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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Wool, Polyester and Spandex Fabric Washing Advce ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Wool, Polyester and Spandex Fabric Washing Advce
dunkachino
dunkachino
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Date: 8/25/12 7:27 PM

Hello,
I purchased some fabric for a coat. It's Wool (48%), Polyester (50%) and Spandex (2%).
Should I pre-wash it? I'm afraid to ruin the fabric with too hot of water. Also, when I use interfacing, is it OK to use Iron-on interfacing?

Could somebody please advice?

thank you

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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In reply to dunkachino <<


Date: 8/25/12 8:32 PM

Do you know what the manufacturer recommended? I always go by that. Wool is tricky but mixed with polyester it might be fine to wash it. I wash everything I own in cold and dry on medium or low depending on the fabric. You can ruin spandex in hot water/hot dryer. Wool is sturdy but a hot wash/hot dryer will "felt" it and it may change texture in that environment. As to interfacing, I think it depends on the pattern. I probably would use a sew in interfacing but that is me. Many PR members have recommended an online source for interfacing-if I were making a wool coat, I would get the best interfacing I could find. The Pellon brand that JoAnn's (and other places) sell is what I have always used but if I were making something that I hoped would last for years, I would get a better interfacing. HTH

Sew4Fun
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In reply to dunkachino <<


Date: 8/25/12 8:57 PM

Personally I wouldn't pre-wash, unless you intend on washing the final coat. If you do decide to pre-wash I certainly wouldn't use hot water for wool. Instead I would give your fabric a good steaming. You can use your iron, send the fabric to your dry cleaner and ask them to steam it or toss the dry fabric is your dryer with a damp towel.

As for interfacing, yes you can use fusible as long of the interfacing is designed for garment making and is good quality. That is a fusible woven or knit interfacing. Don't use the cheap non-woven stuff designed for crafts. HTH

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Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
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LarryD
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Date: 8/25/12 10:21 PM

There are very few fabrics I do not pre wash even if the final product is to be dry cleaned. In washing wool the mistake is usualy drastic change in temperature which "Shocks the fiber" even with poly and lycra as a component. The other is over agitating.

What I usually do is to fill my machine with warm (tepid) water and a milid detergent or a cream free shampoo, I do not use woolite. Set the cycle for delicats, whem the tub is full let it agitate to mix the cleaning agent then stop the cycle. It's a very good idea to sew your fabric ends together this makes a tube and prevents twisting. Put you fabrc in the machine pushing it down to completly saturate it then let it agitate for about one minute. Stop the machine and let it rest for five or ten minutes, agitate for one more minute let the cycle spin. The tub will fill to rinse when full add 1/2 cup baking soda let the rinse complete. I often rinse twise omiting the soda for the second rinse. Be gentle handling the wet fabric as it can strech lay it over a bed to dry it's unwise to hang it.

If you are nervous try a test piece. i hope this will help, remember it's possible for things to shrink at the cleaners.

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"Dr. Doodle"

Nancy K
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In reply to dunkachino <<
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Date: 8/26/12 10:56 AM

I you are never going to wash the finished coat than it's not necessary to prewash it. I steam press with a damp cloth until the cloth is dry for coating material. If the coat is a flat weave definitely you can use fusibles. For highly textured fabric test several different fusibles to see if it changes the fabric. I would test several different fusibles on my fabric regardless of what weave it is. I don't like surprises and I often use different interfacings for different parts of a coat. You can also layer interfacing, like on a collar stand to get more support.
I don't wash coats. They don't need cleaning all that often and I usually don't like the changes that washing causes. But if you are intending to wash any garment and are unsure of how it will affect the fabric just take the time to wash a sample and compare it to the original. Check for shrinkage and change in surface.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

Nancy K
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In reply to Sew4Fun <<
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Date: 8/26/12 10:59 AM

I forgot about the dryer with a damp towel method. Much easier and less time consuming that the pressing with damp towel method. I have some coating I am planning on using and will definitely be using the damp towel method!

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

dunkachino
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Date: 8/27/12 11:13 PM

wow! this is amazing! so many suggestions! What a great community! You are all very helpful!
i think i will cut a piece of my fabric and test it to see how it does... It was not a very expensive fabric, but i would hate to ruin the whole 2.5 yards of it :)

Thank you again!

Marcia R
Marcia R  Friend of PR
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 8/29/12 11:56 AM

I just wanted to add a note on the interfacing. Since the fabric has stretch because of the lycra, use a weft insertion interfacing. Check Palmer and Pletsch sheer weight interfacing. Excellent quality and service.

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