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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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I have also never pre-washed anything, and have yet to have any problem

[Ava, Missouri

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I've been good thanks Gini...been busy working on the house and still soooo  much to do...why did we build such a big house???why??? hubby..that's why...oh well...haven't been quilting as much as I would like but do get some in....on topic...I don't know why people have such a problem with fabric running...I buy wal-mart, joannes and quilt shop fabric and all is good..maybe the fabric faeries do like me ;o)

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 I will prewash any kind of red fabric (for bleeding) and flannel (for shrinkage), but I don't prewash anything else. I usually buy only  "quality" fabrics from quilt shops which are made better these days ...

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gini replied on Mon, Nov 22 2010 11:46 AM

welcome leeann.    nice to meet you   gini

gini in north idaho

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Gini,

I have no clue yet how to navigate these blogs or comments, but wanted to say thank you and nice to meet you, too!

Lee Ann

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Well, I guess it just pops up after you post ...

Lee Ann

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gini replied on Mon, Nov 22 2010 4:15 PM

lee ann, yep, it just pops up.  this site is pretty easy to navigate and it has a quick learning curve.   you'll get everything figured out in no time   gini

gini in north idaho

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As a teacher I will tell you it is best to take your batting out of the bag. Lay it somewhere for a day and let it breathe. If there are creases in it, throw it in a cool dryer with a damp rag to get out the crease. It will lay much better and revert to original shape before it was packaged. The packaging can sometimes distort it.

 

Julia

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I normally prewash everything so that I can catch the shrinking, color running, or just remove the dirt etc. 

But I do not always prewash batting so I have had a problem once in a while. 

I guess it boils down what is the quilt item being used for.  Most wall hangings and table toppers are not washed as much as a full size quilt for a bed.  So if you want the crisp look for the wall hanging or table topper don't prewash.  However I just use starch to get the crisp look back after prewashing.  I find it very relaxing to wash and iron all my fabric before I add them to my stash.

Hope this helped.

from Minnesota

 

 

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Denise replied on Mon, Dec 13 2010 3:59 AM

I don't prewash anything.  I used to but found it to be more of a hassle then anything else.

I wash the quilt top before sandwiching but other then that, that's all until it's binded & complete.

Have yet to notice any issues with shrinking.  To prevent color running - I use a mix of vinegar, salt and Shout Color Catcher and haven't had any issues there either.

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The old vinegar and salt trick.  Haven't heard anyone so young knowing that one.  My Mom used it all the time on my brothers' blue jeans to keep them blue.  Far cry from kids nowadays who buy jeans that look like they are ready for the rag bag! 

By the way - welcome to the fold Denise. 

Marge (AKA Dimples)

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Jenn:
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

I used to prewash everything, then I got hooked up with a bunch of veteran quilters.  They advised me that they do not suggest prewashing because I would be taking the sizing out and make it more difficult to work with... requiring you to put sizing back in.  I tried sticking with my prewash thing and they kept after me.  Well, I bought some towels that I wanted to put a border on.  I was all set to put the borders on and one of the ladies asked if I had prewashed and I told her no.  She proceeds to tell me that if I am going to sew the fabric onto a towel that will be washed over and over that I had better prewash in this instance.  I measured the border pieces I had cut already.  The first time I washed it, the 24" piece shrunk an inch.  The second time it shrunk an additional 1/2".  This was quality quilt-shop fabric.  If I had sewn it on without prewashing I'm pretty sure it would have shrunk at a different rate than the towel, so it was good advice to prewash when you are sewing your fabric onto something that is not going to shrink at the same rate.

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Very good thing to know Grandma Sal.  Thanks for pointing that out. 

Marge (AKA Dimples)

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David replied on Tue, Dec 14 2010 9:46 PM

When I pre washed my fabric I found that the fabric was harder to piece and came unraveled. Ifi chose to do this again should I starch the fabric before cutting out my pieces?

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gini replied on Tue, Dec 14 2010 9:49 PM

some folks do starch.   i haven't found fabric any harder to use after washing it, though.   if you cut  a little of the corner off, it won't ravel as much.      gini

gini in north idaho

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