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To wash or not to wash the Great debate

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Joe replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 8:00 AM

Gini rules. I agree with all that, and have even one more good reason. Later. But first, look at the bolt the cloth is on. See where it was made. Imagine what it was like there. Then, what happened on the six million mile trip here by camel, cart, boats, trains and planes? What crawled in or on it? What did that creature do with it's time while parked there? Hmmm?

I'd wash it, if I was you.

Now, it's later. Fact: anything that comes into this house, new or used, is going to get washed, by Royal Decree. No use to fight it.

And as discussed earlier, ironing builds character.

Carry on.

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Patti replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 9:07 AM

Joe, I think it is a good idea to look at where the fabric is made.  i have noticed recently that even in a good quilt store, more and more of the fabric is coming from China.  And while some good quality things come from there, one can't depend on it.  Think of the bad dog food, milk products, medications (bad heparin that killed at least 80 dialysis patients here in the states), and organic pesticides that are not organic, but contaminated with non organic substances.  Ooooo, that one really makes me mad.  It could have seriously harmed someone I love.  And the Chinese people involved in that knew it was "contaminated" and still won't say what it had in it!

Yes, I do wash all my fabrics now.  Unless it is already cut smaller than a fat quarter or in strips.

Patti

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Maggie replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 10:07 AM

Gini, "ickycides"?   I love it.   Think I have a lot of that one around the house.  Prewashing fabrics for applique makes them much softer to work with.   Fabrics for piecing I am not so particular about -- I always wash a quilt before giving it away.

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gini replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 11:20 AM

ginny, they are in my blog under PPQG (panhandle piecemakers quilt guild).  i'll post just my two quilts in the "have you worked on a quilt thread" just for you so you don't have to scroll through them all  

gini in north idaho

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gini replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 11:22 AM

Joe:
What crawled in or on it? What did that creature do with it's time while parked there? Hmmm?

 with all the poisons they put on the fabric, i'm pretty sure the creature died and spilled its guts all over the fabric before it had time to do anything else. but you are right, how close to the latrines was the fabric made?

gini in north idaho

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Ramona replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 4:47 PM

Linda,

That is very interesting.  Will need to give that try. I have pinked the edges to keep them from fraying so much and also serged them. Just got too time consuming so I decided not to wash fabric unless I thought it would run. 

Ooooooo, but now I'm reading further and see about the pesticides and where the fabric comes from. Hadn't even thought about that. I guess you can bring fabric with bugs into this country but you can't, or not suppose to, bring fruit.  When you think about it, I guess we should spray everything.  Washing it'll be from now on.

 

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gini replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 4:57 PM

no ramona, you can't bring containers into the states without them being decontaminated.   at least the containers sam brought in were sprayed with chemicals before they were unloaded.  they were inspected and sprayed.  i'm pretty sure any organic product is treated this way.  that would include cotton

gini in north idaho

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Ellen replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 6:17 PM

Why we wash: I ask mom why she cut the end off the ham each time she cooked. Ask your gramma, Grama why do we cut the end of the ham off each time, ask great gramma.  whydo we cut the ham? Answer I never had a big enough pot! Moral, fabric used to shrink and colors bleed, today theres not so much of a problem!

    TRADITION!!!!

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Ramona replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 7:26 PM

Gini,

Whew! Glad to know.  Thanks :-)

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Linda replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 6:55 PM

Hi Thanks so much for thinking it was a neat Idea.... I don't just quilt this is ALL very new to me... I made this trick up while doing clothes and other sewing projects... Thanks again

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Linda replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 7:03 PM

Hi again... Like i said I am so new @ quilting only been about a month... I have been sewing since age 4 not kidding... But Quilting Ohhhh MY... I LOVE it I hope to learn allot from all of you.... Please bear with me... I own a Grocery store I work a TON and I have in the last month made my office into a sewing room hahahahahaha Like I said I am so new at this I LOVE it tho its like putting Puzzle pieces together... I am Thrilled anyone even looked at my post THANK YOU ALL!!!!!

 

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QDancer replied on Tue, Aug 21 2012 7:34 PM

I also pre wash my fabrics. I have had colors bleed ever so slightly, but even just "ever so slightly" is heartbreaking after all that work....and yes, can't trust that there aren't pesticides or crawlys or Lord knows what all else. My peace of mind makes it not such a big deal, and I like to iron the fabric, smells good.....did I say that out loud?.....

Mona

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gini replied on Tue, Aug 21 2012 7:56 PM

QDancer:
and I like to iron the fabric, smells good.....did I say that out loud?.....

 i didn't hear anything.

gini in north idaho

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MNnancy replied on Tue, Aug 21 2012 9:36 PM

QDancer:
and I like to iron the fabric, smells good.....did I say that out loud?.....

LOL


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

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Sandra replied on Wed, Aug 22 2012 7:33 AM

I agree with you about washing fabric....

This is why the manufacturer uses pesticides and chemicals in production.  On it's journey to your door, the fabric encounters many countries, warehouses and then your fabric shop or another warehouse if you purchase online.   The chemicals will always be there no matter where it first originated, because even the US exports textiles across the globe. 

The reason to prewash is not only to rid yourself of all the harmful chemicals, but the most irritating of all has to be that you can ruin a quilt in the first moments of a wash cycle.  If you can't come to terms with prewashing every bit of fabric you own, then at a minimum you should wash are color groups of reds, blues, browns and greens. 

My rule of thumb is to prewash yardage in warm water on a gentle cycle or rinse cycle, gently handwash precuts in warm water and hang to partially dry, then iron dry and gently fold or wrap yardage onto bolts.  Until you've spent countless hours, days, even months finishing a bed quilt, then washing it for the first time and finding out that the red has bled into the white and turned a vivid pink color, you really won't know the true value of prewashing all your fabrics.  Take it from one who had to learn the hard way. 

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