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Thread: Washing Machines and Fraying

  1. #1
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    Washing Machines and Fraying

    As I just posted in another thread, I used to have a traditional top-loader with agitator, and I didn't prewash because it destroyed too much of the fabric. My current machine is a front-loader and most fabric only frays a tiny bit. What is everyoneís experience with washing machine types or even brands and how much the fabric frays when itís washed? Iím wondering if my experience is characteristic of the machine types or if thereís some other factor.

  2. #2
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    Don't know. Haven't pre-washed any fabric in 50 years.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by popover View Post
    Don't know. Haven't pre-washed any fabric in 50 years.
    me either, but if I were to, I would use the gentle cycle, or whatever the machine you have states as the least agitating.....not wanting to beat the "new" fabric to smithereens!

  4. #4
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    I always pre wash my fabric yardage. I have a top load and wash the fabrics on normal cycle and warm water. If I fear bleeding fabrics I use a cup of Epsom salt. Used to have a front load washer and did the same. Yes there wouldbe some raveling but not bad. As far as brands so IMHO DO NOT BUY SAMSUNG! I've had my set for less than a year, dryer replaced twice and washer once. They are now making the same sounds as the others. Guess I'm shooting for a new set yet again!
    Crashnquilt


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    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    My experience is the same as yours. My top loader was murder on fabrics, but I can throw all my yardage in my new front loader and get just a few threads here and there. As advertised, front loaders are much more gentle because there is no agitator.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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    I always pre-wash my fabrics. But first, I serge the cut edges and never have a problem with fraying. Also, if I don't sew it right away, I know if it's serged, that it has already been washed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crashnquilt View Post
    I always pre wash my fabric yardage. I have a top load and wash the fabrics on normal cycle and warm water. If I fear bleeding fabrics I use a cup of Epsom salt. Used to have a front load washer and did the same. Yes there wouldbe some raveling but not bad. As far as brands so IMHO DO NOT BUY SAMSUNG! I've had my set for less than a year, dryer replaced twice and washer once. They are now making the same sounds as the others. Guess I'm shooting for a new set yet again!
    So sad....I love my fisher paykel....over 20 yrs old.....bought it when the kids were in sports and I was doing 3 loads every day. It spins so fast, it throws all the water out, and my dryer cycle went from 1 hr 15 min to 35 min (that is for jeans and towel cycles too). If it died, I would get another one.

    https://www.fisherpaykel.com/us/laun...-machines.html

  8. #8
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I think the amount of fraying is more a function of the fabric than of the washer. I pre-wash everything, and I bought a new top loader to get rid of the front loader that came with this house. (I want to be the one controlling how much water I use - that's not the washer's job IMHO.) I don't see much fraying, and I don't do any preparation of the fabric before it goes in the washer. The small amount of fraying I do have is easily cut off.

    If you think your washer destroys fabric, why would you put your clothing in it?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Quilter View Post
    So sad....I love my fisher paykel....over 20 yrs old.....bought it when the kids were in sports and I was doing 3 loads every day. It spins so fast, it throws all the water out, and my dryer cycle went from 1 hr 15 min to 35 min (that is for jeans and towel cycles too). If it died, I would get another one.

    https://www.fisherpaykel.com/us/laun...-machines.html

    I have never, ever heard of this brand...and when clicked on link - cannot be found.......

  10. #10
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geri B View Post
    I have never, ever heard of this brand...and when clicked on link - cannot be found.......
    The link worked for me...
    http://www.craftsy.com/user/333534/pattern-store?
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/sewbizgirl
    Boom 19 Album of Blocks I Made for Others https://www.quiltingboard.com/member...bums19825.html
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geri B View Post
    I have never, ever heard of this brand...and when clicked on link - cannot be found.......
    works for me....try their main website and click on laundry:
    https://www.fisherpaykel.com/us.html

    I bought mine at Lowes.....(again 20 years ago)

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    I've only had top loading machines; our new one doesn't have a central agitator, but I still get the fraying (it doesn't seem to matter what setting I use). My preference is to zig zag my edges before washing, but if I'm in a hurry or have quite a few pieces to wash, I just clip the edges in a few places; this at least stops the fraying from going all the way across the fabric, so the frays don't cause tangling and excessive wrinkling.
    Lisa

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    I think the fraying is due to the quality of the fabric. Some lines fray so much when sewing I can't imagine what they do when prewashing. Though agitators do seem to stretch out the fabric more (I've observed tshirts). I have heard of some quilters, serging the ends to keep fraying in check.

  14. #14
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    I've always pre-washed and I can say that there were fabrics that frayed more than others. Some may be due to the cut (ie if it was cut slightly off WOF), but for the most part I think the quality of the fabric played a LARGE part on how much the fabric frayed and shrunk.

    Back when I was building my stash and buying a lot of fabric, I actually kept a log of which brands shrank and frayed the most. I'm in the middle of moving now so I can't dig it out (and there is every possibility that I tossed it). I do remember there being a correlation between the manufacturer and the amount of "loss". Off the top of my head though, I know batiks frayed and shrunk the least amount - due to the tighter weave.

    Yes ... it got the point where I could touch the fabric and know if it was going to shrink and fray a lot. I could feel the looser weave and learned to stay away from those fabrics unless I absolutely had to have that particular print.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

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    I have a top loader and prewash just about everything. I put it on the gentle agitation cycle for wash, and regular for spin.

    I have minimal fraying, and if there are longer threads, I just snap them off before I put it in the dryer. It's never been anything I'd consider significant.

    I will add - it's been a long time since I've bought fabric that was not LQS quality.
    Last edited by Macybaby; 03-13-2017 at 07:03 AM.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  16. #16
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    I generally don't prewash my fabric but if I do I use one of those lingerie bags to wash it in. I don't buy big yardage so most of my fabric will fit in a large bag. I seem to get less fraying when washed in a bag.

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    I have a top loader and usually pre-wash all fabric if I can - I zig-zag the edges first and get little to no fraying. As mentioned, if I don't use the fabric right away, l know whether it has been washed.
    Deb

  18. #18
    Super Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    Personally, I can't stand front loaders or the top loaders without an agitator. I inherited a brand new set that was a top loader without an agitator and promptly gave them away. Wish I had kept the dryer though. I really, really miss my old 1964 Frigidaire set. That was the best washer I've ever had. I kept it going as long as I could, up into the early 90s until the timer switch finally burned up and it just couldn't be fixed any more.
    But on topic, as a rule I don't usually pre wash, but if I'm going to machine embroider on something I'll wash it first so there's no shrinking after the embroidery is done. I serge the edges first so there's no fraying.

    Cari

  19. #19
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    We got sucked into the hype and thought a front loader would be better. Nope. I don't think our clothes have been clean clean since 2006.

    I understand that phosphates and high water usage (supposedly) are bad for the environment, but man, I sure do miss those days.

  20. #20
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    I love my front loader washer. This weekend I washed a large stuffed animal in it with no problems, something I couldn't do in a top loader with an agitator. The animal is a rather stiff dog that has been in the family for 25 years. He is now looking nice and clean.

    I prewash most fabric. I think the fraying is more about the type and quality of the material.
    Pat

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    Serge the cut edges OR cut each corner of fabric at an angle, small triangle. Then wash.

  22. #22
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    The link worked for me and when I finally got to a site that sells them it said "Call for pricing". Huh? If they can't price their machines online, I'm not sure I want one. I'm on my second Kenmore/Whirlpool machine and have had very good luck. I do think the new top load machine without the old style agitator doesn't fray fabric as much as the old one.
    Patrice S

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    I also got the link. It came right on.

  24. #24
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    I pre wash all my fabric. I have an 30 year old top load w/ agitator. I clip the corners, toss it in on regular cycle, add color catchers and let the cycle go. I then toss in the dryer...I have very little fraying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
    The link worked for me and when I finally got to a site that sells them it said "Call for pricing". Huh? If they can't price their machines online, I'm not sure I want one. I'm on my second Kenmore/Whirlpool machine and have had very good luck. I do think the new top load machine without the old style agitator doesn't fray fabric as much as the old one.
    That is the manufactures website. they do not sell them there, they make them. If you want to buy one, go to a retailer. Start with amazon.com ($799 plus free shipping)

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0162JJAJO...ing=UTF8&psc=1

    ps; I couldnt get a price out of bernina or babylock dealers for a sewing machine ,even over the phone....I had to show up to their stores to get a price.....thank goodness for amazon

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