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    Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

    I have fabric in my stash that's probably 20 yrs. old (maybe older?) How old is too old? It has been stored protected from the light. JCY

    #2
    Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

    Is fabric ever too old?!? Perhaps our 20+ year old fabric will become new again like Civil War and 30's fabric?
    Sometimes you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. Dr. Seuss

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      #3
      Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

      I have quilts my mother made 40 years ago that I still use and other then fading a little the fabric is holding up great! I also have some she made that I have never used and I have one of them on a quilt rack and the others stored away.

      How old is too old for fabric...I really don't know how to answer this question. I guess if it was me, I would try tearing the fabric with my hands and if it rips really easy I wouldn't use it or at least not use it on something I wanted to use on a daily basis.
      TODAY IS A GOOD DAY...TO HAVE A GOOD DAY...Genny

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        #4
        Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

        I have been happily sewing quilt blocks with original 1930 fabrics with no issues! If the fabric seems strong.....I would use it.

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          #5
          Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

          your 20 year old fabric may be made better than some brand new brands of fabric.
          :icon_wave:Joan

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            #6
            Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

            My mother passed away, a few years ago and my father not long ago so we have cleaned out the house, I claimed my mom's fabric stash and some of the material still had a pricing tag on it at 99 cents a yard. I put everything to the wash and dry test if it made it through I kept it , some of it did't make it, it ripped to shreads. Hope this helps you.

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              #7
              Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

              I agree with WVGranny, if you wash and dry it and its in good shape still its good!!. It it comes out shredded and full of holes then no good.!! I worked in a fabric store for 20 years and some of my fabric pre dates that and is fine and I still use it.
              sigpic:icon_hug: Iris Girl = April = fabric, Fabric FABRIC!!
              Time spent with cats is never wasted.
              Sigmund Freud

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                #8
                Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

                It depends on how the fabric was stored and what temperatures it was subjected to. if it looks and feels sturdy I would give it a try. You may have an issue pressing out fold lines, but a shot of Best Press would most likely take care of that. I would also give the fabric a wash and dry first.
                sigpicwww.whisperofrose.blogspot.com


                Scottie Mom Barb

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                  #9
                  Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

                  I agree with all of the above. I've had my fabric stored for about five years in plastic containers in climate controlled storage. My (clueless) sister couldn't believe that I was not just going to throw it all away because surely it is dry-rotted by now! My response to her is if it dry rots in five years, why would anyone take the time to make a quilt out of it?
                  Donna

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                    #10
                    Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

                    Thanks for all your posts & suggestions. I hadn't thought about pre-washing the fabric to see if it held up. JCY

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                      #11
                      Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

                      I have been using fabric from my Mother's stash and it's 25 plus years old. she kept them in a dresser drawer and had pre-washed them all...they are still in great shape and sewing up just fine!!!!!
                      Sherri

                      "Don't let someone else's ugly spoil your beautiful. " Thanks, Bubby!!!!!!

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                        #12
                        Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

                        Well you do learn something everyday. I sort of thought your question silly. How does fabric go bad? Maybe out of style but it comes back in again. I have bought several older homes and they always had clothing, blankets, fabric just stored in the attic in a trunk and it has always been good. I have clothes in my closet that I think are getting really old. I have never come across rotted fabric unless it was left in the elements, outside. I guess I have been lucky and I am new to quilting but have done some sewing and what little fabric I have left over is in the attic. I guess I should rethink that. But until the kids leave I might have to wait to build up my stash. Thanks for the question.

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                          #13
                          Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

                          Just offering another vote for washing all old fabrics first. I don't generally pre-wash new fabrics. However, I recently took my mother's years-old stash and washed/dried everything. Glad I did. Most made out fine but on some you could see faded fold lines more easily and some just shredded. Well worth the effort.

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                            #14
                            Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

                            When I was growing up in rural Mississippi, my parents had a grocery store and sold chicken feed by the pound. It came in feed sacks. When my mother died 10 years ago I found a dozen feed sacks in a beautiful handmade cedar chest. I washed and ironed them and they really turned out pretty. I'd like to make a quilt from them, but can't bring myself to cut into them. They are at least 65 years old. BTW, the rest of the cedar chest was filled with items crocheted or hand embroidered by my grandmother -- doilies to a bedspread.

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                              #15
                              Re: Fabric: How Old is Too Old?

                              Before I use an old fabric in a quilt, I check on how it feels and how it looks when you hold it up to a window in the sun. If it feels rough or thin, throw it. If you can see right through it in the light, throw it. I agree with the wash and dry test, too. You don't want inferior fabric in your quilts. It just isn't worth it!
                              Cyndi


                              “Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.” - Victor Hugo

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