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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > The Prewash and Preshrink Chronicles ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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The Prewash and Preshrink Chronicles
Please Share Your Do's, Don't's and Surprises
a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/21/12 10:11 AM

Wondering how to prepare four yards of 58 inch wide linen knit for the cutting table, I turned to the internet.

9 times out of 10 there were reports of massive amounts of lint and what a mess it made of the washing machine.

I have a new washing machine. The old one came close to it's end. Hubbie had it apart and I helped him with cleaning the pump prefilter. When the old machine finally died, I asked to look at the pump prefilter again. Clean on the inside, but on a portion of the outside it was evenly coated (like being greased) with a thick black scum that looked suspiciously like a byproduct of prewashing a cheap black knit at a bargain price to use to make a muslin It wouldn't have killed the machine by itself, but it certainly would not have helped. In years of previous prefilter cleanings, there was never a scum and this was my first time to intentionally buy a cheap knit fabric. I knew I wasn't going to let that happen again.

I put the folded linen knit in the dryer with two very wet barmops, set the cycle for medium low, added two dryer balls and started the cycle. The towels had to be rewet during the process. Four times the lint filter was overflowing. On the fifth run, the lint filter is just about one quarter filled. Off to the laundry room to try one more dryer cycle and then I will do a traditional washing machine prewash.

Of course, I would caution everyone to be sure to capture any lint that bypasses the dryer filter as accumulated lint in the vent is a fire hazard.


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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

a7yrstitch
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Date: 9/21/12 10:37 AM

Steam cycles....

The new washing machine has steam cycles. Looking for input on when to use the steam features for prewashing/preshrinking.

Thank you.

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/21/12 12:01 PM

Finally sewing my first burn-out cut velvet project.

Prewashing/preshrinking was a pleasant surprise. When I tested the sample swatches, I found that the fabric actually preferred the dryer over air drying!

The air dried sample curled at the edges and the sample dried in the dryer remained flat. Neither sample had any shrinkage with a warm water wash. So, the whole piece was washed on warm, dried on warm and then promptly removed and folded. If anything, the colors were a bit more vibrant and there was no loss of definition of the pattern with the washing.

Gorgeous fabric - better get busy, I'm wearing it tomorrow.

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 9/21/12 12:01 PM

I probably would have put that linen knit into a nice, roomy pillowcase to wash it. Oops--you said four yards. Hmmm. That's a little big for a pillowcase!

I, too, want to hear about steam cycles. You say your *washer* has one? Definitely want to know what that's about! I've been steaming stuff in my dryer with the wet-towel method since before the Internet, and lust after a steam setting for whenever this machine (now 16, and pretty inexpensive to begin with) gives up the ghost. But I didn't know that washers now came with them, too!

***
I have been pleasantly surprised with everything I've prewashed lately--particularly with the fabrics labeled "professionally spot clean only." Like outdoor canvas. Seriously--people come out to your house to spot clean your lawn furniture?! Pfffft. Into the washer it went, out of the dryer it came, and was immediately put right to work.

I also had fabulous luck with some laser cut microsuede, which came out of the wash even softer and with a prettier nap than it went in. I was a little twitchy about some 100% cotton embroidered muslin, and that *did* shrink a bit, and the fabric and embroidery shrank ever-so-slightly differently... After a serious pressing, it may not look *quite* as crisp as straight off the bolt, but it's still absolutely beautiful.


-- Edited on 9/21/12 12:02 PM --

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~Gem in the prairie

a7yrstitch
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 9/21/12 1:14 PM

Thank you for the pillowcase idea. It would be worth cutting the length to divide into two pillowcases to save the abuse on the machine.

Decided on another precautionary cycle on the linen knit in the dryer. Totally filled the lint trap again, so I continued....looks like cycle 7 will be the turning point

I'm taking the fabric to a commercial laundromat to finish the process - no way is it going in the washing machine at home. And, I've decided this is not a fabric I want to work with right now, maybe ever.

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

BeeBeeSew
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BeeBeeSew
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Date: 9/21/12 3:48 PM

I had a (I thought) rayon stripe from Fabric Mart, the label said machine wash. I threw the whole piece, about 3 yards?, into my washer and dryer. I made seersucker.

blue mooney
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In reply to a7yrstitch <<


Date: 9/21/12 6:48 PM

Quote: a7yrstitch

The new washing machine has steam cycles.

Wow. New washing machines have steam cycles? That sounds like just the ticket for preshrinking wool. What do non-sewers do with a steam cycle?

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--Robyn
sewing blog: http://bluemooney.wordpress.com/
illustration blog: http://storybooky.wordpress.com/

a7yrstitch
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In reply to blue mooney <<


Date: 9/21/12 8:17 PM

Clueless about what to do with the steam other than preshrinking especially since I wash all my clothing (except socks) on cold. I can't believe that I will actually have to read the instruction manual to explore the potential.

We had three must have features; extended spin, extra rinse and spin, and easy access to the pump prefilter. The steam just happened to come with the package. I do hope that it turns out to be a handy sewing prep feature.

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

a7yrstitch
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Date: 9/24/12 5:30 PM

Updating to say that the retailer is issuing a refund for the ornery linen knit. A very pleasant surprise. I had thought that since I had already embarked on a pretreat program that it would be a loss.

Nicer yet, I did not ask for a refund, it was offered when I explained why I was returning the other colors.

To the retailer.

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/30/12 11:43 AM

Cotton voile for Roman shades

Decisions, decisions, do I preshrink the cotton voile for roman shades? They will not be washed. I will either use the Warm Shade system or interface the voile and use it with a room darkening drapery liner.

I have extra for preshrink trials.

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

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