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Thread: Yard Sale Material - wash it ??

  1. #1
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    Hi there - my husband was at at yard sale and picked up about 35lbs of material

    I have some newbie questions....

    1. most of it isn't marked.......it there any way to tell if is 100% cotton -

    2. I really want to wash it but a lot of it has unraveled edges - should I cuts those off first? -

    3. is there someway I can keep the material from getting any more ragged during the wash?

    Appreciate your thoughts

    Judy

  2. #2
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    A burn test will help determine fiber content - google "fiber content burn test" and you should come up with plenty of info.

    I'd zig zag along the edges if you're worried about raveling, or I've read a straight stitch will work as well, and use less thread. But I haven't tried it with a straight stitch.

    ETA - I'd definitely wash it, though. No telling where it has been.

  3. #3
    Super Member Emma S's Avatar
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    For fabric content I use the match test. I just cut a small piece of fabric and light it with a match. You don't really need to burn it completely, a edge is enough. When it is cool feel the edge, if it feels stiff and scratchy it is some kind of synthetic if not it's a natural fiber.

    To deal with the raveled edges I would just trim and sew either a straight or zigzag stitch a 1/4 from the edge.

    Congradulations on your find!

  4. #4
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    Personally I would just throw it in the wash and take my chances on the edges. I am very weird about germs and stuff and who knows where it's been-I wouldn't want it in my sewing machine until it's been washed. I would do the burn test after washing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member PuffinGin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gale
    Personally I would just throw it in the wash and take my chances on the edges. I am very weird about germs and stuff and who knows where it's been-I wouldn't want it in my sewing machine until it's been washed. I would do the burn test after washing.
    I agree with Gale. I just came home with some rummage sale items, not even fabric, but the first thing I did was washed items well in hot soapy water, except for a few things that aren't washable which I put outside on the sidewalk in the sun to "air."

  6. #6
    Hindsight's Avatar
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    Hi JudyNH~

    I'd trim the edges and throw it in the wash. Pinking the edges is a good way to stop those tangled edges from reappearing.

    I never heard of the burn test so I'm glad I read your question and answers.

    Good Luck!

  7. #7
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    Thanks, all - will pink the edges, then into the wash, and finally do the content test.....

    I can't believe all the responses so quick.........you truly are a "newbie's" lifesaver.........

    JudyNH

  8. #8
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudyNH
    Thanks, all - will pink the edges, then into the wash, and finally do the content test.....

    I can't believe all the responses so quick.........you truly are a "newbie's" lifesaver.........

    JudyNH
    Glad you got quick answers - we're just sitting here waiting to answer someone's questions ! LOL we should be sewing!

  9. #9
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    I would do the burn test

    http://www.ehow.com/video_4409571_fa...ton-linen.html

    and wash the fabric

    http://quilting.about.com/od/fabrice...ing_fabric.htm


    Quote Originally Posted by JudyNH
    Hi there - my husband was at at yard sale and picked up about 35lbs of material

    I have some newbie questions....

    1. most of it isn't marked.......it there any way to tell if is 100% cotton -

    2. I really want to wash it but a lot of it has unraveled edges - should I cuts those off first? -

    3. is there someway I can keep the material from getting any more ragged during the wash?

    Appreciate your thoughts

    Judy

  10. #10
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gale
    Personally I would just throw it in the wash and take my chances on the edges. I am very weird about germs and stuff and who knows where it's been-I wouldn't want it in my sewing machine until it's been washed. I would do the burn test after washing.
    What she say's. Who knows what lurks in them there threads. The raveling is no big deal in my book. If you are worried about it, just the cornerss of your fabric and that will help keep it from unraveling as badly.

  11. #11
    Hindsight's Avatar
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    Hi Judy, where in NH are you from? I spend my summers with my mom in the Keene area. :D

  12. #12
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    I live in Marlborough,,,,,,,,,next town east of Keene...!!!!!!

  13. #13
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Nipping a triangle off each corner will help prevent over-fraying, or zigzaging or serging. I trim off scrappy strips too. Yes, I wash EVERYTHING that comes in second hand.

    Burn a small piece of each fabric. If it turns to ash it's cotton. If it balls up into a hard black plastic ball it's poly. But, if you like it, use it.

  14. #14
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    Wash and do a burn test.

  15. #15
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    NO way!!! My Mom lives in Swanzey. Do you belong to the Cheshire Quilt Guild? I do!!!

  16. #16
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    Yes, I just joined the Cheshire Guild 2 months ago - They are the nicest group I've ever been a part of .............I am VERY new to sewing and quilting and have a lot to learn but everyone on this board and in the guild could not be any more helpful and friendly

    Were you at the July meeting? Is your mother's name Lois?

  17. #17
    Hindsight's Avatar
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    YES!!!! I was at the June and July meeting! Mom is Lois Haskell! OK so which Judy are you? Are you on FB? I just posted photos from my summer up there. Including photos from the July guild meeting!!!
    donna haskell varnadoe look me up.

    Damn it's a small world!

  18. #18
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    Just love all the things you did while in NH, the bag, the quilt with the maple leaves and I love this saying
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    I clip the corners as well if the pieces are smaller, but on the yardage, I found this tip from another quilter. I fold the material in 4's(salvage to salvage and end to end)pin the edge corners with a safety pin, then wash and dry. I find that it does not ravel in the wash and doesn't get all tangled up in the dryer.

  20. #20
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    OMG!!! I love that one! Mom said I over did show and tell! But hey I'm only there 2 months out of the year!

  21. #21
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    I don't think you overdid show and tell .......a couple of my friends and I said,............"how did she do all that and get such a great tan also"!!!!!

    Seriously your work is lovely, I LOVE the bag you made

  22. #22
    Super Member kristen0112's Avatar
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    If you have pinking shears I would trim the edges with those before washing it.

  23. #23
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    Janet Maroni (VP) has kits for the bag for $22.00 she will probably have them @ the meeting Wednesday night. She did a work shop on them on July 31st. I just looked at my mom's and did it. BUT mine is a tad smaller because I didn't have a full yard of the fabric I wanted to use. LOL :D

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudyNH
    Hi there - my husband was at at yard sale and picked up about 35lbs of material

    I have some newbie questions....

    1. most of it isn't marked.......it there any way to tell if is 100% cotton -

    2. I really want to wash it but a lot of it has unraveled edges - should I cuts those off first? -

    3. is there someway I can keep the material from getting any more ragged during the wash?

    Appreciate your thoughts

    Judy
    Of the 35lbs of fabric........about 1/2 was polyester & satin - of the remaining 1/2 were solids and the other half assorted colors...

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions; I burn tested, then trimmed edges with a pinking sheer rotary blade and then washed and folder.........finally finished except for the clean up

    JudyNH
    Attached Images Attached Images


  25. #25
    Hindsight's Avatar
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    WOW you really racked up there Judy! Great job for you and your hubby for knowing what to buy at a yard sale!! FABRIC!!!

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