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To wash or not to wash.. That is the question

To wash or not to wash.. That is the question

Old 12-31-2011, 09:59 AM
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Question To wash or not to wash.. That is the question

This has been a life long question, to prewash your fabric or not to prewash. I prefer not to wash because after I do the quilting and finish the binding, I put the whole quilt in the wash with hot water and a cold rinse to get the 'crinkled, home feel' to the quilt. Yes, I understand that red does bleed and so do a lot of other colors, but if you choose your colors correctly, all should blend and you wont have any issues. Ok, stop screaming, I hear you.. white.. ok, I have never and I repeat, never had any issues. Besides, they make color catcher sheets and other nifty things these days to catch running dyes.

So what is your take on this question, wash or don't wash?
Old 12-31-2011, 10:12 AM
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I do not wash as well. My LQS owner does not wash hers - so I'm following her lead. There was a speaker at our Guild who said she wasn't a washer, but has switched to washing because of more fabrics bleeding now days. With the cost going up I would hope the bleeding would NOT be an issue. With that said, I have Shout Color Catchers in my cupboard that I always use after finishing a quilt - and have NOT had a problem.

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Old 12-31-2011, 10:20 AM
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I don't wash, not reds or any other color.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:24 AM
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I used to was everything when I sewed only garments, but since becoming a quilter, I do not wash my quilting fabric, and I have never had a problem, but I also use a couple of color catchers in the wash and have never used an obvious "bleeder" I like working with nice crisp unwashed fabric. It doesn't fray so much and just seems nicer to work with. I usually used w & n batting and I like the crinkle I get when washed. If I come upon a piece of fabric I want to use that I have washed, from my earlier days, I just starch the daylight out of it and press it well.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:37 AM
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I do both. If I have a fabric that I suspect will fade, I wash. For most fabrics, I don't wash. I also use color catchers with my finished quilts.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:47 AM
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You'll get hundreds of answers. Pro's and con's. This topic has even taken an ugly turn many times here. Best advice- do what you have always done- whichever camp you are from.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:48 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Traveling by RV, USA
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I wash, always. Every time I have not washed, something has bled badly. Once a red applique rose bled into the white background of a piece I'd spent many many hours hand appliqueing. Thank god it washed out with several rinse and a handful of color catchers. Never again. Everything goes right from the shop bag into the laundry hamper, and if I am afraid it might still bleed (had one red that bled after several washings) it gets tested with white fabric.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:01 AM
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I was a 'washer of all things fabric' but now I only was batiks and something that I'm worried about for some reason. With that being said, I end up washing almost everything since (until recently) 90% of my purchases were batik.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:06 AM
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I wash almost everything, mostly because I hate the formaldehyde they use to keep the cotton from attracting bugs or wearing out in storage before it is sold. That said, if the pattern I am making has a lot of intricate pieces, I may skip the wash since the starch I use isn't as strong as that fabric finish they use on the new fabric.

I like the crinkle effect as well, so I don't mind any shrinkage in the washing machine afterwards. All of my quilts are made to be washable and to wear well.

Pretty much the wash/ not to wash question is a matter of preference.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
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I've never prewashed before but recently made a quilt that I wanted a smoother finish on (less puckering) so prewashed the fabric... Hated working with the washed fabric but loved the result. I will likely prewash again but it won't be my default choice.
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