It appears that this question has been asked many times before, but I am a beginning quilter just starting my very first quilt and am torn on what to do. All my fabric is 100% cotton and I will be machine piecing the blocks and machine quilting for a queen size quilt. I understand there is an ongoing debate on whether or not to pre-wash your fabric, and to date I have received a 50/50 response on which way to go. I did wash a measured swatch of dark fabric in order to test for bleeding; and although it was color fast and did not shrink at all on the lengthwise grain, on the crosswise grain it shrank a good 1/8 of an inch or better. Is that a significant amount of shrinkage and for a project of this size would it be better to pre-wash all my fabric? I'd really rather not if I don't have to, as it is a lot of extra work and I understand there can likewise be problems from washing, such as tangling and unraveling. Thanks for any help or advice you can give.
I always love to talk quilting so if we rehash an old question for a newbie - that is fun to me -
I do not prewash anything... When I quilt my quilts I use 100% cotton batting, I feel that if they are going to shrink as long as I use all the same fabrics they will shrink the same...
I do put a color catcher in the washer the first couple times I wash my quilts though so if anything does run it won't get far.
Welcome to our community! I do not pre-wash. The only colors I pay strict attention to are dark indigo blues, and all reds. (I seldom use black so can't say about them.) I check those fabrics by the swatch washing method and let them dry on a white paper towel. If a red fabric continues to bleed after checking it 2-3 times, I do not put it in my quilt. I always use the color catchers Thea mentioned when I wash my quilts the first couple times.
My Sunshine doesn't come from the skies, It comes from the love in my dog's eyes.
hi mudblubets, welcome to the group. I prewash everything before it goes in my studio. I don't find the tangling and unraveling much of a problem and it's easily fixed. as well as the issues with shrinkage and bleeding, the fabrics have pesticides fungicides and other chemicals that I don't care to breathe all day long.
gini in north idaho