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Thread: To wash or not wash precut strips?

  1. #1
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    To wash or not wash precut strips?

    I have "Juniper" Batik 2 1/2" strips by Island Batiks (Kathy Engle). They are gorgeous, the colors are vibrant and some dark. I normally wash all my fabric before sewing....but not sure about strips. I am afraid the color will run on the white. Has anyone had experience with this brand of batiks? Any suggestions for washing?

  2. #2
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I don't pre-wash pre-cuts because of raveling but I wonder if batiks maybe don't ravel? I don't pre-wash anything so I can't say. I use color catchers when the quilt is finished.
    I'm sure others can help you out more.

  3. #3
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I usually wash everything as I hate bad surprises. You can swish the batiks in your sink or a basin of hot water with a few drops of detergent. do not wring or twist. Like colors together!
    empty the water & rinse with clear water. I then roll the pieces in a towel & apply pressure (OK, I stand on it). I have a large counter, so I lay charm squares out, patting them into place. With strips, I either lay them out the same way, or drape them over the ironing board. I allow them to dry overnight. If you have the counter space, they don't even need to be ironed.
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  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I just take my chances with pre-cuts, but I pre-wash everything else. One thing to consider is that you could have some shrinkage (probably not with batiks) and that could affect how you can use the strips in a quilt. You could test the strips for color-fastness, and if any of them shed their color then do as PaperPrincess suggests.

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    Please explain to me - - - -

    For those that wash large pieces of fabric - for whatever reasons you have - and do not wash small pieces of fabric -

    Why not? It seems to me that small pieces of fabric have the same attributes as large pieces of fabric - shrinkage, chemicals, bleeding, etc.


    I "wash before cutting" - a very small piece of badly behaved fabric can wreak a lot of havoc.

    Think seasonings while cooking - it does not take much of some spices to make (or break) a dish. Same with a small piece of fabric that has bad manners -

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    I usually wash everything as I hate bad surprises. You can swish the batiks in your sink or a basin of hot water with a few drops of detergent. do not wring or twist. Like colors together!
    empty the water & rinse with clear water. I then roll the pieces in a towel & apply pressure (OK, I stand on it). I have a large counter, so I lay charm squares out, patting them into place. With strips, I either lay them out the same way, or drape them over the ironing board. I allow them to dry overnight. If you have the counter space, they don't even need to be ironed.
    I would rather be "surprised" sooner than later - so I also wash scraps -

    I usually do not buy pre-cuts because of the probable shrinkage when they are washed.

  7. #7
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    Thank you to all who replied! I also contacted Island Batiks direct and asked the question. I am including their reply for anyone else who might have questioned this.

    Thank you for using Island Batik ! We do prewash all of our fabrics to eliminate bleeding and suggest washing in cold water only. It is not recommended to wash strips prior to use, because they will lose their shape and will fray.

    I will put my trust in their reply, I am sure they know their product!

  8. #8
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    Why not? It seems to me that small pieces of fabric have the same attributes as large pieces of fabric - shrinkage, chemicals, bleeding, etc.

    For me, it's more about raveling when washed and dried with smaller pieces. I have a rack in my dryer and can dry things on that so that they will shrink with the heat but not ravel.
    Patrice S

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    With careful handling, there should be minimal raveling.

    I agree that washing small pieces is a "bit of a bother" - but a dye bleed is a "major pain in the area"

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    I've washed strips both of the times I used them (washed by hand, spun in garment bag, hung on line). I was still able to use them as 2.5" strips, because most of the shrinkage was in the length.
    Lisa

  11. #11
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I don't buy pre cuts of any size. I do pre wash all new fabric in cold water. I don't have the problems others have.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

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    I have put pre-cuts in a pot of boiling water few a few minute, dump in the sink and hand wash. Then I lay them out flat to dry, usually outside in the shade. A little more work, but less worries later.....and some of those batiks bled like crazy.

  13. #13
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    If you are concerned about the color bleeding, wash one piece to check. Even if it bleeds, I would be more likely to use similar colors and then a color catcher when done. ONCE, ONCE I washed some precuts. The amount of raveling, tangling and ironed that resulted had me pulling out my hair!

  14. #14
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Oh don't do it. You will most likely regret it. I know I did. Just sew together and wash the quilt with a color catcher.
    Anna Quilts

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    I have to prewash all fabrics due to medical conditions. Use a gentle cycle on washing machine. I do a lot of scrap quilting & have aquired fabrics from other quilters that are odd shapes, I prewash them on gentle cycles. I also use color catchers. All above comments very useful.
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  16. #16
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    I don't prewash anything, I wash the completed quilt in cold water with a few color catchers before gifting. Never had an issue but I'm not a fan of batiks either so I haven't made anything with that type of fabric in years.

  17. #17
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Nanachar, I'm glad you got the info from the company that makes them. It makes perfect sense to me. I don't often use precuts, but would not wash them because I wouldn't want to do it by hand, and I'm sure they'd fray out too much to use if I put them in the washer. My high efficiency washer ties things into knots
    True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you donít need to regularly escape from. ~Brianna Wiest

  18. #18
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    I wash my pre-cuts because of the chemicals that bother my finger tips and finger nails. I have used the garment bag in the washing machine - it was okay but a royal pain taking the piece out of the bag. Not much in the raveling department - just tangled. My chosen method is to put them in the kitchen sink or a washing tub with a bit of detergent and then rinse and place in a salad spinner. I bought a laundry rack to hang them on to dry. One can use a plastic hanger too - but I like the rack because when I am putting strips I use it to keep them organized. If I have washed the 5 inch precuts - those I just lay out on a towel on the kitchen table - the don't take long to dry and I have used the iron to speed the process a bit.

  19. #19
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    One of my LQS's had weekly quilting tips online from various sources. One was from YouTube, featuring I think, Laura. She suggested using a salad spinner to agitate small fabric pieces for prewashing.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  20. #20
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    Thank you all for your comments! I have been quilting for almost 40 years but have just started to use some precuts. I especially liked the comments about using a salad spinner after sink washing, should I Decide to wash, first. Who knew a salad spinner could show up in my quilting supplies��

  21. #21
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    If I have a suspect like red or blue I snIp a piece off and soak it in hot water if I remember. I’ve never had a problem in a completed quilt with no prewashing. I use precuts sometimes but don’t prewash those either. I don’t have any chemical sensitivities.
    Alyce

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