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 Prewashing Fabric

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Registration date : 2008-09-02

PostSubject: Prewashing Fabric   Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:20 am

Title: Prewashing fabric
Post by: Gumbiecat on December 04, 2007, 05:17:40 AM
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I was surprised at how strongly quilters feel about this, yay or nay!

I'm one of the "in the door, in the machine" type people, having been burned once or twice with colour run. I've recently taken to adding a colour run sheet to the prewash as well, so I can do a mixture of dark colours without getting a gray overshadow to everything.

To bring back the nice, crisp feel, I also sometimes apply some spray starch before I begin cutting.

How about you?


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: TxMaryQuilts on December 04, 2007, 06:00:51 AM
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I didn't used to wash just because I had read you didn't Have to.
Then as I have read more and more about why you should, I have started washing.
Would eventually like to get all of my stash washed because I am developing a bad case of "I can't remember what has been and what hasn't been washed."

Best reason I heard for prewashing had nothing to do with colors running or fabric performance. It was the thought that maybe someone handling the fabric in the store may have sneezed on it or something. Eeewww.

Been washing before using ever since.


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: finisher on December 04, 2007, 06:40:27 AM
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I didn't vote..because I don't see a category that fits. I don't wash. If I'm going to use a color like red. or purple, or dark navys..I put them in the sink one by one and just get them wet. If they run..I rinse until they stop. I used to wash..and found that good quality fabrics don't shrink enough to make a difference..and it created a lot of extra ironing.


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: golo on December 04, 2007, 08:47:48 AM
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I always wash fabric when I am in a swap.... but don't normally for myself... :santa_shocked:


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: BearFoot on December 04, 2007, 09:01:58 AM
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I always pre-wash if I am in a swap. For my own project...sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. If I am concerned about the fabric or the color then I usually do or I add Retayne to the water.


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: Krafty Lady on December 04, 2007, 09:56:52 AM
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When I made things for the shop, she never wanted anything washed, but mine is washed as soon a it comes in the door, too many chemicals, especially formaldehyde in it. Also too many materials shrink differently and they run a lot, that way I feel not only safer but healthier for doing it. Norma


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: Gumbiecat on December 04, 2007, 03:19:58 PM
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Quote from: BearFoot on December 04, 2007, 09:01:58 AM
I always pre-wash if I am in a swap.


This is really interesting - I'm the exact opposite. After being told off a couple of times, the only fabric I DON'T prewash is stuff I buy specifically for a swap. I always think that way the recipient gets to choose.

Having said that, MaryQuilts comment about sneezing makes me wonder... :santa_tongue:


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: buickjim on December 04, 2007, 05:03:46 PM
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This is one of those questions that almost everyone has a strong opinion about. Generally speaking, I don't wash.

I do wash in specific circumstances. Swaps, baby fabric (because I use flannel on the back), batiks (because they tend to bleed and not be fixed).

This is what I wash fabric in for the first time, whether in a quilt already or when prewashing: 2 tsp detergent, 1/4 cup Retayne, 1 cup white vinegar.

A note on bleeding incidents. It takes two fabrics to have one. One to release dye and another one to accept it. Most fabrics are fixed so that they will not accept new dye. Inexpensive fabrics tend to skip this step.

I've only had one bleeding incident. Some red fabric in a log cabin bled onto some yellow. However, the red was no where near the yellow. Also the yellow was a cheap JoAnn's fabric and was the only fabric (among about a dozen) that took up any of the red dye.
That was an eye opener.



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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: Pawstoquilt on December 04, 2007, 06:41:28 PM
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I always wash EVERYTHING, but, that's just my own preference, if the fabric is going to do anything weird, I want that to happen BEFORE I use it. Any questionable color I use Retayne and set the color.
Plus--I like to get rid of the chemical in the fabric before I handle it the several times required. There are people at my LQS who would never wash a piece of fabric. Isn't is great we are all different--makes life interesting.


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: Merry Bee on December 04, 2007, 07:47:57 PM
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I buy good fabric, but I am still afraid it will run or shrink. Also, I use my solids in baby quilts as well as in other quilts. I just like things to smell like clean laundry. I love the feel of clean cotton. But it has to be pressed, too, and that is a real bother. :santa_sad:


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: QBee - Mary Ann on December 05, 2007, 08:16:44 AM
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Quote from: Merry Bee on December 04, 2007, 07:47:57 PM
But it has to be pressed, too, and that is a real bother. :santa_sad:

I wash for all the reasons the other washers have already said. I'm only posting a comment to say AMEN to Merry Bee's pressing comment! I've tried to convince DH it would be fun to be involved in my quilting projects - he could press the pre-washed fabric - but, no luck on that one! :santa_cry: QBee


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: memaw4 on December 20, 2007, 08:03:46 PM
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Quote from: Gumbiecat on December 04, 2007, 05:17:40 AM
I was surprised at how strongly quilters feel about this, yay or nay!

I'm one of the "in the door, in the machine" type people, having been burned once or twice with colour run. I've recently taken to adding a colour run sheet to the prewash as well, so I can do a mixture of dark colours without getting a gray overshadow to everything.

To bring back the nice, crisp feel, I also sometimes apply some spray starch before I begin cutting.

How about you?



I use spray sizing. Is that the same as spray starch?
I wash my fabric to keep it from shrinking and to get that "smell" and stiffiness out of it. Being a seamstress I have learned to always pre-wash fabric because of that reason alone. I don't like making something then washing it only to find out it has shrunk. Such a waste. Just my own opinion.

Jim? What is Retayne? And where do you buy it? I've never heard of it before. Thanks.

Kay


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: BearFoot on December 20, 2007, 08:30:54 PM
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Quote from: memaw4 on December 20, 2007, 08:03:46 PM
I use spray sizing. Is that the same as spray starch?
No, these are 2 different things. I like the sizing better. And I have heard that if you will be storing your fabric that the starch will attract bugs

Quote from: memaw4 on December 20, 2007, 08:03:46 PM
What is Retayne? And where do you buy it? I've never heard of it before. Kay
Retayne is a fixative that keeps the dye from bleeding on fabric. You should be able to get it at many LQSs in the US.


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: quiltermarynel on December 20, 2007, 09:20:04 PM
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Press? Merry Bee, you've got to be kidding. I have trouble getting the DH to help me fold the larger pieces of fabric.


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: Merry Bee on December 20, 2007, 09:35:35 PM
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Ah, that was QuBee, I would not let my DH come near a piece of my good fabric with an iron.

He is sweet about paying any bills that come in, and that is help enough, as far as I am concerned. He has never once questioned an expense of mine concerning quilts.

He does ask why I have never learned to use the serger....gently, he asks, of course....and for the life of me, I cannot say why...but I do not like to use the serger.


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: betweens on December 20, 2007, 10:23:52 PM
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I picked sometimes but not cause I feel like it.. it's depending on the project.. I do alot of stack and whack and one block wonders and four patch posey's (just in case no one knows LOL) you cannot wash your fabric to do these techniques..

I only wash when I am ready to do a project that is not related to stacking and whacking.. and even then not all the time.. applique yes.. prewash easier to work with fabric without the sizing.. but sometimes I love the crinkly effect after the quilt is done and THEN you wash.. looks kinda antiquey

Deb


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: TxMaryQuilts on December 21, 2007, 07:55:26 AM
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I have found that if I wash a load of fabric, ironing does not seem so tedious in front of the TV.
Ironing boards are adjustable and easily made to fit any chair. I sit and leisurely iron while watching/listening to TV and Voila! I am done.

Standing in the sewing room just seems to take forever and be such a drudge. :santa_sad:


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: stitchinjj on December 21, 2007, 11:40:49 AM
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I rarely wash beforehand. I just don't like to do it and I have made red quilts that were not prewashed. I wash my quilts with cold water and put one of those Shout Color catchers in the load. So far--so good! I hate ironing too. I have a tv and DVD player in my sewing room. When I iron, which is rare, I am watching tv too!


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: memaw4 on December 21, 2007, 03:58:42 PM
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Quote from: Merry Bee on December 20, 2007, 09:35:35 PM
Ah, that was QuBee, I would not let my DH come near a piece of my good fabric with an iron.

He is sweet about paying any bills that come in, and that is help enough, as far as I am concerned. He has never once questioned an expense of mine concerning quilts.

He does ask why I have never learned to use the serger....gently, he asks, of course....and for the life of me, I cannot say why...but I do not like to use the serger.



Quote from: quiltermarynel on December 20, 2007, 09:20:04 PM
Press? Merry Bee, you've got to be kidding. I have trouble getting the DH to help me fold the larger pieces of fabric.



Quote from: BearFoot on December 20, 2007, 08:30:54 PM
Quote from: memaw4 on December 20, 2007, 08:03:46 PM
I use spray sizing. Is that the same as spray starch?
No, these are 2 different things. I like the sizing better. And I have heard that if you will be storing your fabric that the starch will attract bugs

Quote from: memaw4 on December 20, 2007, 08:03:46 PM
What is Retayne? And where do you buy it? I've never heard of it before. Kay
Retayne is a fixative that keeps the dye from bleeding on fabric. You should be able to get it at many LQSs in the US.




I went and bought the sizing and do prefer it when ironing my fabric that I've just washed. I took the time this past summer and re-organized my fabric. I color co-ordinated all of it. It takes me minutes now to get what I need rather than taking hours to go through it. :santa_grin: I've not had any problem with color bleeding from my fabric yet!

Kay


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: Candi Gordon on December 22, 2007, 04:24:55 AM
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I have always washed my fabric. I didn't use sizing or starch on my first one but I did on my second one. It seemed to quilt nicer.

I bought the fabric to make the Oak Leaf and Reel which is in the Fons & Porter mag. and the LQS clerk (friend) said not to wash it. I am going to quilt it without washing. I don't know if I will like to quilt it without being washed. Once I start, I guess, I'll find out, huh?

Candi


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Title: Re: Prewashing fabric
Post by: finisher on December 22, 2007, 05:29:38 AM
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Candi..I wouldn't prewash the Oak Reel fabrics either. Please let us know what you think of the fabric and how it is to work with. That quilt really tempts me. I just love the look of it!
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PostSubject: Re: Prewashing Fabric   Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:14 am

I'm a pre-washer, and I just read a tip yesterday I'm going to try. The tip was to use a salad spinner to wash and rinse small pieces. Sounds like a great idea to me! As soon as we get to a discount store, I'm buying another salad spinner. I don't like the idea of using the same one I use for lettuce :tongue: - but I love it for lettuce and hope I'll love using it to agitate and rinse my fabric.
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missmommy



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PostSubject: Re: Prewashing Fabric   Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:23 am

I can honestly say I never used to prewash fabric but after a horrible incident with red fabric I always wash now. I use spray SIZING not STARCH. Don't know if it's a wives' tale or not, but they say starch attracts bugs (like silverfish, etc) and sizing doesn't?
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Krafty Lady



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PostSubject: Re: Prewashing Fabric   Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:25 pm

The minute I walk in the door with new material it goes in the washer along with a fabric sheet and I use sizing never starch, when I am ready to use the material. There are too many chemicals in the material including formaldihide!!! When I worked up things for the shop I couldn't wash and it relly bothered me, always felt lousy! Norma

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Calico_Chris



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PostSubject: Re: Prewashing Fabric   Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:41 pm

what is the difference between sizing and starch?

Just had the owner of one of my LQS' firmly warn me about not letting starched items sit around due to silverfish
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PostSubject: Re: Prewashing Fabric   Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:20 pm

This is the little I know about it: Real starch is made from plants (rice? corn?) - something that was alive anyhow. That would be why bugs might be attracted to it. I don't know what sizing is made from. I think it's fairly easy to get little white dots and splotches when using real starch. Maybe some of the sizing users will tell us if that happens with sizing. I've been using Mary Ellen's Best Press. A light spray helps get wrinkles out and adds just a nice finish. I spray and press again if I want more stiffness. And it's clear. It's kind of pricey, though, I think. It seems someone on the "old" forum said there was a less expensive but similar product available.
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Krafty Lady



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PostSubject: Re: Prewashing Fabric   Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:49 pm

The trick to not het those flakes on your material and all over your iron is to let the spray soak into the material, I never have it any more since I do that, used to have a mess before then. :heart: Norma

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PostSubject: Re: Prewashing Fabric   Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:02 pm

Aha! Thanks, Norma! :)
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