To Pre-wash or not to Pre-wash

The first lesson I received on sewing when I was 10 yrs old was to pre-wash your fabric to prevent  shrinkage when you have completed your project.

Every time I purchase new yardage, I throw it in the washer on the gentle cycle with mild detergent and then into the dryer.  I then hang it over the banister overnight to ensure it is completely dry before folding it and adding to my stash. I only iron it when I am ready to use it.  If you iron before,fold and store it, you just have to iron it again when you are ready to use it and who wants to iron yards of fabric twice.  Definitely not me!

Another quilter shares their thoughts on pre-washing here.  I think that I should stick to the first rule I received on sewing.  I would be devastated after spending all that time making a quilt  to have it ruined.

I have also read many individuals attempts on machine washing charm packs and jelly rolls.  Some with success, some without.  I will not machine wash them as they will fray like crazy however, I do plan on hand washing them in the kitchen sink using woolite and hang them to dry over the banister.  My motto is better to be safe than sorry.


What tips and tricks have you discovered along your way when pre-fabric?  I welcome any suggestions.



Filed under General Ramblings, Quilts

2 responses to “To Pre-wash or not to Pre-wash

  1. I always pre-wash fabric (usually by hand, then I do a light ironing while it is almost dry) for projects such as clothing, handbags, make-up bags, aprons, etc.
    However, I was told to never pre-wash the fabrics used in a quilt, especially if I want the “puckered” look after the finished quilt is washed. If you pre-wash the fabrics but not the batting, I wonder if that makes a difference when the quilt is washed.
    Also, I cannot imagine washing the jelly roll strips– but if you wash one fabric in the project, you should probably wash them all for consistency.
    I love how you got my brain working this morning! Good luck and let us know what works for you!

  2. Great post, Kristal. Your blog comment asks: What Do You Think? I think that there are no rules, but only that we should use our good sense. I have learned two things over my 37 years of quilting 1) dark fabrics can run and ruin the quilt, if you plan to ever launder it, 2) don’t over-dry your fabrics as they can create hard-to-iron-out creases. That’s just what I’ve learned. I tend to follow your method, coupled with the damp-dry-then-iron method of the commenter above. I iron them, but fold new fabrics into 9″ squares (fold in half, then half, then half, etc.) so I rarely iron them before using, but my scraps all get a fold to get them into the cupboard, and then yes, I have to iron them before I use them.

What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s