Pre-Post washing

littlehelen_gwAugust 23, 2012

I'm trying very hard to be diligent about pre-washing be honest, that hasn't always happened, but after reading about the joanne fabric shrinkage expereince that was posted, I don't want to take a stash has been cleansed. I'm washing all the cotton fabrics in cold water with woolite and then throw them in the dryer. I use a half a dryer sheet for fabric softner...just wondered how everyone is doing their prewash process?

Also after it's all quilted, do you always wash?


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I do prewash (and recommend) prewashing cotton fabric in hotter water than I would use to wash a quilt. I do wash like colors together. I throw in a color catcher. I want whatever is going to happen to happen before it gets sewn into a quilt. I also dry on med hot. It is 100% cotton - it should be able to withstand hot water. I use regular detergent. The recipient is going to use regular detergent. I do not use dryer sheets or fabric softener - don't use them on my clothing - I am washing the fabric to remove the sizing and whatever is on it, No need to add it back in.
On long pieces, I baste the short ends (WOF) to avoid the twisting mess. If it is 2 yards or longer, I will randomly baste the long edges (selvages) a few stitches every foot.

I also prewash Fat Quarters and short pieces in a bowl in the sink - hot water. Blot excess on a white towel. Again, I want the dye or fading to occur before it is used.

I am diligent about prewashing. Always have been since I was a young girl sewing - before dryers.

I am not a fan of Woolite.

Many do not prewash.

Yes, I wash my finished quilts. I wash them on warm, gentle, use Dreft, dry on medium - remove from dryer when slightly damp - block if necessary - laying on the floor on a sheet to finish drying.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:55PM
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I don't usually prewash. I have recieved so many blocks from quilters, and have never known what was pre-washed or not, that I just gave it up.

I always wash my finished quilts in warm with a few color-catchers in the wash. I dry on medium to high. I like the differential shrinkage and the "puff" that happens when a quilt is washed.

I don't expect my quilts to be babied by the recipient, and I certainly don't want to do it to the ones I keep.

You will get so many answers to this question - but in the end, you need to do what works for you.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 9:12PM
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That's a good question and sure to bring out a variety of opinions.

I almost never pre-wash and now that I've gotten into jelly rolls and charm packs I wouldn't even consider it. Like Mary C, I wash once the quilt is done and use a color catcher in the wash. I know partly it's luck, but I've never had a problem. My own quilts are washed, often in hot water because of the dogs and cats, and machine dried. It works for me.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 10:13PM
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Please take note that the fabric that shrunk so badly was unbleached muslin. I've never had a problem before because I've always pre-washed all fabric as soon as it came in the door. But on this particular occasion, since the bolt actually had "preshrunk" on it, I took a chance with it. This was a whole bolt of muslin that I bought because it was on sale. So since I always pre-wash I have no idea if the regular quilting cotton at Joann's will shrink or not, but I just don't take the chance. I also wash all quilts after they are complete, regular soap, warm water, regular dryer cycle. I've never had a problem with them.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 7:40AM
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I like Bali Pops, and cannot prewash them. If I have to pair them with a contrasting fabric, I am afraid to use white or cream, because of the dyes---just haven't gotten brave enough the color catchers will catch all the fugitive dyes!
I think my HE front load washer makes the issue much-much worse because of the lack of water and the way the fabric, quilt is always laying on itself. Water supply is also a factor.
We have so many decisions to make! We are so lucky to be able to share our experiences here with such knowledgeable people!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 9:17AM
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Ritaweed...yes, yours is the story I recall that got me started on washing my stash! Everything is so clean now. Thks for the story... Sorry for your result. Btw I purchased that same muslim , but hadn't used it yet.

MRG: you are more diligent than I will ever be or could be... Way to go
Kate: I'm with you on the charm packs/ jelly rolls - I don't want to even think of a prewash!
Thanks all... I've never used the color catcher, sounds like I need to invest.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 12:07PM
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