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Thread: Working with Flannels

  1. #1
    alimaui
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    I am trying to plan out a baby quilt for an expecting friend, and picked up some cute flannel prints. I have a few questions, hopefully you ladies can share your wisdom with me.

    1. Pre wash vs. no pre Wash, I know normally its an all or nothing king of thing. Either I should prewash all the fabrics or not prewash. Is flannel any different? I got some beautiful blue, but am slightly concerned it will bleed, but then am worried about shrinkage...(I didn't think about this at the store, and didnt' get extra).

    2. Shrinkage, how much does flannel generally shrink, and do the edges fray like other fabrics?

    3. Children's Sleepwear flannel. I saw the signs at Joann's that say not safe for childrens sleepwear. All the flannel I bought was from the snuggle flannel section and doesn't say anything about childrens sleepwear. Obviously I want the little bambino to be safe, but how do I know which flannels are safe?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Super Member Justquilting's Avatar
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    hi, i've worked with alot of flannels in quilts and i;ve even mixed it with cottons. i wash everything!! For baby quilts it has different textures

  3. #3
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Yes, prewash!! I don't usually pre-wash my regular cottons but flannel shrinks more and at different rates

  4. #4
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    yep wash that blue needs checking :D

  5. #5
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    They call it snuggle flannel and then say it is not recommended for children's wear. DUH! I asked in JoANns because they have this flame retradant flannel but it also is not guaranteed to be completely non flamable. I do remember years ago there was a story about a little boy who was badly burned when his PJs caught fire because they were made of a blend and they melted on his body. Any cotton fabric will burn. In fact on the quilt shows they tell you to light a small scrap with a match to see if it is a natural fiber. Natural fibers will turn to ash while poly etc. will melt.
    To be safe tell the parent that cotton flannel should not be worn around open flames. Hopefully by the time they are a parent they have that much common sense.

  6. #6
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    I don't usually prewash, but if you are worried about a fabric possibly bleeding, then definitely wash them all. Flannel does ravel and shrink pretty bad. I always zig-zag (or serge if you have a machine) the raw edges before I throw them in the washer. Saves a lot of time later untangling the fabric and cutting all the threads off!!

    And throw a Shout Color Catcher in the washer with the fabrics.

  7. #7
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I I think I would wash it. When mixing fabrics better to be safe than sorry.

  8. #8
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    Flannel shrinks!!!! When I use flannel, I prewash it a couple of times. It also frays more than regular quilting fabric.

    (I've often wondered if the expensive flannel we see in the LQS shrinks, and frays??????)

    p.s.---if wouldn't be a bad idea to throw in a Color Catcher to make sure the color doesn't run.

    I made a flannel quilt for my grandbaby and he loves the way it feels!

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    we have 3 bostons and i just wanted to say hi

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    we have 3 bostons and i just wanted to say hi

  11. #11
    Power Poster dreamer2009's Avatar
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    always...ALWAYS !!! wash flannel because of the amount
    of shrinkage it has. wonderful fabric til it shrinks up on you.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I always prewash flannel because some of it shrinks a *lot*, and it does ravel more than other cottons.

    When I worked with flannel, I followed Sandy Bonsib's advice and used 1/2-inch seams rather than 1/4-inch seams. Also, I starched the flannels heavily before cutting, to stabilize them. Both of these helped make perfect joins. Flannel has a tendency to move around a lot when you are sewing it, and starch really helps with that.

    I prewashed and dried the flannel, then "painted" it with a 1:1 solution of liquid Sta-Flo starch and water, tossed the fabric in the dryer, and ironed it with steam. This made it perfectly stable for cutting. The 1/2-inch seams are a good idea because flannel is relatively loosely woven; it prevents the seams from pulling apart later because of frays.

  13. #13
    reneebobby's Avatar
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    I just did flannel and I didn't prewash because I used a Jelly roll, I didn't have a problem with it shirking to where it ripped the seams out.

  14. #14
    Super Member Sharon M's Avatar
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    I have used flannels to make raggedy quilts. If they are not all the same type of flannel I prewash because they don't all shrink the same. I always throw a Shout Color Catcher in when washing them just in case of fading. My friend was making a raggedy baby quilt and she is not a "pre-washer" but you have to with raggedy quilts in the end to get the "look" and when she did the bright pink faded on the white, she was so upset and threw them out immediately. I think she could have rewashed them with a color catcher and saved the project. Before prewashing if you don't have a serger I fold the material wrong sides facing and use saftey pins on each of the corners and a couple in between. That helps keep the material from tangling. I take it out before completly dry then iron it.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Donna Mae's Avatar
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    I wash and dry at least three times. I've not had trouble with it bleeding yet!!

    simple quilter

  16. #16
    Super Member lass's Avatar
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    Pre-wash, because if the mom is like my daughter, she washed everything before my grandson even sat on it. Most of the babies can't have blankets except on the floor until they are old enough to roll.

  17. #17
    Super Member Margie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alimaui
    I am trying to plan out a baby quilt for an expecting friend, and picked up some cute flannel prints. I have a few questions, hopefully you ladies can share your wisdom with me.

    1. Pre wash vs. no pre Wash, I know normally its an all or nothing king of thing. Either I should prewash all the fabrics or not prewash. Is flannel any different? I got some beautiful blue, but am slightly concerned it will bleed, but then am worried about shrinkage...(I didn't think about this at the store, and didnt' get extra).

    2. Shrinkage, how much does flannel generally shrink, and do the edges fray like other fabrics?

    3. Children's Sleepwear flannel. I saw the signs at Joann's that say not safe for childrens sleepwear. All the flannel I bought was from the snuggle flannel section and doesn't say anything about childrens sleepwear. Obviously I want the little bambino to be safe, but how do I know which flannels are safe?

    Thanks in advance!
    I have made many flannel quilts. I ALWAYS prewash flannel...because of SHRINKING and DYE. I only use 100 per cent cotton flannel. ALL COTTON fabrics are flammable...I would prefer all cotton on anyone rather than something that had flame retardant chemicals in it. .. btw iI am a RN. I just finished a raggety flannel quilt for a neighbor going through chemo and am making one for my grandaughter for her bday.

    Margie

    BTW....I live in PA brrr cold...have used flannel sheets on beds all my life....wear flannel nightgowns and Pjs on self and family....If you dont use that flannel for pjs and blankets...what are you going to use it for anyway lol.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for the info on flannel,new at this ,wanted to make my grandson a flannel quilt ,had heard it would stretch.

  19. #19

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    I wish I saw these postings earlier. I just finished a lap quilt with flannel backing that I did not pre wash. The top is 100 % cottons. Will cold water wash and dry flat prevent shrinkage?

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