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  • Washing fabric

    Morning all

    how many of you (sewing) guys wash your fabric before sewing it? I look around many sites and a lot of people's projects are advertised at hand wash cold only.
    Just curious if people just sew straight from the shop as it were. Also do you think that it puts people off buying if they have to hand wash? It doesn't for me but obviously everyone different

  • #2
    It depends on the fabric but I always say handwash as an heirloom piece and could ruin the embroidery, this then covers you if they go and stick in a 60 wash cycle. I think most customers are happy with a handwash when it is special, would not have handwash on any clothing items though as think that would pout people off. I handwash wool jumpers as do not want to end up with a felted jumper.

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    • #3
      Depends on what I am making. If it is a large quilt then yes, and I prewash the wadding too because it can shrink around 5%. but not if I am making something quite small.
      Carol
      God helps them that help themselves.

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      • #4
        I dont pre wash the fabric for my cushions.Also As I pritn my own fabric they cannot be washed or the in will fade.Ive heard as they are non washable it has put people off buying them.
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        • #5
          It depends on what I'm making. If it is just stuffed small decorations, then I don't wash it, but when I'm making anything that needs washing during it's life (e.g. teatowels, aprons etc.), then I prewash it - because of shrinkage.

          Some of my work is made from upcycled fabric, which I need to prewash anyway.
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          • #6
            Nope. I never wash anything first. Unless it`s smelly or dirty. I do that sort of thing when i`ve finished. Why do a job twice i can`t see the point.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Charlieson View Post
              Nope. I never wash anything first. Unless it`s smelly or dirty. I do that sort of thing when i`ve finished. Why do a job twice i can`t see the point.
              If I don't wash first when making a large quilt and the wadding shrinks the regulated five percent I end up with wrinkles where I don't want them especially if I use recycled fabric which has already done its shrinking. If I am making clothing or cushion covers etc., out of new fabric I never wash it, before or after making.
              Carol
              God helps them that help themselves.

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              • #8
                I always prewash fabrics as this will allow for the shrinkage no use making something, washing it and it shrinks no good to anyone and not good for the reputation of the seller either. I don't like to buy hand wash only products but that just me some people do. If an item is too decorated with sequins etc i won't buy that either as they come off and have to be hand washed. Im for practical and easy washing methods.

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                • #9
                  I was always taught that the fabric you use should not require a pre wash. I don't know any taylor/seamstress that would prewashed a fabric before cuting and sewing.

                  If a wadding is going to shrink then I won't buy it as it's not fit for purpose.
                  So many projects, so little time

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                  • #10
                    I always use Heirloom for my quilts as I find it makes a nice warm bed covering and it does state on the packaging that it can shrink 3-5%.
                    Carol
                    God helps them that help themselves.

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                    • #11
                      The Heirloom wadding will always shrink 3 - 5% as Carol states, this then gives you the two looks: to not wash before hand gives a vintage look to wash gives a modern straight look. We were always taught at college to prewash fabrics to remove the sizing and ensure no shrinkage after but if you want that as part of the design to cut slightly bigger to allow for shrinkage when washed. Some fabrics such as polyester cotton rarely shrink but 100% cotton unless been prewashed during the manufacture process will shrink, most labels will state whether prewashed or not, if not quoted ask.

                      At the end of the day it is down to personal choice prewashing can remove any chemicals, prevent shrinkage and bleeding, quilts should be prewashed as handled more and washed whilst wall hangings normally do not have to bother

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                      • #12
                        I'm with Hazelsmall on this.

                        No use making something of size 100% and the first time it is washed it suddenly becomes size 90% - no matter what it's for! That's the way to have unhappy customers IMO.

                        Everything I get, unless it's clearly marked as 'pre-shrunk', gets its edges overlocked and stuck in the machine on a 40 deg wash before being pressed, cut out and made up. Then I can safely say it is handwash or gentle 30 deg machine wash.

                        I rather enjoy washing days when I have a wide range of fabrics - my washing lines look very colourful!

                        In fact I'll probably have a washday tomorrow as the forecast is so good it will all dry nicely outside - makes for easier ironing.


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                        • #13
                          I usually prewash fabric because of shrinkage, particularly cotton or wool fabric - better to avoid surprises after you spend time and efforts crafting.


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                          • #14
                            I asked this question on a sewing forum a while ago and 99% of people on there said to pre-wash if it wasn't already pre-shrunk. It really annoys me having to do it, but if needs must!
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