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Thread: Should I wash batting before using it in quilt?

  1. #1
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    Should I wash batting before using it in quilt?

    Should natural batting like cotton, wool, bamboo or combinations of such, be washed before using it in a quilt? I don't know for sure myself, but it would make sense. I guess in my long learning curve in the art of quilting I missed this bit of information.


    Thanks for any answers to the question from a still-learning-to-be quilter.

  2. #2
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I don't wash mine, but some do.....it usually depends on how wrinkled or lumpy it is.....sometimes just spreading it out and letting it "rest" will remove the lumps, bumps and wrinkles.....if you wash in a machine, don't agitate or you will have a large mess.....machine drying will help shrink it if you are looking for a smoother look

  3. #3
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Never pre- wash a batting, it will shred in the agitation. You can pre- shrink a batting if you do not want that antique crinkly look . Poly battings never need to be preshrunk as there is no shrinkage in poly. Most manufactures list on the package the expected shrinkage, and guidelines for preshrinking if desired. They also indicate on the package recomendations for how far apart the it should be quilted.

  4. #4
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    ACK! I can't imagine doing that. Hoping nobody says you have to, because I never have and don't ever plan to.

  5. #5
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    READ THE PACKAGE DIRECTIONS!!!!

    I know I just yelled - but that is the best place to find information.

    I wash warm and natural - I prefer a flat look - and once because one of my cats anointed it. I wash warm and natural on a short gentle cycle and dry it in the dryer on a gentle cycle until it's almost dry.

    I also have shredded a couple of battings - There was no label on them and I thought they looked washable. The ended up like shredded kleenex!

    Again - it depends on what you are starting out with and what you want to end up with.

    I think MOST battings do not need to be washed - especially if you don't mind some shrinkage.

  6. #6
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    Washing batting first-never have, never will. Love the look of a washed and dried quilt made with warm and natural and warm and white cotton batting. Not to mention so many little sewing seam mistakes magically disappear into the wrinkle-age.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I don't prewash batting. For people who want a completely flat look (no batting shrinkage), it's a lot easier to buy a poly batt than to prewash a cotton batt. Some traditional cotton battings cannot be pre-washed; they will fall apart in water, or the surface bonding agent will dissolve. A cotton batting such as Warm and Natural can be prewashed because it is needlepunched through scrim.

    I personally like the antique look for my quilts. Antique quilts were made using cotton batting, which shrinks just enough in the wash to give a softly krinkled look. Modern cotton batts shrink anywhere from 1 to 3%, which is just right for me.

  8. #8
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NanaCsews2 View Post
    Washing batting first-never have, never will. Love the look of a washed and dried quilt made with warm and natural and warm and white cotton batting. Not to mention so many little sewing seam mistakes magically disappear into the wrinkle-age.
    I agree, the wrinkles help hide my not so perfect stitches when I hand stitch my binding to the back.
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  9. #9
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I want the smooth look. Several of my family members want the heavier feel of cotton, so I preshrink mine. I usually use an 80/20 cotton/poly that works well. The only one I turned into shreds was a brand I had never used and I washed it instead of skipping the agitation. Whoops! I can still get some baby quilts out of it and I'll use the rest for crafts, so it's not a complete loss.

  10. #10
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    Never!!!!!
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  11. #11
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    I use Quilters Dream battings exclusively and have never washed any. It's bad enough washing fabric and pressing. I know not everyone does.
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  12. #12
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    I love the way a quilt looks, after the batting shrinks just a bit. It just seems to look more natural, that way.

  13. #13
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I have only done warm and natural, I would read the package first

  14. #14
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I prewash Warm and Natural (or at least wet it and throw it in a hot dryer) to shrink it and it works fine. If the batting is really wrinkled, I will throw it in the dryer with a couple of wet bath towels (ironing batting is just too much work).
    QuiltnLady1

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  15. #15
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I don't prewash anything except for flannel. I also like the crinkly quilt look. I will hang battings from a shelf in the basement to let wrinkles hang out.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  16. #16
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    It is smart of you to be considering the options beforehand. There are some surprises that are not a good thing! The package should tell you about shrinkage, and you can decide from that. I personally pre-shrink cotton battings, but I don't think that most people do.
    Dayle

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    I use Quilters Dream battings exclusively and have never washed any. It's bad enough washing fabric and pressing. I know not everyone does.
    I had purchased a king sized Quilters Dream batting - took it out of the package to get the wrinkles out of it - the wrinkles never came out - threw it in the dryer to fluff it - the wrinkles did not come out -

    Was going to wash it - UNTIL I read the instructions - which were on the BACK of the label - in relatively small print - which said DO NOT WASH - expected shrinkage around 1% - 1% I can live with.

    The person that long-armed said it behaved well.

  18. #18
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    Did not know that about poly batting. Thanks! I love what I learn from this board.
    Fay

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