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Thread: What about using wool shirts for a quilt?

  1. #1
    Super Member 2 Doods's Avatar
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    I have access to some Pendleton wool shirts. The labels say Dry Clean Only. What if I cut them up to use in quilts? Think it will work? What about washing Pendleton shirts? Have you ever washed a wool shirt?

  2. #2
    Senior Member squilter's Avatar
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    I may be wrong, but I think you would need to wash them first so if they are gonna draw up, it will be before you put the quilt together. Now someone that knows more than me can probably tell you the correct way...lol

  3. #3
    Super Member montanajan's Avatar
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    Yes, you can use them - just wash first, don't bother with dry cleaning. I wash my hubby's pendletons all the time. I do line dry them. Quality wool shirts can make nice quilts.

  4. #4
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    I washed a wool skirt by mistake and it really shrunk a lot. I would wash a shirt before I spent any time cutting a pattern out just to see what happened.

  5. #5
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    My late DH loved his Pendleton wool shirts, and I washed them often. Washed them in cold water, but dried them on low and hung to finish drying. By the time I got around to cutting them they had shrunk as much as they ever would. They are pretty colors, soft and smooth to the hand.

  6. #6
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    Hello re: wool shirts. another board member "jaciqltznok" spoke on wool the other day. talked about felting it. wahinging in HOT HoT water I think twice and actually drying in dryer... It is then workable for quilting (what? ) not sure lol. Make contact with her, if you can wns in hot water and dry in dryer so it will not shrink any longer then it would become a washable quilt and dryable... you think???? just do not take my word for it.... :) I loved the pentleton shirts of years ago...

  7. #7
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I have no idea what a Pendleton wool shirt is. I have however, made quilts out of clothing, wool, velvet, you name it. Before I even cut them up everything goes in the wash, dry as you would normally (we tend to line dry here). You will then see how they survive and if they have any instability with colour etc. Woolen fabric makes beautiful quilts...good luck with yours (and don't forget we looooove pics.).

  8. #8
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    ALWAYS WASH YOUR WOOL BEFORE CUTTING IT UP!
    the first thing to do to prepare your wool shirts for a quilt is wash them in a hot wash, with a little detergent...rinse in cold then place into a hot dryer, when they come out of the dryer you will have wool ready for quilting. i usually de=contruct my garments before i wash the wool. i cut off all seams, buttons, cuffs, collars, then wash each piece but it's just as easy to take them apart after laundering. after your wool has been washed (in hot water) the edges will not fray, you do not have to turn under edges for applique. wool is wonderful to work with!
    visit the web sites of Primative Gatherings and Sue Spargo (2 different sites) for inspiration, and some helpful free tips/tutes for working with wools and other primativies :thumbup:

  9. #9
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    It is the sudden changes of temperature that makes wool draw up, which is fine if you are felting wool. However:

    To wash wool, use lukewarm water to wash and rinse, it shouldn't even feel warm to your hand, just nuetral. It wont shrink this way. And air dry. Then your quilt gets the same treatment if you need to wash it.

  10. #10
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    Lucky you! Pendleton will make a great quilt. Pre-wash and dry just as you would do a finished quilt.

  11. #11
    Super Member ssgramma's Avatar
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    Be prepared for some work disassembling them! I have been buying wool clothing from the thrift stores to make a braided rug for in front of our new woodstove.

    The Pendletons are REALLY well constructed! Some items rip apart fairly quick, then there are the Pendletons. Did I say they are well constructed garments????

    Shirts may be easier than jackets though ;-)

  12. #12
    Junior Member sew_sew's Avatar
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    Only wash in hot water if you want to felt them. My dad wore Pendleton shirts and they did fine in cold wash and VERY low setting to dry.

  13. #13
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    Many antique quilts were made with wool, so it can be done. If I were going to make a quilt with wool, I would wash in cold water on gentle first, and line dry. That would hopefully keep "felting" to a minimum. Wool that is felted is thicker and I think it would be harder to work with for quilting purposes.

    But if you do the cold water/hang to dry, you would have to be careful that the quilt would ALWAYS be washed in that manner.

    Probably you should cut the sleeves off of one of the shirts and wash one in hot, dry in the dryer, and then wash the other in cold and hang to dry. You can see how the process affects them, and you can try out sewing with the fabric that is treated both ways, and decide what will work best for you.

  14. #14
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    After my father passed away, each of the kids chose their favorite pendelton shirt and my neice made a beautiful memory bear for each of us. I got the rest of the shirts and because I'm also into felting, I washed them in hot hot water and dried them in the drier. No dice. Even tho the labels said dry clean only, they didn't felt (shrink) at all. These were purchased in the 50's - 80's. So go ahead, wash & dry them and use them in a quilt. When I repurpose items of clothing I don't bother to rip the seams. I just cut them out.

  15. #15
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    I machine washed Pendleton wool yardage - in tepid (approximately body temperature) to cool water - rinsed in the same temp water - and machine dried on permanent press/low setting - and took it out of the dryer when it was BARELY dry.

    Turned out beautifully. No shrinkage. No color loss. (I did hold my breath while I was doing this - I figured sheep get wet)

    HOWEVER, if you want to SHRINK WOOL - over agitate it, use hot water, shock it by putting it in a cold rinse. Works almost every time.

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