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Topic: New and beginner, question about flannel fabric  (Read 2069 times)
Tags for this thread: sewing , beginner , flannel , curtains , rod_pocket  Add new tag
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« on: September 07, 2010 07:47:30 AM »

Hello, I am new here and to sewing, as in I haven't even used my first sewing machine yet but do have one.

I am going to make some long curtains for my son's room, I choose this flannel fabric. You can see it here, http://webstore.quiltropolis.net/stores_app/Browse_Item_Details.asp?Shopper_id=642592106296425&Store_id=417&page_id=23&Item_ID=23752

I know this probably wasn't a good choice for curtains but I loved the pattern.

My question is, do I need to wash it first and if so, what temperature/setting on the washer and dryer? I have read that I should wash it cause it will shrink, and being in a child's room, these curtains are bound to get dirty and need a washing at some point, so I don't want to risk future shrinkage.

Also, any tips you can provide about how to go about sewing with flannel would be great too.

« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2010 02:25:34 PM »

Hi, there!  You should wash and dry the fabric as you intend to wash the curtains once they're finished.  If you're still not sure, go back to the store and check the end of the bolt, where it'll tell you the recommended temperature and dryer settings.

Sewing flannel isn't all that tricky, but the stuff does like to fray!  I'd recommend lining them with broadcloth or a simple cotton, or just turn under the edges twice when you do your hems.

Also, how old is your son?  If he's tiny, be careful doing long curtains that he can wrap himself up in.  He can pull them down and hurt himself.

Happy sewing!

Sewers are for ninja turtles--seamstresses are for sewing Wink

My wist!  http://www.wists.com/aislynn
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2010 07:20:28 PM »

Flannel is made of cotton and can be washed in any temperature water.  It will shrink a lot (primarily along the lengthwise grain), so I hope you bought more than you needed, or you may need to make some adjustments in how you finish the the curtains (facing the top and bottoms instead of hemming, for an example).

If your child has allergies, I would suggest washing the fabric in the hottest water you have and dry on hot.  Do this a couple of times as the fabric may shrink again (although not as much) over several washings.  Now you don't have to worry about someone else doing the wash and washing on hot rather than cold/warm.

Before you wash the fabric, zig-zag along both ends to reduce freying and linting in the wash.  If you have a lot of yardage, you may want to go ahead and tear it into the curtain blocks before washing, again zig-zaggng the cut edges.   

 I said tear because it is the easiest way to "cut" cotton fabrics across the width and have it on grain.  Take a small snip into the fabric, cutting through the selvedge, then rip away.  It should tear straight across..but it can start to tear the long way, so be a little careful and tear in short bursts.  Again, zigzag the edges, your washer will be glad you did.

While flannel is an unconvential choice for curtains, I think they will be adorable when done.  Post photos when you have time.

Hope this helped,
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2010 04:51:35 AM »

Thanks so much to both of you, it helps me to go into this confidently!

My son is going to be 1 year this month, he doesn't yet use the room aside from sleeping, he doesn't run around in there yet, when he does I plan to have something in front of the window area so he can't reach it. I already have my living room curtains tied up high due to his pulling, I appreciate the safety warning.

SewNutzz, I will definitely post pictures when they're done and thanks so much for the tips, now I just have to get my machine set-up properly so I can start. Smiley
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