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    Prewashing fabrics

    I have read on this blog that some of you ladies prefer to prewash your fabrics and some don't. Well, I did prewash my fabrics and I spent 35 min cutting up ravelled ends that were all knotted together.... <sigh> Is it normal for these fabrics to become ravelled and knot up when washed. I really wasn't expecting that. Perhaps a little ravel on the cut edges, but nothing to what I got! I had a stack of fat quarters and then yardage that I put in. Do you ladies who prewash just factor in that the material will ravel and add a little extra accordingly? I'm especially bummed because some of it is material with birds in panels and I was going to cut the panels and use them for a quilt for my grandmother, but it ravelled so badly that I probably lost the use of the top and bottom panels Any advice is welcomed!

    #2
    Re: Prewashing fabrics

    Awwww - I hate when that happens. I don't usually prewash. Unless it's reds, purples, or blacks. And the I use a color grabber sheet. I put it on a low delicate cycle. If I do charm packs (which I probably wouldn't) I'd put them in a small mesh bag of some sort to help keep them from getting tangled. Never prewash strips. Those that do prewash everything usually use pinking sheers to cut along the cut sides - they say that helps on the raveling.
    Sorry this happened to you and hope you didn't loose too much of the fabric to use. Guess my advice is only good for the next time you prewash. I do wash everything after the quilt is done.
    Hugs
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/quiltsbytrish
    http://quiltdreaming.blogspot.com
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    What if you woke up today and the only things you had were the things you thanked God for yesterday? :icon_hug:quilting trish

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      #3
      Re: Prewashing fabrics

      I wouldn't do charm packs either. Or any other pre-cut. And so far have not done yardage. I did it once and never again! Let it shrink when it's a quilt, with a bunch of color catchers in the wash. Of course I'm not that experienced in quilting. I just know what happened to me. And I ain't doing it again!!! lol Hugs, Jan L
      Home, where each lives for the others and all live for God! ><(((((o>

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        #4
        Re: Prewashing fabrics

        I pre-washed FQ's one time....never again!!
        I'll use an entire box of color catchers before I deal with all those knots and strings again! I swear by the color catchers, though!! I bought a red, white and blue quilt at an auction, it had never been washed....I used 3 CC sheets and the red didnt bleed into the white!! The sheets came out blood red when the wash cycle was over.

        I did read a tip the other day, not sure where, that said if you clip the corners off fabric, it cuts down on the amount of unravelling...I havent tried it so I cant vouch for the tip.
        ~Mary
        As ye sew, so shall ye rip.

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          #5
          Re: Prewashing fabrics

          I do pre-wash everything but the pre-cuts. I have a serger so I put a narrow serge along the cut edges. I have also run a narrow zigzag along the cut edges before I had the serger. I tried a straight stitch and it was OK, but the close & narrow zigzag seemed to do the best. I keep the stitch inside the 1/4" so I don't have to worry about pulling out all of the threads before I want to use it.

          I don't know about the corner clipping. I have not tried that method. I would guess the pinking shears would work. My hands don't like to power the scissors. I do have a rotary cutting pinking blade, but I'm to lazy to change it every time I want to pre-wash fabric. (I know, but I'll run a line of stitching! Yeah, yeah, yeah.) I have found that most of the raveling happens in the washer. If I do wash fabrics that haven't been sewn, and I clean them up before I put them in the dryer, they don't seem to get any worse.

          Best of luck on finding what works the best for you!
          Be who you are and say what you feel
          because those who mind don't matter,
          and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss

          http://www.toggpine.wordpress.com

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            #6
            Re: Prewashing fabrics

            I also don't wash fabric but if I need to, I fold them in half, raw edges together and stitch down close to the edge making a loop of the fabric, they will not unravel further than the stitching. Then when dry simply take your ruler and cutter and cut that edge off, the loss is less than if you washed it without stitching and is so much faster than dealing with the threads and knots. It also seems to stop the fabric from getting all twisted up in the wash.
            Lynn

            "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain" Anonymous.

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              #7
              Re: Prewashing fabrics

              Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
              I also don't wash fabric but if I need to, I fold them in half, raw edges together and stitch down close to the edge making a loop of the fabric, they will not unravel further than the stitching. Then when dry simply take your ruler and cutter and cut that edge off, the loss is less than if you washed it without stitching and is so much faster than dealing with the threads and knots. It also seems to stop the fabric from getting all twisted up in the wash.
              Very clever! I serge the ends of my yardage and then wash. What a great idea to fold and sew. One step, less use of thread, less time, one cut to remove the serge instead of two. Why didn't I think of that!?!
              Goodbye Europe! Hello California! Home sweet home.

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                #8
                Re: Prewashing fabrics

                Testing updated profile
                Goodbye Europe! Hello California! Home sweet home.

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                  #9
                  Re: Prewashing fabrics

                  I prewashed only for one quilt sk far, and it was only yardage, and I don't think I'd try any pre cuts, because I would think they would lose their shape. I figure as long as I'm udon all the same type of material: cotton, cotton, cotton, it will all shrink equally. Just my guess. I did, however, prewash the material I am using for my tshirt quilt, and again it was only yardage, because I really didn't want bleeding onto some of those white tshirts or for them to pucker, because they've been washed but the fabric has not been.
                  Lin

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                    #10
                    Re: Prewashing fabrics

                    Thanks for the tips everyone. I think I am going to be able to squeeze the use out of my bird panels. If I ever decide to wash again, I will definitely be stitchin' up those sides. I did use a color catcher so at least I had no bleeding from my dark red fabric. Thanks again!

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