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Tips & Techniques > Shrinking fabric with a steam cleaner

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Posted by: OP Gal
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Member since: 10/14/03
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Posted on: 12/26/09 6:07 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 14 people   
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It's a good idea to preshrink wool and other dry clean only fabric before sewing, but doing the London shrink method or holding a steam iron over sections of fabric is tedious. Recently I wanted to preshrink some wool and remembered that the Shark Euro-pro steam cleaner (NAYY) I bought to clean tile grout has a garment steamer attachment. The attachment has a long nozzle that is flat on the end. It sort of looks like a hammerhead shark. It has a cloth cover that is provided to cover the end. I just laid towels over a bed in a guest room, laid the fabric on it and rolled up the fabric that didn't fit on the bed to keep it from stretching when it was damp. The cleaner keeps the hot water under pressure, so you can pass the end of the nozzle carefully over sections of the fabric until it's completely steamed without worrying about it dripping. I allowed what I'd dampened to dry, then unrolled the rest and repeated the process.

I bought this particular steam cleaner intending to clean grout between tiles, but found that it didn't work very well for that purpose. However, it works just great for preshrinking fabric.

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OP Gal said... (3/27/10 9:16 AM) Reply
Tainsh: I don't quilt, so I don't know. But it sure would be worth a try.
Tainsh said... (3/26/10 10:06 AM) Reply
I wonder if you could use this method to block quilts?
Bunsnpigs said... (12/31/09 7:38 AM) Reply
Wow! Great! I have one of these cleaners, too!
Annette Wright said... (12/28/09 7:36 PM) Reply
I SOOOO need to try this. I agree, my steam cleaner is a joke. May as well use it for something I need. Thanks for the great idea.
minasmom said... (12/27/09 9:54 AM) Reply
Great Idea!
Rhoda K said... (12/27/09 9:24 AM) Reply
I wondered what I was going to do with a steam cleaner that I bought from QVC some years ago, now I know. It doesn't work that great on tub & showers but should be great for this. Thanks!
Woolygal said... (12/27/09 8:46 AM) Reply
Wow, what an idea. Thanks.
j222b said... (12/26/09 6:20 PM) Reply
Great idea. I bought a cleaner recently. I'll have to try steaming fabric.
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