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15 year old fabric

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    15 year old fabric

    Needless to say I'm a pack rat! I found a package of fabric to make a quilt that I purchased at least 10 to 15 years ago. It has a beautiful solid red fabric along with other colors. I would like to make a quilt with this fabric. Should I prewash the red fabric or all the fabric separately? I don't know how the cotton fabric was treated that long ago. I am trying to deplete this old fabric and make quilts for nieces and sisters and friends. My husband is still waiting for one also. Thanks in advance for all your answers.

    #2
    Re: 15 year old fabric

    Definitely wash the red separately especially older fabric but new as well. Red is not trustworthy. You might even need to wash it more than once. I you lay it wet on a paper towel. After washing it you'll be able to tell if it's going to bleed since it will stain the paper towel.
    Goodbye Europe! Hello California! Home sweet home.

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      #3
      Re: 15 year old fabric

      I even put something "white" that's not important into the wash with it. If it turns pink, then I wash again, until a white thing stays white.
      Vonnie

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        #4
        Re: 15 year old fabric

        Penny 66!!! You have a soulmate here... I know lots think it's wrong to use such old fabric,, but to me,, it's like preserving an old friend.. I don't make things that are "prize worthy",,,, I make them to send a little "hug" to whoever is receiving it..I have a lot that is just not up to some of today's standards.. but with a good soft wash and quilting,, I think they become pieces to hug and cuddle and cry or spill on and not feel guilty,, just comfy!!!
        "Each day well-lived and Happy;
        that's all there is to Life!"

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          #5
          Re: 15 year old fabric

          If you use Shout color catchers when you wash your fabrics, they soak up the extra color. They work after you make the quilt with non- prewashed fabrics, and if you have real concerns, put two or three in at a time.

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            #6
            Re: 15 year old fabric

            Originally posted by Jean Sewing Machine View Post
            If you use Shout color catchers when you wash your fabrics, they soak up the extra color. They work after you make the quilt with non- prewashed fabrics, and if you have real concerns, put two or three in at a time.
            I use the Shout color catchers and I love them. And I agree with if you are worried throw 2-3 in

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              #7
              Re: 15 year old fabric

              I made a quit with red fabric and it bled. Make sure you wash two times and also use color wash.
              It helps

              mwilson602

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                #8
                Re: 15 year old fabric

                Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm going to wash it in cold water and use the shout color catchers. Will let you know what the results are!

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                  #9
                  Re: 15 year old fabric

                  Originally posted by kmerfeld View Post
                  I use the Shout color catchers and I love them. And I agree with if you are worried throw 2-3 in
                  I too love the color catchers not sure how they work, but they do and use that old fabric it is so worth using

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                    #10
                    Re: 15 year old fabric

                    if you think about old quilts they were almost never made with new fabrics. people used to use their old worn clothes and make quilts out of them. i think fabric made yrs ago was made to last,but today everything is meant to wear out.
                    :icon_wave:Joan

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                      #11
                      Re: 15 year old fabric

                      Agree with everyone - use the color catchers and then test with paper towels or something else white you don't care about.

                      I have fabric in my stash that is older than that and I plan to use it unless it seems to have dry rotted and I haven't found any so far that have. I've noticed with a lot of my older cottons - they are woven much better than the ones they produce today.
                      Donna

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                        #12
                        Re: 15 year old fabric

                        I am new to the forum and this is my first post! I had a very pleasant and surprising experience regarding vintage fabric. In looking through some boxes of my grandmother's (passed on to me after she died several years ago), I found out that I had inherited some of her fabric. She worked in a department store (Loveman's in Birmingham) that carried fabric and apparently she had collected store samples. There was a pattern in with the samples and it was dated 1954! The prints and colors are consistent with the 50s. The fabric was in very good condition but looked dingy. I talked to a lady in a local quilt shop and she suggested I wash the pieces in Restoration. She has used the product on some fabric that belonged to her grandmother. So, I lovingly washed all 240 pieces, measuring approximately 5-1/2"x7". I followed the directions of soaking the pieces for 15-20 minutes, changing the water, then soaking them again for 6-8 hours, then rinsing many times. I was very surprised at how dirty the water was, especially after the first soak. I did this process by hand, dividing the fabrics into four groups. I did not use a color catcher but did a test first to determine if the reds were color safe, and they were. I put the pieces in the dryer and let them get almost dry. Then I spray starched and ironed each piece. This was a day-long process but I loved handling the fabrics that belonged to my grandmother. The end result was that the fabric looks amazing and I am excited about using the fabric. I am working on a quilt for my sister's 60th birthday and will incorporate some of my grandmother's fabric. I plan to do this with several quilts and also make a lap quilt that is made up primarily of the new found fabric. I would suggest that you test Restoration and see if it gives you the same excellent results that I got. I agree with the previous post that the cottons were woven much better than they are today.

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                          #13
                          Re: 15 year old fabric

                          I have fabrics older then that...working the fabric dept of a store for 20 years does have some advantages.I am a washer so all were washed as they came in and then line dried ( not one for using my drier except for towels in the winter) then in to boxes they went ready to use when the urge hit me. Well I bought faster then I could sew and had time to sew so I have quite a stash. I can't get near my sons closet but I know it is filled with fleece and flannels as They always got a new fleece jacket every year and my hubby a few new flannel shirts each year. Now I mostly quilt , but also have tons of cottons as that is what I made my dresses from I wore to work back then. They will get used eventually if I live long enough.
                          sigpic:icon_hug: Iris Girl = April = fabric, Fabric FABRIC!!
                          Time spent with cats is never wasted.
                          Sigmund Freud

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