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TOPIC: 2009 BOM--prewash or not?

06 Mar 2009 23:11 #33065

  • Keith
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Nope, didn't change my mind. Turns out, good quality, conventional, 100% cotton is pretty darn unremarkable. I'll play with it unwashed any day. It's very different than synthetics, blends, carpet, upholstery, bedding... And it's very different than 100% cotton that's been treated for wrinkle resistance or made moisture repellent or flame retardant or that's been 'improved' in other ways. I don't play with those...
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06 Mar 2009 16:04 #33058

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I just love lively and interesting conversation! Especially when listening and learning happen. I hope I continue to learn throughout my journey...

Thanks Nina and Jan and everybody else who's contributing! Today I will live my life with zest and zeal in all that I do. And if Death by Fabric happens to me today, hey, worse things could happen. :D

You know, I want to make a statement with the car that I drive and how I drive it. By reusing as much as possible in my home remodel. By other recycling methods and by purchasing recycled and renewable and green/clean products and by composting and not wearing fur and voting and being a public servant... And I want to take care of myself by working out and eating right and getting regular medical attention and nourishing my soul...

And for a few hours several times a week, I want to escape from it all and quilt. In my own little world - one without so many cares and responsibilities. But you know, even when I escape, I do take precautions to not whack my fingers off with my rotary cutter... I'll do a little research and see if I change my mind about prewashing. It would have to be some pretty severe news though, akin to whacking my fingers off. Now there's a sight!!! :o

BTW - I always postwash.

I am so blessed/lucky to not have too many challenges... My tired, old, ugly fabric cabinet makes me sneeze a little bit; but my very pretty, beautiful, inspirational fabric cabinet does not. I wonder what that means? :)
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05 Mar 2009 13:23 #33037

  • NancyinSTL
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Sometimes, I get an eye or throat irritation when I walk into a fabric store. I don't know if it's the fabrics or dust.

Some folks are a lot more sensitive to things than others. Fortunately, I have no allergies, but am extremely sensitive to cigarette smoke, strong perfumes, MSG, and nitrites--these things give me migraines. I didn't eat chocolate for more than 10 years, because I heard that it caused migraines. Later that was disputed, so now I will have chocolate in moderation.

A young friend of mine, who never smoked, died of lung cancer. My dad, who was a heavy smoker, also died of lung cancer. However, my 85 year old mother-in-law, who has been a very heavy smoker since her teens, is in pretty good health for her age--go figure!

My point is that we can make informed decisions on what we can control in our lives, but know that there are just some things that are out of our control. Also, life in a bubble is not living.
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05 Mar 2009 09:16 #33034

I think it's great to discuss topics such as this because some people just don't know. It's a passion of mine (could you tell :wink: ). For those of you who haven't heard/read yet, I was very sick due to chemical exposure; getting well involved becoming informed. We have to know about them in order to make a decision. No, I don't worry about exposure, I do what I can. No, we can't avoid everything, thus the importance to do what IS in our power. I refrain from chemicals in detergents (laundry, dish, personal), in coffee, personal care products, clothing and foods. I buy organic bedding, mattresses, towels, flooring, furniture, paint, etc. It's expensive, but I believe it to be a great investment, and a statement that it's unacceptable to cause this harm. As for fabric, of course I buy it, then wash away what I can. There are always compromises. We have to start somewhere to make changes for us beings, our 4- leggeds (toxicity of carpet chemicals multiplied for them), and for our environment.
A key here is that I do all of the above with enthusiasm for life, as opposed to hiding in fear. Action is the key. Be as informed as possible and make a statement with your purchasing dollars. I still enjoy my coffee and chocolate (organic :wink: ) and fabric! Worry is counterproductive.
I love that we have a choice, and a voice! This forum is a fun way to get those ideas out there. Thanks, Keith, for a humorous re-visit into this one. Jan in Spokane
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05 Mar 2009 08:43 #33033

Keith,
Thank you for your very thought provoking post. Also, charming, humorous, and insightful. I have been sewing for more than 40 years and have never had any kind of reaction from the fabric, nor from the fabric in the clothes I wear. You could take it a step further and worry about the soaps, detergents, softeners, and even the water used to wash fabrics/clothes. The city water I have in my home is filled with all kinds of chemicals to 'keep us safe'. I don't worry about it. In fact, I love the feel and smell, as well as the sheen of new fabric that washing takes away.
Marie
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05 Mar 2009 08:24 #33031

  • PDQuilt
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Do you have a couch and carpeting? Ya got formaldehyde. Break one of your new energy saving light bulbs? OOPS!! Mercury vapors. We can't escape! Gosh, if your house is somewhat new, it's made of that particle board stuff, which is marinated in the chemicals. And if it's an old house, you're surrounded by lead paint and asbestos... Now I'll go enjoy my diet coke.
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04 Mar 2009 19:55 #33026

OK. I clicked on your web site and the first word was Formaldehyde, that was what was originally used to decafinate coffee now they use methaline choloride -( their water purfiication process ) go look those up on the web, and while you are at it check out liquid dish wash detergent - you would not believe the chemicials that releases into the air and causes severe allergey and respratory problems. I stopped using that years ago its really bad. Also how about artificial sweeterners, i call them rat poison any one who uses it for any other reason besides medical is asking for trouble. And dont get me started on the crap they put in low fat foods. Any way the fabric wont kill me or make me sick but, but if you drink decafe with splenda or sweet and low etc. while running your dishwasher filling your house with poison air something is bound to get you. The way I feel is that life is too short to worry about the things that give me pleasure. I'm a coffee drinking fabric loving person and I will quilt and sew and drink my real coffee and enjoy without worry, There are a lot worse things out there that can harm you and harm you and a lot worse. Hope I did not upset anyone, not my intention its just that the formaldehyde word pushed one of my buttons and now that my pinwheels are done I had a few minutes to respond.(probably should have taken longer on the pinwheels). I think we all have to pick our own poisons unfortunately we have a lot of choices. I like death by fabric almost as good as death by chocolate as long as it takes 100 more years cause I need at least that to get thru my fabric stash. Have fun, Nina
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04 Mar 2009 14:34 #33020

Hey, you knew you'd hear from meeee, right? :wink:
Here's a link to information about one of the known chemicals added to fabric. http://www.nycosh.org/workplace_hazards/formal.html

I'll spare you all too much "lecturing", but I think it's wise to know what we're dealing with. Then we can do whatever is in our power to avoid what we can, inform others, maybe help make some changes. These chemicals, amongst many others are xeno-extrogens (mimic estrogen), causing tremendous health challenges.
Anyway, I said I wouldn't lecture, so I'll stop here. :lol:

If you'd really like to learn more, do some searches via Google, or ask me for more sources.

Jan in Spokane
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Re: Reliable Research Please 04 Mar 2009 09:02 #33014

Keith wrote:
Aaaauuggghhhh!!!!
Is this like an allergy? Is this like lactose intolerance? I shouldn't drink milk if I can't digest it? Or is this like smoking - it can hurt everybody, even passive people who stand next to my iron? Or is fabric production bad for the planet and where do the harmful chemicals go when I wash the fabric anyway? Should we prewash or should we just not buy fabric with dangerous chemicals?:D
Guess it is with fabric like anything else, you can get allergy. I know a few with fabric allergy :shock: ...but its not the cemicals they react to but the dust :lol: :lol:

I need to tell you..a few years ago I bought some real nice bedlinnen...I loved it so much I bougt it in 3 different colors, red, yellow and green. Guess what happened when I slept under the green linnen?? Woke up with red spots all over :shock: :shock: . I was wached 20 times in boiling water, didnt help. But I really enjoyed my red and yellow linnen :P

And..I do not prewash..havent done in 20 years and never had a bleed going on. I wash all my quilts when I am done, and if they are quilted more than stitch-in-the-ditch, they will come out both beautiful and flat!
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04 Mar 2009 08:46 #33013

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Whew! I feel better now. I'm glad my post wasn't offensive to everybody. :D All night I was wondering if some of my frustration came through as mean-spirited. I hope not! This is too nice a place for that! If I came across as mean-spirited, I'm sorry. :oops:

I am still a little frustrated - I don't want to be scared of my fabric. And I'm not. But I might try to research this a little more.

And I don't want to wash dangerous chemicals (if there are any in fabric) into planet earth.
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04 Mar 2009 06:38 #33010

LOL, y'all have made me giggle this am. My name is Sandi and I am a fabric addict, chemicals and all. I will buy it even if it is bad for me. Please don't send me to fabric addiction rehab unless there is a quilt shop nearby that I can sneak off to. Sandi in FL
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04 Mar 2009 01:51 #33006

Keth, I loved your post and I agree with everything you said. I do NOT prewash - did that once and have a stack of fabric that Im trying to get rid of, I regret doing it as it was a big waste of my time. I only use top quality fabric and I do not believe there are any bad chemicals in it and it does not shrink much if at all and as far as bleeding I have had no problems (throw in a a color catcher, actually i give one along with the quilt) I have made over 100 quilts and no one has ever had any problems. I use starch, starch does not attract bugs, I did research on that one. I have only been quilting for 5 years so I do not have all that "old wives tales" stuff in my head. I also only quilt on my machine. Hand quilters and people who have been quilting for 20+ years have a different mind set. I think every one should do what is comfortable for them. I just wish they would not put their opinions out there as if it were a law or something. Guess I will get off my soap box now and go to bed, Think I talk too much at 3AM -
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04 Mar 2009 00:44 #33004

  • Keith
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"Puckery Happiness" - I like that. :D
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Reliable Research Please 04 Mar 2009 00:42 #33003

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Aaaauuggghhhh!!!!

Benita Skinner was quoted about harmful fabric chemicals and then a web site reference was provided as if to support that fabric has harmful chemicals but it only quoted Benita Skinner saying what we already knew she said...

Who's Benita? Is she a medical doctor? Is she a fabric manufacturing expert? Is she a chemical engineer? Who's this friend? What did the doctors say? What did the fabric companies say? What did any research demonstrate?

I want to prewash my fabrics if my health is in danger. (Actually I don't want to buy fabric if my health is in danger.)

I don't want to prewash if my health is not at risk.

I don't want to prewash just because a fan of a pattern designer who knows a friend of a friend who got sick and she thinks it might be because she smelled something when she ironed some unwashed fabric...

Is this like an allergy? Is this like lactose intolerance? I shouldn't drink milk if I can't digest it? Or is this like smoking - it can hurt everybody, even passive people who stand next to my iron? Or is fabric production bad for the planet and where do the harmful chemicals go when I wash the fabric anyway? Should we prewash or should we just not buy fabric with dangerous chemicals?

Help!!! This doesn't sound like something about which wise women could disagree if they were presented with all the reliable information...

Now I'm feeling guilty because I wear antiperspirant with fragrance and I sometimes use fabric softener (for my clothes) and I drink reduced calorie sports drinks with artificial color.

And now I'm laughing at myself...

What is it with Tuesday night after bowling, after a cocktail, and when I really should be in bed? :D
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