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Pre Washing?
LDT2011
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LDT2011
Intermediate
UNITED KINGDOM
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Date: 7/29/14 11:55 AM

Should I prewash silk (blend)...and how would I do it?
I prewash cottons (by hand, spin in machine then on washing line to finish drying).

------
'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

Liamsmama
Liamsmama
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Alberta Canada
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Date: 7/29/14 12:42 PM

I would wash it however you plan on washing the final garment. Personally I don't want to have to dry clean anything. So I would hand wash and hang it to dry. I have no personal experience with silk but I know that many people wash it as per usual before sewing, it will lose some sheen and get a bit softer/ ?fuzzier? So I would consider that before you wash it

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frame
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Date: 7/29/14 12:51 PM

What liamsmama said. You can always cut a swatch off your fabric and prewash it and see how it goes.

Personally, if it doesn't make it through the washer and dryer, I don't want to sew with it.

------
"framed" was taken
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant." - Horton(Dr. Seuss)

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/29/14 2:57 PM

LTD2001, I hope this doesn't apply to you.....

Just wanted to remind those of you new to hot climates that now that we have reached our 100 degree days (F) there is no possibility of washing anything in cold water. The cold water was near scalding yesterday when I was brushing my teeth. (Shallow frost line so water pipes are not deeply buried, water line enters under concrete driveway on west side of house.)

I lost most of my daily wardrobe to shrinkage during an extreme heat wave in 2011. And there have been two woeful accidental shrinkings due to forgetting about our lack of cold water in the summer. I've learned to push my prewashing to extremes to match our climate.

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

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to a7yrstitch <<
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Date: 7/29/14 3:42 PM

Quote:
Just wanted to remind those of you new to hot climates that now that we have reached our 100 degree days (F) there is no possibility of washing anything in cold water. The cold water was near scalding yesterday when I was brushing my teeth.

Yikes! I had no idea.

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

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In reply to a7yrstitch <<
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Date: 7/29/14 4:17 PM

Oh, yes yes to this!
Sometimes the hot water will run colder than the cold water until the water from the hot water heater comes through. You get used to it. But yes, cold water washing does not happen in the summer.

------
"framed" was taken
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant." - Horton(Dr. Seuss)

DonnaH
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Date: 7/29/14 5:08 PM

I am in a similar situation - except my water and driveway are on the south side of the house!

I have noticed my RTW shrinking a bit the last couple years - and not just from me getting larger, lol.

I only ever wash on cold - except when I'm prewashing fabric in the winter!

a7yrstitch
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In reply to Vintage Joan <<
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Date: 7/29/14 7:43 PM

Vintage J., well, me neither until we moved here. We're originally from the Dallas area where the frost line was lower (and the water lines were buried deeper in the ground) and we did not have water pipes in the attic like we do here.

I was surprised yesterday when I kept testing the water with my hand before rinsing my mouth. It still felt too hot to rinse my mouth but I didn't have all day (or all summer) and just did it. Last summer I tested the afternoon cold tap water at the end of May - it was 122 degrees.

------
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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In reply to a7yrstitch <<
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Date: 7/29/14 8:23 PM

Quote: a7yrstitch
...
Last summer I tested the afternoon cold tap water at the end of May - it was 122 degrees.

Wow, that's hot. I don't think ours is ever that hot and I'm in the Arizona deserts.

------
"framed" was taken
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant." - Horton(Dr. Seuss)

jenleeC
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In reply to LDT2011 <<
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Date: 7/29/14 8:49 PM

Silk will generally shrink a little with the first wash so pre-washing is good idea if that is how you intend to wash your final garment. I use a lot of silk and generally hand wash my garments unless the construction (ball dress with lots of layers and boning, for example) would mean drycleaning is best. Sometimes I line dry (hanging over a clean towel), but generally I would roll in a towel to remove excess water and then hang over a dry towel inside to dry. We live in a hot climate so the sun can sometimes be a bit harsh for outside drying.

The only critical issue for silk is to use a low alkaline detergent rather than your standard detergent. The alkaline is damaging to the silk fibres. You can use anything suitable for pure wool or baby shampoo. Go lightly on the amount as you don't want detergent residue to remain in the garment. And don't use really hot water, "baby bath" temperature is perfect. Some silk washing instructions suggest adding vinegar to the final rinse to neutralize any alkaline residue. I generally don't bother but if I do I add it to the first rinse rather than the final.

I recently purchased a good quality front loader with a specialist silk cycle and will now machine wash some of my basic items (simple tops, silk slips etc). I still prefer to hand wash my 'special' garments.

Here is a good link for Silk Care.

------
Jenny, Perth, WA

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