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Wash fabric or not???

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KathyAnn posted on Tue, Jan 22 2013 8:22 PM

I am only a beginner and was taught in my class that I did not need to prewash fabric ever as long as I use premium fabric. Now that I'm halfway thru I'm worried that the wine colored fabric will bleed. And I have purchased fabric for my next quilt and it has a lot of reds and wine colored fabric and I'm afraid of bleeding when the quilt is washed for the first time. Opinions or experience please???

Also I am going to use some jelly rolls as some precut strips and what is the best way to prewash them without ending up with a tangled mess?

 

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Bev replied on Tue, Jan 22 2013 8:31 PM

I have to say I have never thought about pre washing jelly rolls, layer cakes or charm squares.  Whether to pre wash or not seems to be a personal preference or depends on what you are making. I have decided for me not to pre wash but use the products made to "catch the color" when I do need to wash a quilt. I will be watching for answers by more experienced quilters though!  

  from TN

 

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KathyAnn.  You're going to get a wide range of opinions. But one I think most everyone agrees with is not to prewash the jelly roll strips. 

If you already have a quilt partly constructed and are worried it may bleed when washed, use the Shout color catcher when you wash the quilt.

 

 


In the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

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I don't know if this actually works, but it's an interesting tidbit. I found it on one good thing website  Has anyone made their own color catchers?

 

The color catcher is a piece of white something with soda ash solution dried onto it. You can make your own with soda ash, usually sold in swimming pool supply areas of hardware stores. (Grandma called it washing soda.) Just put a tablespoon of the dry soda into a cup of hot water until it dissolves. Put in a yard of white junk fabric, or ratty toweling, and let it become saturated. Let it dry. Cut off a piece and wash it with your bleedable fabric. The soda ash grabs and holds the dye. You can make a lifetime supply of color catchers with a buck or two of soda ash. For those of you who tie dye, this is exactly the technique for pre-treating fabric before applying dye. Soda plus cotton grabs loose dye molecules. Cheers!


In the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

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I don't wash except when it's required for swaps.  I like working with crisp fabric and I have a lot more things to do than iron and starch all that fabric before starting to cut.  The rule of thumb I was given is wash all or wash none.  I prefer none.  And the Colorcatchers are a wonderful invention. 

Brigit-Carol

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Okay thanks ladies. I did not know what a color catcher was, so I will definitely go that route. I like the crisp feel of unwashed fabric also, makes sense that it would be easier to work with than washed fabric.

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Mimi replied on Tue, Jan 22 2013 9:05 PM

Thanks Judy T!!  I don't think I will ever buy another box of color catchers.  They are too expensive to just be dry washing soda on fabric.  Thanks again for the tip and the web site.

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I read once where someone cut a small piece of the fabric and placed it in a glass microwave bowl with a little laundry soap and water,  She "swished" it a bit,  then cooked it in the microwave for 2 - 3 minutes.  If it doesn't bleed then it probably never will.  If you're super worried you could try and "test" a small bit. 

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ls2116 replied on Wed, Jan 23 2013 2:19 PM

My red christmas quilt I shoulv'e prewashed probably because just sewing it my hands turned red.

Quilting My Rainbow

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TxQltr replied on Wed, Jan 23 2013 4:17 PM

Kathy, I spent "years" hand appliqueing a quilt and then hand quilting only to have the "roof" of a house which was a red, bleed onto the white "snow" next to it.  If I have a quilt which contains reds, I invest the time in pre-washing. Better safe than sorry is my motto. At least if I've pre-washed, I've done everything I know I could have done. I love the Color Catchers and use them in my regular laundry. Amazing how they will pick up colors. Even blues from jeans which have been washed numerous times before. I'm going to attempt to make my own with the recipe Judy provided.  Thanks Judy!!  Typically I don't prewash.  You'll find what works best for you.  It's the trial and error that drives me crazy!  lol.  If you opt to prewash your jelly roll, I would hand wash (not machine) and then iron/starch.  You'll find some shrinkage however which will mess with your pattern I bet.  I personally don't pre-wash anything pre-cut.  Good luck with whatever you decide.  There isn't any concrete right or wrong way to do it.  Go for it, whatever you decide to do!

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Nana replied on Wed, Jan 23 2013 11:32 PM

Kathy

As has been said this is totally personal preference.   Some prewash everything some prewash nothing.  I have occasionally prewashed reds if I am using them with whites.  But knock on wood thus far I haven't had anything bleed on my completed quilts.   I always wash the completed quilt with cold water and dry in the dryer just long enough for a damp dry.

Vinton, Virginia

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I never pre-wash ,but I alsways wash my quilts in cold water on gentle cycle and dry on my outdoor line ,this also helps to prevent shrinking. I've never had a problem yet with shrinking or bleeding of colors. Barbara

Liberty,Missouri

EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!

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gini replied on Thu, Jan 24 2013 1:35 PM

I only buy high quality fabrics and close to  half of them will bleed.  Reds blues and greens, some purples, browns.

gini in north idaho

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Mimi replied on Thu, Jan 24 2013 3:53 PM

I know many say it's okay to use the fabric and not wash it but I always wash and dry everything except smaller pre-cuts and jelly rolls.   Once I purchased a variety of blue 10 x 10 layer cake squares from a LQS.  They were offering a set of each color.  I decided to wash them on gentle and dry on delicate for 10 minutes.  The color catcher sheets were loaded with dye.  When I put the squares back together they were all different sizes.  That's when I decided washing was a good thing.

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Judy - thanks for the homemade color catcher recipe.  :o)  I just may have to try this since those Shout ones are pricey! 

Marge (AKA Dimples)

Griffin, GA

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