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Forum > Beginner's Forum > washing fabric before cutting ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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washing fabric before cutting
to wash or not to wash
SierraC
SierraC
Intermediate
Member since 3/1/09
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Date: 3/2/09 4:24 PM

Is it necessary to wash fabric before cutting and sewing?
I am going to be using a Bamboo fabric and would love to start cutting right now.... but am now wondering if I need to wash it first.

kkkkaty
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kkkkaty  Friend of PR
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Utah USA
Member since 12/7/05
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In reply to SierraC


Date: 3/2/09 4:28 PM

yes yes yes, particularly because some bamboo fabrics shrink a lot. You should prepare the fabric the same way you intend to wash or clean it later. Link to care instructions for bamboo fabric
-- Edited on 3/2/09 4:29 PM --

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Heidi Cooper
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Heidi Cooper  Friend of PR
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In reply to SierraC


Date: 3/2/09 4:34 PM

There have been several threads on the boards on the relevant merits of pre-washing, the general consensus is to wash your fabric as you will your final garment.

As for bamboo, you better wash it at least twice! I have yet to make anything up, but have several yards coming to me soon. People who have worked with this great fabric report that it shrinks at least as much as cotton, if not more.

I only wash my garments in cold/cold and hang dry. However, I wash my yardage in warm water and also dry on warm, unless it is something very special/delicate.

That way the worse has already happened

Search the boards, some great info...

heidi

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“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” -Mahatma Gandhi
“ Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” -Mahatma Gandhi

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tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
Intermediate
British Columbia CANADA
Member since 7/23/07
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In reply to SierraC


Date: 3/2/09 7:27 PM

Absolutely! I have been sewing for a loooong time and still do stupid things like sometimes not washing before cutting. I was in a hurry to make a simple flannelet crib sheet and, knowing better, I just tacked on a couple of inches to the length and width. Ha! Not nearly enough. The crib mattress turned into a bow shape with the short sheet on it! Luckily, appearance is not crucial, so I brought it home and added a 5" wide stripe in the middle of it (yes - 5"! On top of the 3 - 4" extra I added when I sewed it!) so now it has a "design feature." WASH your fabric!

------
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tlmck3
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tlmck3
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Illinois USA
Member since 7/11/05
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Date: 3/2/09 7:57 PM

Definitely wash.

Especially bamboo.

I'd throw it in the dryer, too.

It shrinks a lot.

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I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

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Cisa
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Cisa
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Date: 3/2/09 8:12 PM

WASH! (lessen learned the hard way...more than once)

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solosmocker
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solosmocker
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Date: 3/2/09 10:17 PM

Try to get into the habit of washing your fabrics as soon as they come thru the door. That way you will always have them ready to cut and sew.

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goodworks1
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goodworks1  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/2/09 10:51 PM

What solosmocker said...

In addition, with washing you'll have removed much of the chemicals and dirt that almost all fabric has on it and that can adversely affect your health.

A few years ago I started getting headaches whenever I'd work for a while in a particular room in my house. I finally traced it to a bag of fabric stored there that I hadn't yet prewashed. Once it was cleaned, the headaches disappeared.

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KitnRose
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KitnRose
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Date: 3/2/09 11:10 PM

Convinced yet? :D

I hear ya on wanting to sew immediately. I do tend to wash my new fabrics just as soon as I can because otherwise I'll want to cut something out and naturally I'll either not have enough time to wash, dry, then cut, or our shared washers will be in use with five more loads lined up before mine. So frustrating! So I try to get that washing step done nice and early. The secret is to have a large stash so you can sew up something else while waiting for your new fabric to come out of the dryer. :)

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Kit
"Never underestimate the power of the right dress!" - drsue
"Hyu gots to know how to sveet tok de costumers, dollink" - Girl Genius, 11-24-08

EveS
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EveS
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Date: 3/3/09 8:50 AM

I go with Heidi's plan. I tend to over-abuse my fabric when I prewash for worst-case-scenario shrinkage.

In addition to the merits already mentioned, you will know BEFORE you invest your time and effort if you have a "dud" fabric. It happens...fabric that's off grain, bleeds, pills, turns into a wad of kleenex...

IMO, you're asking for all kinds of trouble if you don't prewash.

Eve

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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it - Chinese proverb

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