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Topic: Washing new fabric - how?  (Read 2957 times)
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« on: May 16, 2009 05:50:49 AM »

I bought a pile of scraps from my local fabric warehouse and I want to wash them all before I make them into anything tidy.  Most of the scraps are 100% cotton with a print on them.  I have washed a few of them in the machine at about 40˚with regular 2 in 1 washing liquid for colours but they still came out a bit faded especially where they were creased in the machine. 

Any ideas what I am doing wrong?

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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2009 05:58:49 AM »

i have found that fabrics are going to fade when you wash them, its a part of the process

try handwashing them, less agitation will mean less fading immediately (eventually all of the excess dye will come out though)


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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2009 10:14:51 PM »

You can set the colours the cheap, old fashioned way by soaking them overnight in a bucket of cold water with a cup of plain white vinegar added.  I always do this for red and navy as the seem to be the worst at fading and running. 
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2009 12:23:17 PM »

Myself I handwash all new fabric using a mild soap which is made for handwashing. It is a bit of a job. Small pieces in the washbasin large pieces in the bathtub. By the way store bought clothes the first time is also handwash to see that colours do not run into other clothes. Lately lots of shop clothes seem to shed colour so this will avoid ruining rest of the laundry. Never use washing machine detergent with your hands it is way too harsh on the skin. After handwashing use lots of handcream
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2009 10:51:32 AM »

I asked this on one of the other boards on here, so is it best to hand wash everything, instead of bunging it in the machine (even on a gentle wash)? And is it best to wash cold?

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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2009 11:01:13 AM »

Most of the time for the first wash I wash everything on hot and if it's multiple fabrics for one project, I wash them together, after all when it's all sewn up they will be together for washing so it's good to see then how they do.  I wash my fabric seperatly from my regular wash the first time and dry my fabric on high heat in the dryer, I do this so I get the maximum amount of shrinking done, I only do this with cotton, which is the fabric of choice for me, I use very little else. 

I've not noticed any fading of my cottons after the first wash.  Usually I start to see some fading after a few months, but with my kids clothing, which gets washed ALOT. 

« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2009 05:04:11 PM »

reply for BelleBeryl:  I prewash about the same way I intend to wash the finished product, except that I presoak in water&vinegar if necessary to set the colour and use a hotter than normal dryer to shrink it.  Look at the fabric prep as the final test the fabric gets before you make it up.  If it doesn't pass, you don't use it.  Better to find out before whether the fabric runs/shrinks/is a nightmare to iron.  And some fabrics have a lot of sizing which comes out the first time they're washed.  You might not end up with the super crisp fabric you thought you had.
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2009 12:33:43 PM »

I agree with x46. Since I do virtually all of my laundry in cold water, gentle cycle, that's how I pre-wash my fabric. If it looks terrible after a wash, I just thank heavens I didn't make anything with it!
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