then trim the end - does not really give you a true straight grain. It might be close, but rarely will it really be on grain.

Older members will remember learning to pull a thread, or on tighter weaves, to tear. Last year, while testing several brands of white fabrics, I tried pulling threads and found it to be nearly impossible. Quilting cotton is too tight to pull a thread, but too loose to prevent fraying. The reason I was testing the fabrics to begin with was bc I was so frustrated and annoyed with Kona cotton. Per Robert Kaufman, there is only one grade of Kona cottons, dispelling the common thought that they must have varying qualities for the big box stores and quilt shops.
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Old 08-13-2021, 04:02 PM
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Depending on the time I have, and how much fabric I'm working with, I will tear, then trim. Most of my stash is in 1/2 to 1 yard pieces. People think that tearing is wasteful, but I find it to be the exact opposite. Make a cut about 1" in, past the selvage. One quick rip. It's very satisfying, lol. The edge usually has maybe 1/4" of loose threads. I press the edge so the loose bits are flat, then use one that is visible to line up my ruler. That's it. After that, my fabric, strips, pieces do not fray or ravel. It makes the backs of tops so much neater - no taking hours to clean up threads before going to the long arm quilter.

People who don't like it say you've wasted a strip, or that it's going to damage the remaining fabric - some claiming several inches. I've never had that happen, and like a clean edge. I'm attaching a couple of pictures. The pink one is a fabric from LQS, cut as it came off the bolt. When I straightened it, using the "normal" method, you can see that I'm going to have to cut quite a bit off to straighten the edge - so not sure how I'd be losing so much more anyhow. Note that I do not hold the shop responsible for fabric that is crooked on the bolt, as in this case. Unless shops are tearing, which most people don't seem to want, you're going to have this happen sometimes.

The second picture is a fabric that I tore and pressed. As you can see, I really don't have to trim much off.
Attached Thumbnails straighted-fabric.jpg   torn-edge.jpg  
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Old 08-14-2021, 08:25 AM
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I am a fan of tearing large pieces of fabric. I have never had a problem with doing that.
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Old 08-14-2021, 10:26 AM
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I sometimes tear as well. But, the reason I had to join in the conversation is my green with envy over you being able to sew in the summer. My sewing room is upstairs and is like an oven during the summer months. Very little sewing goes on then for me. We just finished 21 days of over 100 degree heat and to boot, wildfire smoke in the sky like a london fog most days. I am praying that we get some relief soon. Call me green with envy here in the smoky nevadan desert.
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Old 08-15-2021, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by rosimone View Post
I just completed a kit that used Moda fabric and I understand it is excellent quality but I had a sewing room that looked like a Colorado snow storm in August. I starched as much as I could but as it was pre-cut strips for the most part I could not pre-wash. Has anyone else had this issue and any suggestions? I think the pre-wash and then starching must tighten the threads. What do you think?
The phrases "pre-cut strips" and "Colorado snow storm" caught my eye here, because I just had the same experience.

​​​​​​Jelly roll strips shed a lot. The long pinked edges are the cause - all these little points lose fibres since the fabric isn't starched, and I suspect whatever cutting method they use doesn't involve super sharp blades. Cutting the same number of strips from yardage of the same fabric will produce much, much less fluff, so I'm pretty sure it's the cutting, not the fabric at fault.

I've only bought a couple commercially-cut jelly rolls, but I learned with the first one to give it as good shake/brush off over the garbage bin when I start, and to expect to vacuum a couple times during the project. Actually, vacuuming the sides of the roll before unrolling might work, if you have a small, clean vacuum.

​​​​​​In my experience, starching will reduce lint during cutting. Starching jelly roll strips won't do much, though, because the fluff is already there from the cutting done at the factory. All pre-cuts with pinked edges do this, but it's most evident with jelly rolls because each strip has such long cut edges. Unfortunately, it's a feature of the production process; the only way to avoid it is to not buy them.
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Old 08-15-2021, 04:43 AM
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I guess it must depend on the individual fabrics. I just finished a lap size quilt with a Moda jelly roll and was impressed with the fact that it didn't shed, not even a little bit. It was my first "jelly roll" quilt and won't be my last.
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Old 08-15-2021, 05:51 AM
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I have always liked moda. And the moda I have gotten is pretty stable and the moda flannel I used in one of those "rag quilts" did not work out as well as I had planned as it was the only fabric in my rag quilt that refused to "rag" Even after 20 years and multiple washings, I can easily tell the moda fabric by the little curls of fabric that did not ravel. I did read recently though that the manufacturers are actually starting to make a "lighter" fabric that is called quilting cotton. ummm....maybe my large vintage stash just went up in value.
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Old 08-18-2021, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by RedGarnet222 View Post
I sometimes tear as well. But, the reason I had to join in the conversation is my green with envy over you being able to sew in the summer. My sewing room is upstairs and is like an oven during the summer months. Very little sewing goes on then for me. We just finished 21 days of over 100 degree heat and to boot, wildfire smoke in the sky like a london fog most days. I am praying that we get some relief soon. Call me green with envy here in the smoky nevadan desert.
I had the same problem until we finally replaced the upstairs A/C. While we were doing it, my husband had them add another A/C vent in my sewing room. It will freeze you out now, so I can sew any time!
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