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Fabrics that need prewash
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tgm and Kittys
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tgm and  Kittys
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Date: 8/5/13 11:33 AM

I grew up being taught by Grandma to prewash all fabrics... preferably handwash them. I pretty much do wash all my fabrics & iron them before cutting them & sewing.
Now seeing a beautiful shiny gold fabric I am wondering wash it or no? What about the batiks would love to try those ....wash them or no? ...Continue to use Woolite with all fabrics in prewash or no?
Thanks so much.
Please share what you prewash & with what soaps. I really appreciate it.

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Home of the adorable Baby & Mittee girl >^,,^<

Oh my..here we go again, no job...Sighing allot..


kkkkaty
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Date: 8/5/13 11:46 AM

The best argument I've heard for pre-washing is that many fabric have a finish applied to them at manufacturing time, or may have been treated in some other way. By washing them you'll know what you are really getting before you start sewing something up.

There's also all the issues related to shrinkage.

This is what I ordinarily do: If I would wash a garment I are making, then I would prewash the fabric to make sure it will stand up to future washings, and also to preshrink it. I'd use what ever soap/detergent I would ordinarily use to launder my clothes.

If you'd probably dry clean something, such as some nice wool, or maybe silk, I wouldn't pre-wash it. I might dry clean it (but probably not)

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quiltingwolf
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Date: 8/5/13 11:48 AM

I used to be pretty strict about washing everything the came in the house for all kinds of reasons. However now I just wash stuff I'm going to use in a quilt to be washed. If it's applique or for a wall hanging that won't be washed I don't bother. However any apparel fabrics are washed, sometimes twice. If I were to wash a wall hanging later it would be hand washed and line dried, no dryer so I think shrinking would be at a minimum. And never wash precuts. As I don't really have many or will, I just like them for applique so no need to wash. Oh and when I do wash it's with normal detergent I would use for regular washing. I happen to like Arm and Hammer.
-- Edited on 8/5/13 11:50 AM --

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lelliebunny
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Date: 8/5/13 12:23 PM

i wash absolutely everything except jelly rolls/charm packs/layer cakes.

i am allergic to a lot of the chemicals they use to treat the fabric, so i want it out! i also like knowing that something isn't going to shrink terribly once it is finished (i do like a little bit of puckering on my quilts after they get washed), and i would prefer that the bed of my sewing machine stay its original color (i use a lot of dark fabric).

i just wash the item normally as dictated by the fabric type.

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it doesn't matter what type of sewing you do. you are sewing, and sewing is good.

kkkkaty
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Date: 8/5/13 12:40 PM

oops, sorry for the earlier response, entirely missed the fact that your question was about quilting!

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SheBear0320
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Date: 8/5/13 1:51 PM

I pre-wash all fabrics -- there are all the issues of chemicals, shrinking, colour fastness, etc.

Add to that the fact that I worked in a fabric store for a number of years -- let's just say on the days you were scheduled to work in "the back" unloading and sorting fabric, you were told to wear jeans and T-shirts and to have a pair of gloves.

I use my regular laundry detergent (Woolite) and machine wash. I dry most (some on low and some on medium) although some may get hung to dry. I also usually toss in a Colour Catcher to make sure there is no colour transfer.



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Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
66.0 yards sewn (as of 09/27/14)
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beauturbo
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Date: 8/5/13 2:11 PM

I pre-wash everything the way I'm planning to do it later, if I know I'm really going to do that later, and any detergent or hand wash, just like I'm going to be willing to do later, just since in case of any surprises, I would always rather know before my sewing time and effort into something, than afterwards.

So if it's going to shrink, color run, or the hand of it going to change later, I want to know about it first.

I would for sure pre-wash and machine dry any real cotton batik fabric. You can just use regular laundry detergent and not woolite at all. Unless you really love woolite and really use it to wash everything you own. So I see no advantage at all, to washing real cotton Batik in it, over just regular laundry detergent actually. You know that has been washed before, and with hot water too, just since that had to happen probably numerous times, to even melt and get the original wax out of it, when they made the "Batik" part of it.

There is some shiny gold quiliting kind of cottons, that are shiny, just because the length wise grain of threads and the cross wise ones are actually different fibers. That kind I always machine wash and dry too, just since at least half of it is cotton in there, it will shrink a bit.

I also have some metallic/silk fabrics, with real metal in them, and if those even ever get wet with any water at all , they actual do tarnish and change a lot.

Maybe some other shiny gold stuff could be anything even between those two, or even some kind of paint or laminate on there, so I think it just changes with the fabric each time. If it's on a bolt, washing instructions are probably on there, just on the fabrics bolt end. If it's just loose undetermined fabric, separated from it's fabric bolt, and with no fiber content or washing instructions so you have not a clue, that's always a problem, and so then I feel you just have to sort of guess, and try with a little sample to see what happens first instead.

Franksdottir

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Date: 8/5/13 2:59 PM

I pre-wash garment fabric, but I have stopped pre-washing quilt fabric.

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Barb

Cat n Bull
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Date: 8/5/13 4:36 PM

I am like Barb, prewash for garment fabric but not for quilting fabric.

I do use color catchers the first time I wash a quilt, and wash all mine when they are done. Regular washing and drying with the rest of the laundry.

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Cathryn

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Date: 8/6/13 0:25 AM

Coming from the garment side of the house I have always prewashed. Then I started working at the quilt shop almost 20 yrs ago, so I have seen both sides of this issue. I still am a prewasher! I LOVE the shout color catchers. Fabrics and dyes have gotten better over time, BUT I was just in a discussion this past week about fabric manufactures having to cut some cost and SOME are going to cheaper fabrics as well as dyes. I suggest to at least test your fabrics to see if the dyes run. Some of the old homespuns use to have formaldehyde in them (forget which country they were imported in from) We always had to tell our customers to wash them and we had to wash our hands after handling them so we would not it in our eyes if we rubbed our faces. I do not prewash precuts.........
To prewash or not to prewash that is the question & I am sure you will get LOTS of different takes on this subject! :)
-- Edited on 8/6/13 0:28 AM --

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