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TOPIC: Prewashing Fabric

Re: Colors running 17 Jul 2008 21:26 #22280

dobieloverquiltmaker wrote:
If you're concerned about colors running when you wash your fabric, try Color Catcher. It's munufactured by Shout, buy it where you buy other laundry products. It's about the same size as a softener sheet that you would use in your dryer. Put it in the washer with fabrics that you're concerned about, if the color does run it is more attracted to the sheet than to fabric. I don't know how or why, but it works!

I love Color Catchers and have never had a problem when I use them! Mary Kay
Last Edit: by mknavy90.
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Colors running 17 Jul 2008 17:51 #22264

If you're concerned about colors running when you wash your fabric, try Color Catcher. It's munufactured by Shout, buy it where you buy other laundry products. It's about the same size as a softener sheet that you would use in your dryer. Put it in the washer with fabrics that you're concerned about, if the color does run it is more attracted to the sheet than to fabric. I don't know how or why, but it works!
Last Edit: by dobieloverquiltmaker.
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01 May 2007 06:19 #4086

I will pre-wash fabrics for clothing, but the only fabrics I pre-was for quilting are flannels and Osnaburg, only because they shrink so much.

Nearly everything I make has red in it, and it's mixed in with various creams and tans. I've never had any problems with dye running, but I do wash with a Shout Dye Grabber sheet the first time.

Last Edit: by cjtinkle.
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prewashing 29 Apr 2007 00:15 #4046

Back in the days of old, when all men's shirts needed to be ironed and I hated to iron if I could get out of it. dh's shirts lived in the freezer, I would get one out on Saturday to iron for Sunday. Thank goodness we were farmers and he only needed ironed shirts on Sunday. His shirts never seemed to be damaged from extended freezing . only problem was if he thought the package was food when I was at school teaching. then my jig was up and i was exposed for being a neglectful wife -- he survived and still doesn't get ironed shirts very often.
Last Edit: by snowplow3840.
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28 Apr 2007 23:26 #4045

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suzie wrote:
I was really glad to see this post. The quilts I've made so far have all been for babies or toddlers and needed to withstand multiple washings, so I've prewashed the fabric. But I'm getting ready to begin a block-of-the-month quilt and don't know if I should prewash these or not. The fabrics are a wide range of colors, including some brights and some black prints, so fading could be a problem if the finished quilt is washed eventually. Should I take the better-safe-than-sorry approach and go ahead and pre-wash? Some of the fabrics provided are fairly small pieces, so it will probably have to be done in a sink rather than the washer. I'd really appreciate any advice from those of you with more experience at this than I have.

Suzie

Suzie,

You can put your smaller pieces in a mesh laundrt bag and it works well in the washer.

Carla
Last Edit: by Stinki.
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24 Apr 2007 12:45 #3889

That is a neat tip there Florence, I would have never thought of that. Freezing would stop them from mildewing and stinking to high heaven before you get to them! Only thing I would be worried about is the expanding water crystals might damage the threads in the fabric if you did it too often - but I don't think you would have to do it more than once. I'll give it a go some time
Last Edit: by mandysilk.
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24 Apr 2007 09:26 #3878

Something I do that inevitably has the kids laughing... After pre-washing my fabric, I prefer to iron it while still damp-- but sometimes I don't have time to finish, or I've washed a load for a specific piece and want to get back to the sewing, so I fold the remaining damp pieces of fabric, seal it in a ziploc bag, and stick it in the FREEZER :lol: Then when I get one of those "round tuits" I can "thaw" my fabric (doesn't take long, can usually "peel" off fat-quarters) and using a dry iron, create my own steam, ending up with fairly crisp, pressed fabric w/o using starch or sizing. :) Learned this from my Mom, she used it when ironing linen tablecloths & napkins...
Florence
Last Edit: by florence.
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24 Apr 2007 08:36 #3871

Just agreeing: vinegar is one of several things that can help set dyes. I keep the stronger "pickling vinegar" on hand in large bottles. It is handy for lots of things. in my laundry room, it is great for setting dyes, combatting odors, and best of all for neutralizing bleach, so my whites don't wear out as fast.

Vinegar or salt are easy home remedies for setting dyes. Just add one or the other to the water -- but more than just a shake of salt or splash of vinegar. If you are working with fabrics that you have reason to believe may have a lot of dye issues, like hand-dyes, go for the big gun: Retayne.

And for the other end of the process, I toss a dye-catcher sheet in almost every load of laundry, including non-art quilts. Alex and Ricky mentioned this in one of the first 2 episodes. There are two different brand available (Shout and Woolite) and in my very unscientific side-by-side comparison they seem to be about equal. Synthrapol is the go-to for removing runs/bleeds that have already happened. Carbona makes a color run remover too, but while I've never tried that one, I've seen the Synthrapol do amazing things.

Synthrapol and Retayne may both be available at your LQS. If not, and if they are not willing to order them for you, there are plenty of on-line sources.
Last Edit: by tarabenet.
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24 Apr 2007 04:38 #3865

Dear Vonna
no you didn't dream up the vinegar in the wash salt also helps set the colour
Jenny
Jenny in Oz
Last Edit: by quilting101.
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Prewashing 23 Apr 2007 11:56 #3838

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Thanks for all the advice. I feel much better now. I didn't see anyone's comment on putting vinegar in the wash water. I may have dreamed that up.

I tend to buy higher quality fabric. I just hate to go to Wal-Mart. It if could just "be there". My favority quilting store is a curb-store. I get out and walk in and pay the price.

So I'm guessing most of my fabric from your comments is fairly safe as is without prewashing. I will however, be careful with the dark fabrics from now on.

Thanks again for all the info.

Vonna
Last Edit: by Vonna.
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Ooops 22 Apr 2007 13:30 #3808

I forgot to say, when I take the fabric out of the dryer, I smooth it out and fold it neatly so that it fits in my cupboards. I don't iron it until I'm ready to use it. I wouldn't want to iron in vain, if I never use a particular piece. :lol:
Last Edit: by pknord.
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Pre-wash 22 Apr 2007 13:29 #3807

After a couple of bad experiences, and seeing an otherwise lovely quilt made by one of our guild members with un-washed fabrics that had both "crocked" and had shrunk at different rates, making the quilt look "wonky", I started back in the mid-1980s collecting fabrics and pre-washing each one before letting it into the collection. I keep my fabric in steel office cabinets, 6' high, 3' wide, and 18" deep. I have 15 of them. You can see them in the background in my studio pics at the Webshots album site: http://community.webshots.com/user/pknord if you like. I've had folks ask what I'm going to do with all that fabric. I give them a puzzled look, and ask them if they make that inquiry of people who collect stamps or coins? Some of us are fabric collectors, and that's okay. I have been going through the cabinets and removing fabrics that I no longer love to donate to some folks up in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area who have been making quilts to give to the families at Fort Hood who have lost loved ones in the war. They have made a lot of quilts for that purpose, bless their hearts. Have also done a few tops and sent up to them. They have longarm quilters who donate their time to quilt the tops. A very nice charity.

Well, this certainly ended up way of topic, sorry, folks.

Pat in Rockport, TX
Last Edit: by pknord.
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22 Apr 2007 09:57 #3802

I have found that if I use quality quilt fabric the fabric doesn't need pre washing. I do check overdyed or dark colored fabric for bleeding and if it does bleed I take it back to the shop. I won't pay for quality fabric and then have to set the color myself. That doesn't make sense to me.
Last Edit: 23 Apr 2007 12:36 by CindyBar.
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22 Apr 2007 00:26 #3793

I prewash all my fabrics fat quarters and up to a yd I wash as follows

I snip the edge off each corner diagonaly before I throw them into the washing machine. Wash on a gentle cycle and then dry them in the dryer

I make sure I get them out of the dryer before they are baked and then iron them and fold them neatly so they fit in the drawers

Anything more than a yard I wait until I need it then I wash it separately.

By snipping the corner off the fabric it does two things - one it reminds me I have washed it and the second thing is it stops it fraying and getting ina mess in the washer

Regards
Last Edit: by maureent.
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