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Thread: Washed or unwashed fabric?

  1. #26
    2wheelwoman's Avatar
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    I see a lot of references here to "with color catchers." What does this mean? Is there a specific product, or is it a technique, or something else?
    Sorry to be so dense. :oops:

    Bernice

  2. #27
    cookingardener's Avatar
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    I'm wondering what a color catcher is too...

  3. #28
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    Color catchers are made by SHOUT and are like a cloth you put in the wash and it catches the colors that might run. You can find them in the laundry isle in the grocery store or Wal-Nart. Come in a small box.

  4. #29
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    More than the bleeding and shrinkage, I launder imported fabrics to get rid of chemicals - especially pesticides.

    But....

    I have two red and white quilts on my bed. ALL of the fabric was prewashed. Some pieces were done twice. I believed I had completely bled it out, but now I have red, white and pink quilts. Not even from washing... presumably just the humid summers!!! :evil:

    Also, I have worked in quilt shops. Those fabrics shrink. Some Moda fabrics had 8% shrinkage. The flannels shrunk to 38" - 39" wide (including selvedges).

    Still, my primary concern is the nasty chemicals.

  5. #30
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Depends on the fabric for me. I've been working with panels and handkerchief cheater squares lately and didn't wash those so they'd be easier to cut on the straight lines. Still working on getting these done so the jury is out as to whether or not this was a good idea.

    Recently I found a fat quarter bundle on sale but debated about buying it since the colors looked so drab. Got it anyway and after washing the colors brightened up to just what I needed. Must have been really dusty from sitting around for a while.

    I always prewash reds and other bright colors that are combined with white.

  6. #31
    Senior Member JANW's Avatar
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    I always prewash and find you just can't predict what might bleed. I'm also a color catcher fan and that's how I know bleeding is frequent. I would hate to have a quilt ruined after all my hard work and especially a gifted one.

  7. #32
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    I ALWAYS prewash and have had the unfortunate luck to have many fabrics run. It isn't always reds as others have also mentioned and I have had fabrics from JoAnns run as well as quilt shops. I've had issues with blues and blacks as well. The latest JoAnn fabric was red with little white triangle trees and it was very inexpensive. I have an asthmatic in the house and am very warry of excess chemicals in our home environment, the only reason I haven't invested in color catchers.

    Prewashing also makes it easier to grab my fabric and go, change my fabric choices at the last minute or whip up a project on the spur of the moment and they all play nice together. Most of my projects would be washed frequently anyway...I rarely do projects other than pin cushions and ornaments that aren't washed (and washed often!!) :D

  8. #33
    Echoes's Avatar
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    Thank you for giving me the quilt name. It was on the tip of my tongue but just wouldn't come out.... I used my favorite dragonfly fabric as the light and all the greens are lush and kinda tropical feeling.

  9. #34
    Super Member Crafty1's Avatar
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    retrogirl02: Prewashing also makes it easier to grab my fabric and go, change my fabric choices at the last minute or whip up a project on the spur of the moment and they all play nice together.
    I am exactly with you on that! I always pre-wash all the fabrics I buy so when I'm ready to create something it's ready! Also because I don't like smelly fabrics. :)

  10. #35
    Senior Member JANW's Avatar
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    When I bring them in the house, they are cut with a pinking rotary cutter and washed. That way I know by the pinking that I didn't miss washing too.

  11. #36
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    I pre wash all of it. It will break your heart to complete a quilt using red (especially bad to bleed), black and other dark and wash it and wow....bleeding! I sometimes will wash the darker twice expecially if I am using any white or cream in the quilt.

  12. #37
    Nanciii's Avatar
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    I do not prewash I have been quilting 3 years and never run into colors running. Now I only buy name brand fabric cuz I like the feel. I have used color cathers and there has never been anything on them. I do not have any allergies so I cant address that problem. Every quilt I have made has been in bright colors too.


    Nanci

  13. #38
    conblond2005's Avatar
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    I don't always wash my fabric but did learn after a black and white quilt with red borders did run into the white. That was before I heard about color catchers.

    I've noticed too that after a long day of sewing or cutting I end up with an asthma attack and have had to use my nebulizer or albuterol. It's not too fun when you can breathe. I hate to prewash because of the fraying but know that I should so I don't get so sick. Does anyone know if the fray stop works when you wash or how do you keep it from fraying so bad.

  14. #39
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    Connie, I've heard of people cutting the corners of the fabric piece to prevent fraying and also people who use pinking shears or pinking shear blades on their rotary cutters to do the top and bottom again. I don't use either-----if it frays, it frays and I have to buy enough to account for it.

  15. #40
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    I pre wash all fabrics and that is because as a newbie I was buying all my quilt fabric from a high end LQS...and they told me to wash my fabric.
    Haha...thanks Patrice, now I know why!
    But I still wash all my fabric so it is all on the same page!
    Thanks
    Kirsten

  16. #41
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    I used to prewash, now I don't, so if I'm working on something I just make sure it's either all prewashed or not.

  17. #42
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Most of the time I pre-wash (because "they" say I should :wink: ), but I really like to work with "new" fabric. With all the steaming I do before the final top is finished, I think the shrinkage has already happened. I haven't had problems (yet) with bleeding. When I pre-wash, I just smooth the pieces out fresh from the dryer. I press befoe cutting (most of the time :oops: ).

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