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Topic: To prewash or not to prewash, that is the question...  (Read 12207 times)
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« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2008 08:09:14 AM »

Like the lovely Juniper, most of my fabric comes pre-owned, from second-hand venues and old clothes. But I pre-wash it all, especially the from-the-bolt stuff, after I've run a quick zig-zag along the raw edges. Keeps stuff from fraying in the wash and making a huge mess. And when you buy used, ya never know how the material's been treated before you ended up with it, so it's usually a good idea to give it a quick wash cycle.

It's not because I'm that worried about surprises or fabric problems, although with doll clothes, fabric dyes transferring to the doll are always cause for concern. Nope. I mostly pre-wash because I love to see the fresh-washed fabrics out on the clothesline, wafting in the wind. It's like an aquarium for the textile-minded !  Cheesy

Although I wonder what the daycare next door thought when I washed sixteen yards of black fabric for my BIL's 'Jedi-type' robes... Oh, and after the line, it gets dryer-toasted for 10 - 15 minutes, just to soften and tighten it up some.
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2008 08:06:23 AM »

I always always always prewash. In much tougher conditions than I ever intend to submit the final item to. I always wash clothes etc in cold water, but when I prewash, it's always warm or hot, plus lots of dryer time. Because god forbid someone else should decide to be "nice" and do some of my laundry. I've had more than one ready-to-wear garment ruined because someone else washed it for me without paying attention to care instructions. (Not even high maintenance clothes, either. Just ones that don't go in the dryer, for example, or do better washed in cold water.)  I would hate for that to happen to something I put a lot of time and effort into.
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2008 07:17:56 PM »

If the final product will need to be washed at any time, I'll prewash exactly how it will be washed in the future. If not, meh, I don't bother.
« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2009 05:56:40 PM »

I know I SHOULD, but do I HAVE to if we don't wash with hot water?  Or would I be better off taking it to the laundromat?  We have a "wash house" that isn't attached to our house, it only has cold water, no hot water.  Thanks!
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2009 06:42:01 PM »

pre wash the fabric however you intend to wash the finished product. If it's going to be dry cleaned take it to the cleaners, if you're going to always wash it in cold and hang it out to dry, do that.  If  you're going to wash the garment in hot water and tumble dry on high then do that. So whatever you would do for the finished garment.

The point of prewashing is to get the shrink out so after you're done you're finished product should stay the same size.  If you don't prewash you run a real risk of it shrinking, thereby ruining your work. You don't want to put int he expense of the fabric and the time you worked on it to have it become useless. 

« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2010 08:59:36 AM »

I am about to start a small business making children's clothing...everything I have made up until this point was not pre washed...anythign I have ever bought that was handmade didn't seem to have been either...  so selling items at high-end craft fairs and things of that nature...I am afraid that if I pre-shrink everything that the material will look "sad" and nit nice and fresh, as new fabric is.

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« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2010 07:46:05 PM »

You should always pre-wash fabric, if there's a chance it's going to shrink!  Especially if it shrinks different amounts in each direction.  That can cause puckering at your seams, if your grain runs perpendicular in places.

What you should do to make garments for sale look fresh and "happy" is to lightly starch and press them after sewing.  Pay careful attention to all your seams and hems, and use good quality starch.  That will make them look finished, professional, and crisp.  You can also lightly starch and iron your fabric after washing, before cutting.  I do that sometimes with cottons, it makes cutting and sewing easier.

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« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2010 04:24:33 AM »

Have you ever bought garments, taken them home, washed them according to the manufacturer's instructions, and had them shrink or pucker or such? That's because they weren't preshrunk.

It's even worse when the garment is lined with a fabric different from the outer fabric and they shrink in different directions or at different rates. That's just.... well, I'll be polite and call it a disaster. Smiley

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« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2010 06:55:12 PM »

I've bought decorator fabric with so much sizing it appeared to be a nice sturdy piece.  Once it was washed all the sizing was gone and it was as floppy as an old t-shirt.  It was god awful to work with and I never finished the bag I was making with it.  I'm glad I knew the bag I was making wasn't going to hold up before I decided to put all of that work into a project that would not turn out the way I wanted it to.

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An animal that eats tin cans and gives back steel wool.
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2010 04:38:53 AM »

I prewash always.  Smiley I also work at a fabric store. Bolts come in all wrapped up pretty...and somewhere between getting stocked in their proper places, some might end up on the dusty floor or outside on the ground where stock comes in, sometimes customers (or children of customers) like to wipe their boogers on the fabric. With that in mind, I always end up tossing every scrap of fabric in the washer before I use it, even if it's just going to live life as a wall hanging forever after.

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." -Pablo Picasso
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