Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Washing fabric before sewing?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    115
    Is it better to wash fabric before you sew, or after?

    I've read that people prefer to wash before for shrinkage, but the directions for the kits I bought (100% cotton) say not to wash first. So I'm unsure what to do. :?

  2. #2
    Super Member MissTreated's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    N61 6.1839', W149 52.0138'
    Posts
    1,220
    I think it's a personal thing. Some I do, some I don't. A bed quilt that is going to be laundered, I most definitely will. Wall hangings, not always. A lot of people believe because of the rigors batiks go through, they won't shrink, but I think some of them do.

    It's up to you.

    M

  3. #3
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    3,326
    What kind of kit is it? Normally, I prewash everything for quilting, but if its a kit that says do not, I don't. For some reason, if I'm making clothing I prefer not to prewash.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    115
    THey are two small quilt kits. One is a small child's blanket, the other a 39x58in blanket. 100% cotton. One has the top and bottom layer, the other is only the top. Neither have the batting.

    I guess I can wash one and not the other and see how they turn out? There is the thread and batting to think about too. Those shrink as well, right? So maybe it's better to wash it all when it's done so they can shrink at the same pace?

    This wasn't supposed to be so complicated! :lol:

  5. #5
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,851
    I would be willing to bet if the pieces are pre-cut, they are saying not to wash because of ravelling. If you don't wash the individual pieces, I'd certainly reccommend washing assembled top and backing before quilting. I use color grabber cloths that catch excess dye to be on the safe side.

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Out searching for some sunshine :-)
    Posts
    59,092
    Blog Entries
    1
    The fabric in the kits could also be from different fabric lines, they could end up shrinking differently and your blocks may not end up matching well. I would do like Moonpi said, just to be on the safe side.

  7. #7
    rein's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Eagle Point, OR
    Posts
    498
    OK Moonpi - I BITE! What on earth is a "grabber cloth"?

  8. #8
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    3,326
    color grabbers are made by shout I do believe, you throw them in the washer with your fabric/clothes whatever, and if anything bleeds during the wash the grabber cloth catches it and keeps the dye out of the other fabrics.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mary705's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Pinellas Park, FL
    Posts
    620
    I love those things. Use em in every load of laundry except my whites. Ans it is vy shout, JoAnns carries some too, but buy the Shot Color Catchers, and they even have a 55 cent off coupon on the inside of every box.

    I washed all 62 of my FQ a couple weeks ago (many different colors) in one load and they came out beautifully.

  10. #10
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    In the middle of a mess...
    Posts
    19,993
    Quote Originally Posted by jbsstrawberry
    color grabbers are made by shout I do believe, you throw them in the washer with your fabric/clothes whatever, and if anything bleeds during the wash the grabber cloth catches it and keeps the dye out of the other fabrics.
    I should have had some of those on hand when I did hubbys whites. Didn't realize there was a burgandy pillow case stuck in the washer and I didn't see it. Well, needless to say...he won't wear his pink underwear lol

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    19
    I wash and dry all the fabrics for quilts and iron before cutting pieces. They can be folded and hung on hangers to keep them ready.DON'T use dryer sheets in the dryer. These deposit a coating on the fabric which can prevent the iron-on to fuse to the fabric.
    My younger daughter was making her first quilt, and after cutting out the pieces read the instructions telling her to wash the fabric. SOOO, she dumped them all in the washer with some sheets. Then they went into the dryer. We could hear thumping..and when removed all the pieces were in one lump, and directly into the trash basket. Very expensive lesson.
    To wash small pieces, use a salad/lettuce washer with warm water, and if desired some mild soap...iron the pieces dry. This will work with precut pieces from a kit.
    Cecelia

  12. #12
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    IN
    Posts
    1,773
    I always wash ahead but did get a kit from JoAnn's that was just to learn a block. The pieces were tiny, already cut to size & I was just doing the block to learn the process. I'm starting to wash my fabric when I buy it so I can avoid waiting for the laundry when inspiration hits.
    Also, as Cecelia mentions, be sure not to use dryer sheets. I did and had a coating on my iron & a yellow mark I thought was a stain on my ironing board (came out with bleach in the wash). ***I'm big on bleaching in case you haven't noticed LOL.**** :lol:

  13. #13
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    on the Texas Coast
    Posts
    4,050
    if the pieces are small I soak them in warm water for a few minutes then lay them on a towel to dry then iron, this usually shrinks them if they're going to without making a tangled mess of ravels and you can see if the color is going to bleed.

  14. #14
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Adelanto, CA
    Posts
    4,053
    If the directions in the kits say not to wash, don't wash!

    But this question in general has many professionals who don't even agree whether to prewash fabric or not. I don't like to prewash fabrics, mostly cuz of the time and effort involved in ironing etc. Keep it simple is my motto. But I understand why some people do, allergies. One professional, I believe it is Sharon Craig, washes everything and then starches or puts sizing in, irons, folds.... way too much work for me.

    And many people like that there is a bit of shrinkage in a finished quilt, it gives it that 'quilted' look.

    I use the color catchers also for laundering the quilt when it is finished and it works great.

    hugs sue

  15. #15
    Junior Member GMarie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Southern Minnesota
    Posts
    120
    I will be trying the fabric catchers soon since I don't pre-wash any of my fabrics.

    Thanks!!

  16. #16
    Andi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New Westminster, BC, Canada
    Posts
    132
    I have started to prewash all my fabrics when they come in the house, straight into the washer! Some fabrics shrink at different rates and I would rather take the time to do it before I even carry them up the strairs into the house. I m pretty new to this and I would hate to spend all that money and have it look wonky when I gave a quilt to someone. That is just my personal opinion.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Missi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Kansas - north west corner
    Posts
    550
    I prewash - that is what I was taught years ago when I learned to sew. I have had fabric run on each other in the wash, luckily they weren't in the quilt. I have also had problem with shrinking, big problems!!

    Current example - do I or don't I wash my jelly roll. It has browns, reds and creams I decided I was gonna wash and them in color batches in a lingerie bag. They shrunk and raveled!! My pre cut 2 1/2 strips are all 2 1/4 inches now. Didn't realize they shrunk until I was sewing the other strips to them that I cut from prewashed fabric. So now I have all these pieces sewn together that I have trip to 2 1/4 augh!!!!!!!!!!!! I could scream infact I have many time and some not nice words have come out of my mouth while working on the quilt. :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

    I wash and iron when I get it, the bag from the fabric store goes straight to the laundry room.

  18. #18
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    6,753
    I too was taught to wash all fabric before using, so I do. That is a good hint about jelly rolls though; I bet you were hopping mad Missi. I used a lingerie bag the other day for some fat quarters and they raveled just as much as if I had thrown them in separately. I was disappointed. I am going to get some color catchers too - never tried them.
    I stopped at a quilt store on my travels last fall in Tennessee and asked the owner about all the wonderful quilts they had hanging in the store - she said they never washed anything because they did not have time!! A lady at Wal-Mart once told me that I should always wash their fabric because of the stuff that gets on the fabric while the floors are cleaned at night etc.
    Again, it is a personal preference.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.