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Thread: Update on the pre-wash

  1. #1
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Seacoast New Hampshire
    I washed a full load of fabric, gentle cycle, cold water. Dried on high heat, no dryer sheet. White and yellow wrinkled more and the white had the most strings. The other fabric wasn't that stringy at all.

    Warm and Natural batting - natural color - was washed in warm water, gentle cycle. It came out a lovely cream color and didn't lose its shape a bit. Dried on high heat, no dryer sheet. So soft and pretty, I wish I could use it as a backing! It did fill up the lint filter in the dryer.

    I just trimmed strings and folded. I'll probably iron as I use them. They look so happy all clean and fluffy! :D

    Tomorrow I'll work on a little 12x12 table topper, wash it, and see how it comes out. I hope it stays smooth. I like the neat look. :wink:

  2. #2
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Dudley, UK
    Sounds like you had a fun time doing that laod of laundry! As much as we complain about washing and ironing, there is pleasure to be gained from washing and ironing things for our quilts!

    It always makes me smile when I iron my clothes and find strings from my latest FQ purchases stuck to them!

  3. #3
    Super Member Ducky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Someone told me that I didn't need to pre-wash my fabric if it was bought at a quilting store vs. JoAnn's, WalMart, Hobby Lobby, etc. She said even though they may have some of the same prints, the quilting store buys the higher quality, higher thread count fabric. Do you know if this is true?

  4. #4
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I overcast the ends of my fabrics before washing them - I use either a narrow zigzag on the regular machine or overcast the raw edges with my serger. I set the stitch length longer to minimize the thread used. It really cuts down on the stray threads and fraying that would occur during the washing and drying processes. Yes, I know it's another step away from the really fun part, but I think it's worth it.

    To satisfy my curiousity, I measured fabrics from WalMart and from the Quilt Shop before and after washing.

    I soak my fabrics in hot water (I could still put my hand in it quickly without getting scalded, but it was hotter than comfortable) for a half hour (or more) and then wash it gently in cold water. I dry the fabrics on a permanent press heat setting.

    Just about ALL the fabrics shrank some. Some shrank a LOT more than others, to be sure.

    Some fabrics from the quilt shop have also had a lot of excess dye in them. I had to rinse them a couple of times to get the water clearer.

    I wash ALL fabric I'm going to put into a quilt. The ones I make are meant to be used and it's almost a given that they will need to be washed at some point.

    The first time I wet the fabrics, I keep the colors separated. That way if there is a "problem child" in the group, I don't really ruin anything. If/when I see a lot of color in the water, I try to isolate the offending piece and see if I can get it to behave.

    I had bought a piece of orange background Halloween fabric from WalMart last October and could NOT get it to quit bleeding. Much to my amazement, I was able to return it. The water still looked like orange KoolAid after over 20 changes of water. I consider that defective.

    Also, to my amazement, I told one store about it, and the manager (I don't know if it was the store manager or the department manager) told the clerk to put it back out for sale. Sheesh!

    I have about eight WalMarts within 20 miles of my home in Minnesota.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Ethel A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Fabulous!! I'm so glad you went ahead and prewashed and shared your experience!!!! It never hurts to experiment, and we all could benefit from your experience!

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