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Washing fabrics

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Andrea Dee posted on Sat, Sep 24 2011 8:54 AM

Silly question of the day.

Am I supposed to wash and iron my fabric before I start cutting?

Andrea

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Nana replied on Sat, Sep 24 2011 9:07 AM

Andrea

That depends on who you ask...LOL>  Some wash everything and I don't wash anything.  It is pretty much a personal preference.

Vinton, Virginia

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Annie replied on Sat, Sep 24 2011 10:01 AM

I prefer not washing anything until my quilt is completed.  If it shrinks up a bit, it gives the quilt a cozier feel and look, which I like.  I guess there is no right or wrong method, just personal preference.

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Melissa replied on Sat, Sep 24 2011 10:07 AM

I don't wash unless I am using a lot of white alongside heavily saturated solids. I like the crisp feel of the unwashed fabric when I work with it.


Melissa
http://ardeasnest.blogspot.com
"Love isn't what makes the world go round, it's what makes the ride worthwhile."

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MNnancy replied on Sat, Sep 24 2011 10:59 AM

You could do a search for "prewash" and find previous discussions on this topic.  Based on those discussions, I'd say 80% of the quilters here do not prewash.


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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The only time I wished I would have washed the fabric first was when I did a red and white quilted wall hanging - lots of white squares surrounded by red. When I finally washed it - in cold - the colors bled all over and try as I may, I cannot get the red out of the white - very sad. So, it really depends on what your are creating.  99% of the time I do not wash first. Your decision!


             Oregon

 

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abbey replied on Sat, Sep 24 2011 7:10 PM

Personally no I don't usually prewash first. I prefer to wait until the quilt is completed. To me it just has a different feel then. I just like it better. Who knows why we all do the things we do, but it works for us for different reasons.

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Denise_Oregon:

The only time I wished I would have washed the fabric first was when I did a red and white quilted wall hanging - lots of white squares surrounded by red. When I finally washed it - in cold - the colors bled all over and try as I may, I cannot get the red out of the white - very sad. So, it really depends on what your are creating.  99% of the time I do not wash first. Your decision!

 

Denise,

I am getting ready to start a red and white bow tie quilt. I don't want my red color to bleed to my white fabric. What would you suggest I do, pre-wash all my red fabric in cold first and iron it then make my quilt? I have never pre washed but I don't want the red to bleed to the white fabric once it is complete. Thanks for your suggestions.

 

Melinda  Tacoma, Washington

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Nana replied on Sun, Sep 25 2011 12:02 AM

Melinda

I just finished a baby quilt made with black fabric and a white fabric with roses.  I didn't prewash and none of the color bled from the black.   They do make shout color catchers that you can throw into the wash to catch any of the color that bleeds out.  You can get the shout sheets anywhere that sells laundry supplies.

Vinton, Virginia

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gini replied on Sun, Sep 25 2011 12:47 AM

i wash everything before it goes in the studio

gini in north idaho

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Deah replied on Sun, Sep 25 2011 8:19 AM

All my fabric is washed first, detergent only, no fabric softners (in case I am working with appliques)  - cleaning it the way I would the finished product.   I want whatever finishers that are on the new fabric out so that I am not handling the chemicals.  Plus, I want to make sure that if anything bleeds, it is done during prewash.  This has worked for me : ).

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I wash everything before I do anything else.

 

Happy quilting!

CLEVELAND, TEXAS

 


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Eileen replied on Sun, Sep 25 2011 8:50 AM

Andrea, if you have enough fabric, you could cut off a small piece to test for color fastness.  Put it in the temperature water you would use to wash the quilt, shake it up & see if it bleeds.  If you want to be able to wash the quilt once it's made, I would wash all the fabric so it shrinks before sewing. 

The color catcher sheets are great - I use them with my laundry, too. There's another option someone recommended & it is called Retayne (Joann Fabric is one place that carries it). It's a liquid you use in the wash & it helps to set the dyes.

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Eileen replied on Sun, Sep 25 2011 8:59 AM

As others have said, we have had this discussion on QCA (to wash or not) a few times.  I'm sure there are other questions that have been asked more than once.  What do you all think of having a FAQ section on the site, maybe from the left side of the home page (near the dictionary, where are you from & other links)?  Just an idea. 

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Andrea Dee:

Silly question of the day.

Am I supposed to wash and iron my fabric before I start cutting?

 Andrea, there are no silly questions just a need to kinow.   Some people swear by washing fabric first, some don't.   I personally do not wash first.  That said there are times I have to.  (like the time I bought some at a flea market and it smelled like an old building)  If I do wash it I use sizing on it when I iron it.  That brings it back to that nice crisp new feeling.

Granny M

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