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Forum > Fabrics and more... > Prewashing fusible interfacing ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Prewashing fusible interfacing
are we sure the washing machine is a bad idea?
Liz in Cville
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Liz in Cville  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/7/12 11:18 AM

I have about 5 or 6 yards of fusible interfacing sitting in my pre-treat pile. FWIW, most of it is black tricot, and there is a little white "mystery" fusible.

I did wash a little of each kind a while back in the washing machine. I can't remember, but probably used the warm "comforter" cycle. Of course, it did NOT go in the dryer. Nothing obviously horrible happened -- no sticky mess emerged from the washer. But I have not tried using it yet.

I'd like to get the rest of the yardage pre-treated and put away, and it will go faster if I put it in the machine.

If you have any success stories or cautionary tales about prewashing fusibles in a front-loader, please feel free to shareOtherwise, I should go perform some tests and/or get a bucket and some towels. Too bad we never did get that laundry sink...

TIA,
Liz

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PattyE
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Date: 10/7/12 3:12 PM

When I have fusible needing prewashing I just soak it in hot water for 10 minutes, squeeze out, and hang to dry. My front-loader has a soak option. If yours does too you could use that and then just spin.

Elona
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In reply to Liz in Cville <<


Date: 10/7/12 5:57 PM

You don't have to 'pre-wash' fusible interfacing--just pre-treat it. As PattyE says, it's really simple to soak the whole shooting match in very hot water in your bathtub (or even your washing machine) for 10 or 20 minutes, gently squeeze the water out (no twisting), and then just hang it over your shower curtain rod.

It will be dry in 20-30 minutes, wrinkle-free and ready to use.

Mrs4Him
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In reply to Elona <<


Date: 10/8/12 12:29 PM

I didn't know you had to pretreat fusible interfacing. If it's not woven then why would it shrink? Does it shrink in clothes? Thanks.

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Sewing/Embroidery: Baby Lock Ellure Plus * Sewing: Kenmore 385.1764180 * Sewing: Kenmore 385.17124 * Sewing: Vintage-Singer 115 * Serger: Baby Lock Evolve
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stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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In reply to Mrs4Him <<


Date: 10/8/12 12:47 PM

Quote: Mrs4Him
I didn't know you had to pretreat fusible interfacing. If it's not woven then why would it shrink? Does it shrink in clothes?

I had never done this before last week--but I had read about it over here several times. And then I went to interface a collar and cuffs (on a muslin, thank goodness)--and when I hit the interfacing with my hot iron, IT SHRANK!! And since it was in the process of being fused to the fabric, it caused the fabric to curl and wrinkle strangely, and parts also failed to fuse correctly. So, yep! Tossed the whole batch in hot water so it wouldn't happen on the real garment.

(In the interfacing's defense, I will say I believe part of the issue was that I was lazy and didn't change my iron settings from hot/steam to cooler/dry between pressing the cuffs and applying the interfacing... and I'm pretty sure that's what caused my problem. BUT it was a very useful lesson all the same, and it was really pretty effortless to do the presoak.)

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Elona
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In reply to Mrs4Him <<


Date: 10/8/12 3:17 PM

It's not the weave that's the problem, for woven and non-woven fusibles and sew-ins can all shrink when exposed to heat and/or moisture. What matters is the material the stuff is made of and the processes it goes through during manufacture.

Pam Erny says her fusibles are specially done and will not shrink, but for the rest of them, as stirwatersblue noted, you can--horrifyingly enough--hold a steam iron above them and watch them shrink right before your eyes!

In fact, I recommend trying that. It is very instructive.

PattyE
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Date: 10/8/12 3:55 PM

I use the Palmer/Pletsch interfacings mostly and the lighter weights need no pretreatment, but the heavier weights do.

Liz in Cville
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Date: 10/8/12 4:29 PM

Thanks for the replies. I forgot to say our washer has no "soak" option, and the handwash cycle only uses cool water. But maybe I can trick the machine into soaking it in warm somehow...

Thanks again,
Liz

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Elona
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In reply to Liz in Cville <<


Date: 10/8/12 5:27 PM

Agitation is not a friend of the fusible stuff. If you have a bathtub, just put enough really hot water in it to soak your yards of interfacing. Walk way for about 20 minutes.

When you come back, let the water out, fold the interfacing on itself loosely but kind of neatly, lay it on a big towel or two and roll up the towel to squeeze the excess water out.

Then hang the interfacing over the shower curtain rod to dry (it will be fast).

This really isn't a labor-intensive or time-consuming process.



-- Edited on 10/8/12 8:59 PM --

kathyann
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Date: 10/9/12 7:45 AM

I hated fusible interfacing for years and years and years until I discovered the following method. Don't pretreat. Lay the cut out interfacing on your fashion fabric and then, without touching, use your iron to steam the heck out of it. That takes care of any residual shrinkage. Then I use a DRY press cloth and fuse. Works really well.

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