Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > Main
Washing fabric >

Washing fabric

Washing fabric

Old 08-13-2008, 04:40 AM
Thread Starter
Margandi's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: North west NJ
Posts: 50

I'm fairly new to quilting & up to now I have prewashed my fabric. Now I'm thinking that the unwashed fabric has a little more body. Are there some advantages to not washing it. Would love to hear your opinions & the advantages & disadvatages each option.
Margandi is offline  
Old 08-13-2008, 04:49 AM
Senior Member
luvmy2bts's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 304

I don't prewash. I like the body of the fabric that isn't. There are a few exceptions to this. I do wash certain red's, blacks and overdyed purples and blues. When I get the quilt finished I put it in the washer with a Shout Color Catcher and that pulls all of the dye out of the water and on to it. With your prewashed fabric I would use a spray sizing to give it some body when you iron it.

luvmy2bts is offline  
Old 08-13-2008, 04:52 AM
Super Member
quiltwoman's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,925

Although I love the feel of unwashed fabric, I learned the hard way. I pre-wash all my fabric and use a dye-grabber cloth. For FQ's I use a lingerie bag.

I prefer to iron my fabric and use spray starch to get that stiff feeling back. Then I can start cutting it all up! :wink:

quiltwoman is offline  
Old 08-13-2008, 04:53 AM
Power Poster
sandpat's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 18,726

I prewash always. The dye isn't the only issue with the fabrics. I'm concerned about different rates of shrinkage. What is you do an entire quilt and the fabric shrinks at different rates??? Just do this test...measure some fabric and then wash it...measure again...some can shrink up to an inch!!
sandpat is offline  
Old 08-13-2008, 05:32 AM
Super Member
bebe's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 2,842


Check out this link !!!
bebe is offline  
Old 08-13-2008, 05:47 AM
quikquilt's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 14

What is Shout Color Catcher and where to buy it? Would it take out pencil marks?

Thanks for the info.
~ Quik
quikquilt is offline  
Old 08-13-2008, 06:16 AM
Senior Member
luvmy2bts's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 304

A Shout Color Catcher is in the laundry aisle. I get mine at wal-mart. I think they are around $3.99 for 20 of them. It actually looks like a dryer sheet but works wonderfully. I don't think it will work for pencil marks, but you could always give it a try and tell us how it works.

luvmy2bts is offline  
Old 08-13-2008, 08:17 AM
Super Member
bearpaw's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,635

When you wash your fabric, do you use hot or warm water?
bearpaw is offline  
Old 08-13-2008, 08:23 AM
Super Member
Joan's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Pine Grove, California
Posts: 2,816

I wash all my fabric in warm water. I just don't want any surprises, shrinkage or bleeeding when I have invested all that time making a quilt.
Joan is offline  
Old 08-13-2008, 08:46 AM
Power Poster
Join Date: May 2008
Location: MN
Posts: 22,551

If you ever expect this quilt to be washed, wash the fabrics before cutting them!

Some fabrics have VERY BAD manners. They bleed, they shrink, they won't unrumple even with pressing, they ravel badly, they change shape.

Avoid unpleasant surprises.

I've started to soak my fabrics in a bucket or basin of HOT water for a while (at least half an hour) before washing GENTLY in warm water.

I keep the colors separate at this stage to see what they do. Just discovered a green I bought recently is spilling - the same green print I had bought earlier seemed to be okay. Now I need to find it again to recheck it before I go any further with that project.

The spray sizing is helpful - especially if working with bias pieces.

Some fabrics don't spill a bit of color - some pieces just won't stop spilling color - they might as well be discarded. Why risk ruining a whole quilt to save a few dollars?

An example of why prewashing/preshrinking is a good idea: I acquired a cute skirt that had appliques on them - when washed, the appliques shrunk and the adorable skirt is now only okay. The new owner said she wrestled the appliques into better behavior with an iron.
bearisgray is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
07-21-2019 03:43 PM
05-01-2013 05:37 AM
09-14-2012 02:26 PM
10-21-2011 07:30 PM
01-15-2011 08:40 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.