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Topic: How do I preshrink fabric?  (Read 1083 times)
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« on: January 03, 2012 07:50:18 PM »

I went a little bit overboard at JoAnns on black friday and came away with about 25 yards of various printed flannels ($1.49 a yard, and a 25% off coupon, it would have been rude not to...). I've got a bunch of projects in mind, but someone told me flannel needs to be preshrunk, and I have no idea how to do it. Is it as simple as washing and drying at a high temperature?

« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012 09:20:11 PM »

Yep, that's pretty much it. Natural fibers like cotton, tend to shrink with washing/heat. Sometimes the feel of the fabric changes too (for example, some get softer because the chemicals applied to the fabrics to keep them looking smooth on the bolt are washed out). The idea is to wash and dry the fabric at least on the same setting as you plan to use with the finished items, but you can go hotter if the fabric can handle it because then you don't have to worry about the items shrinking more if someone throws them in a hot wash. You should be fine using hot water/dryer on flannel unless it has glitter on it or something like that, but I haven't worked with it before so I can't say from experience. (I know other cottons do just fine, though I don't dry on the hottest setting because I never use it when doing laundry normally).
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2012 05:59:06 PM »

Preshrinking helps to hide my fabric addiction too. My washer and dryer are at the backdoor, so I can just toss my purchases in the washer without having to bring them into the house and thereby avoid my husbands questions about it's purpose. If he notices, I just tell him I've had it for a while. Seriously, he's not that dumb but he kindly ignore my lame excuses. 25 yards would be a few loads however, with a lot of dryer lint! If you happen to have a serger, I might run the edges through to finish them a bit as flannel tends to unravel and you'll have a heckuva big knot of threads and fabric. You'll love the finished results though - homemade Jammie's are the cosiest! Have fun.
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012 05:54:51 PM »

Yeah, I *always* zig zag the ends of the fabric before prewashing. And I always wash my fabrics before using.

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