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pre-washing (common question I'm sure)

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Jenn posted on Thu, Sep 30 2010 5:54 AM

so prewashing

 

I have heard both, people do it and people don't

 

I learned to sew on my own, from reading books and some advise from my MIL, and everything I was told was prewash, so as soon as I get my fabrics (even precuts) I wash them.

Now I'm finding with quilting a lot of people don't pre wash....I know it's really a personal decision, but I was just wondering what everyone's thoughts were on this, what you did and what your experience has been.  

If you don't pre wash a quilt.....is there a lot of distoration after the wash with shrinking?  Thanks

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gini replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 8:55 AM

you are right   there are definitely two camps on this one.  i prewash everything that comes into my house,  even the tiny pieces by hand.  i washed the material i got yesterday in the motel sink.   two of the fabrics bled, one quite badly and one i wouldn't have expected.   they fabric also have pesticides and fungicides in them, so i wash it out before i put it on the shelf.    gini

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Nana replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 9:19 AM

Jenn

When I first started quilting I prewashed everything because that is what all the books said.  Then after watching alot of the shows on tv and hearing our "professional'" quilters talking about the fact that the majority of them never prewash I decided if it was good enough for them it was good enough for me.  I don't prewash anything anymore.  I also don't have problems with shrinkage unless I have used a lesser quality fabric.   I also have never had problems with bleeding from fabrics.

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Jenn, I don't prewash ,I love the way the fabric smells and I find it easlier to work with before washing. When I finish a project then I wash it ,but I never put in dryer ,I like to air dry my quilts. now that is just me  LOL   Barbara

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Jenn replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 1:23 PM

thank you ladies.....

 

so my question now is, eventually you are going to wash the quilt....so if you don't pre wash, does it distort the quilt at all  or just make it a little extra crinkly and vintage looking

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Nana replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 3:55 PM

Jenn

I wash my finished quilt after I finish the binding.  I have never had one distort.  Some will have a vintage crinkle look.  Part of this depends on the batting.

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Jenn,

I usually prewash especially reds and dark colors, but my last quilt of blues, browns and beiges I didn't prewash. I had no distortion, it washed and dried beautifully, I had stippled it quite closely and didn't find that anything looked much different than before  I washed it. Don't know if it matters, but I had also used quality Moda fabrics and warm and natural batting. I was very pleased. 

I also wanted to add that after I prewash and dry, I iron and heavily starch my fabrics. What a difference it makes in crisp cuts and easy piecing.

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Annette replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 10:56 PM

I usually prewash - everything but jelly rolls, charm packs etc (I do wash fat quarters).  I dry for a bit in the dryer and usually take things out after about 15-20 minutes and let things air-dry after that if needed.  I then iron with starch.  A gal in our quilt group is doing a BOM and she found the reds sent to her bled quite a bit - she washed them about 3 times.  She didn't trust them and ended up buying separate fabrics instead.   

I would be curious whether anyone 'preps' batting at all.

Annette

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Nana replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 11:12 PM

Annette

I have never prepped batting. 

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gini replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 11:28 PM

Annette:
I would be curious whether anyone 'preps' batting at all.

  it depends, don't you just love that answer?    if you don't want that wrinkly old look, you can gently rince the batt in the washer and dry it.  if i cant get wrinkles out, i will toss it in the dryer for a few.   so sometimes i wash them and sometimes i don't   i always take it out of the package a couple of days before i use it to let the batt relax. it makes for fewer wrinkles.    i think nana irons hers    gini

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gini replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 11:28 PM

nana, i just read your post, i thought you ironed your batting?  did i misread something?      gini

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Nana replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 11:43 PM

Gini

When I sandwich quilts and use the basting spray I will iron the sandwich front and back to make sure everything is good a flat.  It also seems to make the basting spray hold tighter,   If I am putting my quilt on the frame with the midarm I just throw the batting across the frame for at least a few hours before I start loading everything onto the frame.

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gini replied on Thu, Sep 30 2010 11:46 PM

oh, i misread, i thought you ironed the batt.  so that makes sense, it gives you a very flat surface to quilt      gini

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Kris replied on Fri, Oct 1 2010 3:10 AM

Annette:
I would be curious whether anyone 'preps' batting at all.

Annette,

I fluff mine in the dryer with no heat. I buy batting by the bolt and it's folded in half so I like to get the crease out. I like the crinkly look so I don't wash my batting ahead of time.

Generally I don't wash my fabrics but I've been using ecology cloth lately (high thread count muslin) and the instructions say to wash before using since it shrinks more than regular cotton. So I washed the 20 yards I bought. It irons nicely with my starch alternative.

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Stephanie:
I also wanted to add that after I prewash and dry, I iron and heavily starch my fabrics. What a difference it makes in crisp cuts and easy piecing.
that is why I DON'T prewash..I like the sizing in the fabric...and why go to all that work to take it out and then put it back in?? LOL..there will always be two sides to this discussion (not an argument) and it is a personal choice

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