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Tips & Techniques > Prewashing large cuts of fabric

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Posted by: Irene Q
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Member since: 3/19/04
Reviews: 127 (tips: 12)
Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 3/25/05 10:45 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 5 people   Very Helpful by 18 people   
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If you try to machine wash and/or dry large cuts of fabric (3 yards), they can really twist and bunch up, making a big wrinkled mess! To avoid this, accordion-fold the fabric in about 1 yard lengths. Then tack the layers together (I use several zig-zag stitches) at 3 - 4 places along one of the selvadges. Now, throw it in the washer and dryer, and snip them apart when you're done (if they don't come unsewn by themselves).

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Lizz said... (10/24/07 9:44 AM) Reply
Super! This is just what I wanted to know and I can retrieve it 2 1/2 years after you shared the info. Isn't PR great?
PVA said... (3/29/06 11:18 AM) Reply
Irene, this is brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing this one.
Nana said... (8/30/05 10:58 PM) Reply
sounds great..........wish I knew this last week when I was dealing w/ the "twisted mess" thanks
AnneM said... (6/27/05 11:58 AM) Reply
Great idea. Thanks for sharing.
Irene Q said... (4/23/05 9:02 AM) Reply
Kathy, I've heard of using safety pins, but I'm always afraid that they'll rust and leave stains. Make sure yours are stainless steel or brass!
Kathy_AZ said... (4/22/05 10:36 AM) Reply
Thanks Irene. I adapted your tip and instead of tacking I used safety pins. Came out of the wash great. What a time saver!
GJ said... (4/7/05 9:13 AM) Reply
Appreciate this info. I just bought 3 yards of Hanna Anderson knits for summer things. Will do as you say. GJ
Kathy in NM said... (3/27/05 10:04 PM) Reply
Irene, great tip - I tried the lazy way today - used the accordian fold, but was too lazy to tack. It worked great for 4 - 3yd cuts I washed. Thanks!
Rebecca D said... (3/27/05 3:02 PM) Reply
Irene, thanks for this tip, I used it today and it really cuts down on the tangling of the fabric..
SewVeryTall said... (3/27/05 6:07 AM) Reply
Thanks Irene!
Irene Q said... (3/26/05 10:11 AM) Reply
SewVeryTall, I just did 6 yards of cotton - I think that's the most I've tried.
SewVeryTall said... (3/26/05 4:52 AM) Reply
This is a great tip, especially to tack in the selvage area. What is the most yardage you've done this way? [sometimes I buy 10 yards at once]
GorgeousFabrics said... (3/25/05 9:41 PM) Reply
This is one of those "Aha!" moments! What a great tip. Why didn't I think of this? Thank you, Irene! -Ann
Hope K said... (3/25/05 7:18 PM) Reply
Irene, this is a great tip! I usually sew the ends together, but for long cuts, the fabric still gets really twisted and off-grain. I'll definitely remember the accordian-folds next time.
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