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Topic: Do you prewash your fabrics?  (Read 1955 times)
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Ana_Ng
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« on: November 05, 2007 06:23:29 PM »

I have been a sewer for over 25 years and I have always prewashed my fabrics. It's what my mom taught me and it's what I've always done. 

I just got the pattern "Turning Twenty" and I am dying to try it out.  However, I'm a bit freaked out that she tells you not to prewash your fat quarters first.  I can't bring myself to purchase my fabrics because I'm all hung up on whether to prewash or not.  I will not be purchasing all of the same brand of fabric because I tend to get my fabric from various sources.  From what I've read, this greatly affects the shrinkage factor. 

So my question is, has anyone experience with the "Turning Twenty" pattern, or more to the point, do you prewash your fabrics before you piece your quilt tops?
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rainylakechick
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2007 07:24:17 PM »

I'm not familiar with that quilt, but I would pre-wash my fabrics, since its going to bother you.  I usually pre-wash and press, because I'd rather be safe than sorry!
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anaximander
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2007 02:29:22 AM »

Does she explain *why* not to prewash?
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MissDisney
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2007 03:09:12 AM »

personally, i take a pattern (any kinda pattern, from sewing to quilting to ANYTHING) and make it my OWN....

prewash, iron, and enjoy my dear..there is NOTHING that can go wrong from prewashing, at least nothing logical....

i prewash everything *most* of the time because i genuinely enjoy washing fabric, i LOVE the way it feels, i do it all by hand...and i will always choose to do it when i feel its right (i have only ever not prewashed ONCE to date since i started quilting seriously about 2 years ago, and thats for my most serious current project, and thats because the backing is dry clean only, so there wouldnt be any bleeding anyway)
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2007 07:53:09 AM »

I pre-wash all my cut yardage, but I do not always pre-wash my charm packs and jelly rolls - it depends on the colors.  Some colors bleed, and I don't want to ruin a quilt because of it. 

Some of the ladies at a local fabric shop no longer pre-wash their fabric because they like the way unwashed fabric handles, and they like the old-fashioned look you get when you wash the quilt after it is done. The author of Turning Twenty might be from the same mindset.  Oh, I am familiar with the pattern - I've some beautiful Turning Twenty quilts at the fabric store, but I have never made one.
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Ana_Ng
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2007 08:47:23 AM »

Some of the ladies at a local fabric shop no longer pre-wash their fabric because they like the way unwashed fabric handles, and they like the old-fashioned look you get when you wash the quilt after it is done. The author of Turning Twenty might be from the same mindset. 

Yes, this is her thought exactly.  To get that crinkled, old-fashioned look.  And also, the way the pattern has you cut the fat quarters, it leaves no room for a prewash shrinkage.  I do like that puckered old-fashioned look, but don't different fabrics shrink at different rates?

Plus I think part of her thinking is to save time.  I will admit that I dislike waiting to wash the fabric, then ironing it all afterwards.  I HATE that tangled mess of newly washed fabrics almost as much as I hate zig-zagging the edges to prevent that tangled mess.

I am leaning more and more towards prewashing.  I would hate to spend a bunch of money on fabric, plus my time, and then have the quilt ruined by uneven shrinkage.  Am I paranoid?  I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who prewashes.  I thought everyone did.
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anaximander
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2007 12:31:32 PM »

Fabrics shrink at different rates, true, but most quilt fabric is 100% cotton. So you'd see different shrinkage rates if you were using muslin and silk and cotton/poly blend and quilter's cotton - but if it's *all* quilter's cotton, then you may not even notice it
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rainylakechick
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2007 12:47:34 PM »

I am leaning more and more towards prewashing.  I would hate to spend a bunch of money on fabric, plus my time, and then have the quilt ruined by uneven shrinkage.  Am I paranoid?  I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who prewashes.  I thought everyone did.

I pre-wash to avoid color bleeding.  But I also don't like using a finished project for personal use, unless its been washed.  So I can either sew my project and THEN wash it.  Or else prewash, sew, and then use the finished piece.   I like the latter.  As soon as I finish a quilt, I like to put it to immediate use!   Grin
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KyTriplets
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2007 05:00:48 PM »

I used to.  But after I made my own hand dye fabric and saw how much abuse goes into making fabric, I stopped pre-washing.

If I'm using a strong red, however, I do prewash.
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roobee
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2007 07:15:40 AM »

i have always washed my fabric first but recently  I bought a jelly roll and was thinking if I prewash these will I end up with a lot of fraying and a big mess.  i think this time i will skip prewash and wash after completed.  Don't know?HuhHuhHuh
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