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    Flannel Backing?

    So I have a granddaughter who wants flannel backing on a quilt I just finished piecing. I did not pre-wash the fabric for the top. So will it be ok to use the flannel without pre-washing it? I’m afraid if I do wash it, the top will shrink more than the backing when the finished quilt is finished. If I don’t wash the flannel, will it shrink a lot more than the top when the quilt is washed? I’m perplexed!
    Brenda. :icon_wave:

    #2
    Re: Flannel Backing?

    Flannel usually shrinks a little more than cotton so if you don't have it sandwiched together yet I would definitely wash the flannel but not the top you pieced. You did not say your top was cotton, but I am assuming that it is? Wash the flannel in hot water and dry on high so it will shrink the maximum amount before you put your quilt together. Then after your whole quilt is bound and quilted (finished) wash it in cool water and dry on low. It should turn out fine. I always wash flannel yardage first bc of the shrinkage, but like everything else there's high quality and low quality flannel, and some will shrink more than others.

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      #3
      Re: Flannel Backing?

      Originally posted by jjkaiser View Post
      Flannel usually shrinks a little more than cotton so if you don't have it sandwiched together yet I would definitely wash the flannel but not the top you pieced. You did not say your top was cotton, but I am assuming that it is? Wash the flannel in hot water and dry on high so it will shrink the maximum amount before you put your quilt together. Then after your whole quilt is bound and quilted (finished) wash it in cool water and dry on low. It should turn out fine. I always wash flannel yardage first bc of the shrinkage, but like everything else there's high quality and low quality flannel, and some will shrink more than others.
      Yes, the top is cotton and (I assume high quality) purchased from a lqs. I think you are right in suggesting washing the flannel. It makes me a little nervous to put so much time and money into the top to risk a disaster when it’s washed the first time! Thanks for responding! I’ve only been quilting 3 years and have only used regular 100% cotton quilting fabric for both tops and backing.
      Brenda. :icon_wave:

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        #4
        Re: Flannel Backing?

        I use flannel backing most times but yes, make sure it is pre-washed.
        Blessed are the children of the piecemakers for they shall inherit the quilts!

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          #5
          Re: Flannel Backing?

          I agree with the above. I'm sure you will be fine. Quality quilting cotton normally shrinks very little. Washing your flannel before quilting is a very good idea.
          sigpicwww.whisperofrose.blogspot.com


          Scottie Mom Barb

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            #6
            Re: Flannel Backing?

            I just finished a Batik pieced Bar Code Quilt top and did not prewash are they were Jelly Roll strips, all like colors. I backed the quilt with a good quality flannel, not pre washed.. Quilted, did the binding , washed and the quilt turned out beautiful. I had very little shrinkage. I probably got lucky on that one, but I was very pleased.
            A day patched with quilting Seldom unravels Sharon

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              #7
              Re: Flannel Backing?

              We always recommend prewashing flannel to our JoAnns customers.

              Jeanne

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                #8
                Re: Flannel Backing?

                I have NOT prewashed good quality flannel many, many times when used as backing with not bad results at all.

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                  #9
                  Re: Flannel Backing?

                  Originally posted by LLLinda View Post
                  I have NOT prewashed good quality flannel many, many times when used as backing with not bad results at all.
                  What happens if you do not prewash flannel. I like the wrinkled look. Is that all it does?
                  :icon_happy:Karen
                  Life is short - live it up while you can

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                    #10
                    Re: Flannel Backing?

                    Originally posted by Kgrammiecaz View Post
                    What happens if you do not prewash flannel. I like the wrinkled look. Is that all it does?
                    Flannel (especially that of lesser quality) tends to shrink more than woven fabric. I like the wrinkled look too but I didn’t want the fabrics to shrink “unequally” and make the quilt all “out of whack”.
                    Brenda. :icon_wave:

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                      #11
                      Re: Flannel Backing?

                      I'm using a lap quilt backed with flannel right now. I didn't prewash it and it was fine, but it was a tightly woven thicker flannel that raveled little during cutting. That said, there is a marked difference in flannel fabric. If it's thin,loose and ravels, I'd prewash. If it's the tightly woven, I've had good luck using it for tops and backs.

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                        #12
                        Re: Flannel Backing?

                        Increase the seam allowance, too, if you have to piece the backing together. It will be a warm and cozy quilt when you're all finished.

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