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Message Board > Fabrics and more... > Washing wool challis? ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Washing wool challis?
challis for children's dress?
MarinaVK
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MarinaVK  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/27/11 5:26 PM

I need your help with the fabric choice for my pre-K daughter! I bought a few lightweight wools for her, and among them very beautiful creme colored wool challis (which is semi-sheer) with a polka dot pattern.

Now, knowing my daughter, and generally children, of course, I know it will need to be washed! Usually, I woudl dry-clean wool challis garments, but in this case it is a little bit decadent to dry-clean children's clothes. But since it will be a dressier dress, so I don't mind hand washing and treating it with care...

The question is, does anyone have experience (hand)washing wool challis? I am afraid of pre-washing it as I often had bad experience with the grain on some lightweight cottons or other lightweight fabrics - washing distorted the grain...

I would also prefer underlining the dress with cotton batiste - challis can be somewhat scratchy on skin and I want my daughter to enjoy the dress.

I would very much appreciate your tips or suggestions, even if it means abandoning the fabric...

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My blog: http://frabjous-fashion.blogspot.com
What I am working on now: one couture garment a month for my Burdastyle Couture Wardrobe Challenge at burdastyle.com

beginagain
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beginagain  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/27/11 7:55 PM

I don't have any experience with this fabric. I think you should cut a piece off and handwash it to check out it's behavior. If you do the whole piece, just gently squeeze it and lay it out flat to dry.

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If you wait for the perfect time to start, you'll never start.

Elona
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In reply to MarinaVK


Date: 12/27/11 8:57 PM

People washed wool LONG before dry cleaning was invented (maybe not too often, but it was done). So if you have enough fabric to spare, I would recommend cutting two neat, carefully measured 8 inch squares. Make sure they are on grain.

Hand wash one and lay it out flat to dry. Boldly machine wash and dry the other on gentle, low heat. Measure each swatch when nice and dry.

You will now have nice info about the washability of your fabric.

tlmck3
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tlmck3
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Date: 12/28/11 11:21 AM

I have several wool challis scarves that I wash in lingerie bags, on the gentle cycle, in cold water in my top-loading machine and they come out just fine. I dry them draped over one of those wooden-dowel drying racks and there is never even need to iron them. It's a really lovely fabric. I'd still test swatches as Elona suggests.

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I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

St. Augustine

MarinaVK
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Date: 12/28/11 1:13 PM

Thanks a lot for the tips! I won't be able to cut 8" swatches, but I will try to handwash the entire piece and press it gently - lets see what will happen! I feel very confident now :-)

------
My blog: http://frabjous-fashion.blogspot.com
What I am working on now: one couture garment a month for my Burdastyle Couture Wardrobe Challenge at burdastyle.com

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