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Thread: Wool fabric abd lable question

  1. #1
    Junior Member Pinkrose4664's Avatar
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    I am making a quilt with wool blocks that were given to me and was wondering what to use for backing. I looked at JoAnn's and can not pay the price for wool yardage. Would 100% flannel be ok? or would 100% cotton be better.

    Also, this quilt is going to a friend's son who had cancer surgery yesterday. Can anyone think of a sweet lable I can put on the back? I am so bad at sentaments.

    Thanks
    Anna

  2. #2
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    is this quilt going to have to be washable? wool can be washed, but it will shrink and dark colors will bleed. if you want to be able to wash it, washing in advance will definitely make it softer and using softener will make it MUCH softer. so, prewash hot. use softener in the rinse. dry in the dryer. get it all over with in advance. make sure the child is not allergic to wool. if you want this to be a sleeping blanket, decide first what your filler will be. the wool will be fluffy and warm. unless his room is cold, i don't think you need to use anything more than a lightweight batt. the backing can then be flannel for cozies. again wash in hot and machine dry first. same reason. of course, if it's a lap quilt, after the washing and drying, the backing can be applied without any batting at all. prewashed flannel would be very nice.

    IMHO :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    labels are not my forte, according to this board. :lol: :lol: :lol:

    P.S. the edges of washed wool will not fray. the wool comes out like boiled wool.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Pinkrose4664's Avatar
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    Thank you Butterfly. Bad news is I am sure the person who gave me the squares did not wash the fabric before cutting it. So I guess I will sew it all together then wash it and see what happens. I don't have any liguid fabric softern, only dryer sheets. But that won't make it as soft right? I will have to buy some.

    My Friend's Son is 55 years old. I was leaning towards the flannel, but wasn't sure if it was a good thing. My DH suggested fleece, but i don't know that that would work. Has anyone used fleece for backing? We live in So. CA so this thing may turn out to be too warm.

    Thanks for the help
    Anna

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the wonderful idea. I have a lot of scraps of wool blends that I have saved and hate to throw away. They will make some nice quilts. Since I give away most of the quilts I make, I will be using sheets on the back.

    Question, do I need to add batting? I had not gotten around to thinking about that question. What would you do?



  5. #5
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    I have LOTS of wool quilts. They were my mother's favorite to make. She used old wool from jackets, etc. She always put batting and flannel backs. I have used them for years. Loved them the whole time. I wash'em when needed - often a couple of times a winter. Always with cool water and line dry (Or lay flat outside to dry).

    I would NOT prewash the flannel

    I WOULD put flannel on the back

    Depending on the climate, I'd put batting, even if it's realliy thin.

    But labels are beyond me. I'd suggest a scripture.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Pinkrose4664's Avatar
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    Thanks Sara. Nice to talk to someone who has made them. Do you wash the wool fabric before sewing?

    Anna

  7. #7
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkrose4664
    Thank you Butterfly. Bad news is I am sure the person who gave me the squares did not wash the fabric before cutting it. So I guess I will sew it all together then wash it and see what happens. I don't have any liguid fabric softern, only dryer sheets. But that won't make it as soft right? I will have to buy some.

    My Friend's Son is 55 years old. I was leaning towards the flannel, but wasn't sure if it was a good thing. My DH suggested fleece, but i don't know that that would work. Has anyone used fleece for backing? We live in So. CA so this thing may turn out to be too warm.

    Thanks for the help
    Anna
    in that case, i would use softener and get it as soft as possible. then stitch the pieces together and make the seam allowances on the reverse side part of the design. either topstitch them or blanket stitch them or crazy stitch them to hold them down. in effect, the reverse side becomes more interesting and becomes the right side. no backing required.

    a lot of people here have used fleece for backing, but i think that with the wool it would be way too warm for your climate.

  8. #8
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkrose4664
    Thanks Sara. Nice to talk to someone who has made them. Do you wash the wool fabric before sewing?

    Anna
    Nope - I'm not a prewasher of any fabric, especially not wool. As long as it's clean (obviously). I've never had any stretch out of shape, never shrink, and they are SO cuddly. My favorite one is fairly ugly, but made with love from mother, in a tumbling block pattern.

  9. #9
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I think I would go with cotton. I'm sure it's pretty heavy with using wool. Just my opinion. I would love to see a picture of it when you can. It sounds cool.

  10. #10
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    the few times i've sewn with unwashed wool they have shrunk. one was used as a batting and it pulled an entire quilt out of whack. quilts get soiled and i can't dry clean every time getting them clean. washing is the best answer.

    now i preshrink it every time. and i preshrink everything that goes with it. flannel is the worst offender when it comes to shrinkage. i would never use flannel for anything without preshrinking.

    EDIT: why not do a test. trace around one square. wash it in hot water. dry it in the dryer. lay it on the tracing. check the new size against the old. see if it shrinks. don't worry about the edges. they won't fray.

    remember: this is a quilt. people sleep under it. it gets soiled. it needs washing. you live in a warm climate and wool is very warm. it gets body oils on it. make it as washable as possible, especially for a sick person.


  11. #11
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    OK.. here's an old time answer.. My grandmother made quilts out of cotton. When there were old suits, woolen clothing, corduroy, etc.. she would make "comforts". She usually did "postcard" or "brick" comforts.. the blocks were cut the size of a postcard and laid out in stairsteps. They had fluffy quilt bats and were tied as they were too fat to quilt. The backing was usually flannel. These were used on the beds, on top of 2 or 3 cotton quilts, usually the beds with the featherbeds on them, and the farthest from the furnace or space heater. Let me tell you, when you were put to bed in one of those beds.. you stayed till morning.. too hard to get in and out...lol. but oh, so cozy on frosty winter mornings. I don't remember being concerned about them shrinking.. and they were only cleaned once a winter.. at the end of it before being put away for the next year.

  12. #12
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I am a manic "pre-washer"....mainly because I use lots of vintage and op-shop purchased fabric and wools. I even prewash new fabric, just to test shrinkage, colourfastness and to remove any chemicals from the dyeing process.

    I agree with Butterflywing, do a test piece first, that way you will avoid disaster. Maybe you could back it with a really light-weight woollen blanket? Anyway, I think it sounds a wonderful project and it would be nice to see it when it is finished. I am sure the recipient will find lots of comfort in it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member tulip43's Avatar
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    I have some very old wool quilts from grandmother, they all have flannel on the back.they are at least 75 yrs old.

  14. #14
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I would not risk putting an entire quilt together with unwashed wool of an unknown source in the top! Definitely create a test piece and wash it first.

    Wool fibers have little "hooks" on the end. That is why wool will "felt" when subjected to agitation in water (as in a washing machine) and then subjected to heat (as in a dryer). More and more of the little hooks snag each other, tightening up the weave. Felting can make wool very soft and wonderful. Mittens and hats made out of felted wool are luxurious. Unfortunately, the felting process results in a lot of shrinkage. That's why felted wool items are always made after the wool has been felted. Many of us have accidentally "felted" a wool sweater with machine washing and drying. The one I remember came out about the right size for a toddler.

    If you absolutely have to use unwashed felt in a quilt, my suggestion is to quilt it very heavily. Quilting is your best bet for preventing uncontrolled shrinkage.

  15. #15
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    Never ever put a wool quilt in hot (or warm) water, or the dryer. Never ever!

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