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  • pre-washing fabrics

    Do you do this?

    I tend to pre-wash the fabric for my applique letters, but not the actual tees and bodysuits? Which I guess I should as they could shrink a bit on first wash

    Also - What do you do with your washing machines? I tend to put any fabric in a pillow case to ensure it doesn't fray into the macine. But i'm sure my machine will only last half the time it should because I'm always putting fabric in??
    Just wondering what others do?
    incywincystitches.com - Fabric buttons, button supplies and handmade accessories
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  • #2
    If the fabric can be washed before sewing I always wash it.Had some things to shrink on me one time and learned my lesson lol. I never thought of putting it into a pillowcase.Good Idea!!
    Shabby Neesey

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    • #3
      Ummmm ... I'm so lazy!

      I only wash fabric if I've got it from a jumble sale or charity shop and it's a bit "whiffy". And even then, I only put it on the "freshen" cycle which takes about 10 minutes and only uses fabric softener.

      My machine would be permanently on if I washed everything beforehand, and some of it would just would never iron back to new.

      So I suppose I'm doing my bit for the environment by not washing it....!

      Plus, how do you dry it?
      Blog Website Flickr

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      • #4
        I must admit that I don't wash my fabrics either except the ones from the charity shop.
        As an aside - I've used wool felt before on clothing and the colour has run. Does anyone know if it becomes colourfast after one wash or will it keep running?
        Visit my Etsy store http://swirlyarts.etsy.com
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        • #5
          I've not had that problem, but my felts are usually soft pastel colours. jbjb mentioned the other day that she didn't think felt was machine washable? I find that it bobbles after a good few washes. But Emma has had a few Tees (made by me) that seem to go in the machine OK?

          I would test a few samples swirly, to see what happens.

          I had a problem with one of my first personalised Tees, where the denim ran in the wash!! I was gutted, but luckily it was someone I knew. Didn't use that denim again!

          I think we need jules (-the felt queen)
          incywincystitches.com - Fabric buttons, button supplies and handmade accessories
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          • #6
            Washing Felt.....

            Articles of clothing with felt on should always be washed inside out, to prevent friction from causing bobbles. Some felt will bobble regardless of how carefully it's laundered, and this shows it's lack of quality.

            I've never had colour run from wool felt yet ( I get mine from Myriad toys and it's sold as colourfast) Acrylic felt shouldn't run as the fibres are dyed before felting, but this is no guarantee of colourfastness......

            ALL felts are prone to shrinkage, never believe anything to the contrary, so don't wash at anything hotter than 30oC. Iron on two dots on the reverse of the garment.

            As for pre-washing fabrics, I always do it. It's tedious, but it's better than working hard on a project only to find it's ruined after the first wash, or worse still, getting complaints from a customer (gossip travels faster than light) I wash everything in a pillowcase or string laundry bag, at 30oc. I try to dry it outside, or on a rack indoors next to the radiator. Always iron whilst still damp, and remember that a little spray starch is a wonderful thing!

            Here endeth today's lecture......

            bisous,

            Jules
            Apple Tree Crafts
            www.appletreecraftfairs.com

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            • #7
              Wow! Thanks Jules
              I get my felt from Mryiad, after you mentioned them on the felt thread. Very good quality and easy to work with.

              Did you say you've brought from paper and string? Does her felt wash well? I was going to place an order in a few weeks.
              incywincystitches.com - Fabric buttons, button supplies and handmade accessories
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              • #8
                Paper & String

                Originally posted by incywincy View Post
                Wow! Thanks Jules
                I get my felt from Mryiad, after you mentioned them on the felt thread. Very good quality and easy to work with.

                Did you say you've brought from paper and string? Does her felt wash well? I was going to place an order in a few weeks.
                The Paper & String felt is glorious to work with, because the texture is so even. It's very like the felt from Myriad, same excellent quality. I've washed it at 30oC and the colours held. I always use Ariel Bio, but I know some soap powders are different in their chemical composition and the bleaches/whiteners used can sometimes make colours run. I always tell cuetomers to wash any of my stuff by hand for the initial wash, just to be on the safe side.

                Jules
                Apple Tree Crafts
                www.appletreecraftfairs.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Apple Tree Crafts View Post
                  The Paper & String felt is glorious to work with, because the texture is so even. It's very like the felt from Myriad, same excellent quality. I've washed it at 30oC and the colours held. I always use Ariel Bio, but I know some soap powders are different in their chemical composition and the bleaches/whiteners used can sometimes make colours run. I always tell cuetomers to wash any of my stuff by hand for the initial wash, just to be on the safe side.

                  Jules
                  Thanks Jules, I will get some from there next order.
                  I do all my washing with eco balls, so no detergents. (and much cheaper!) But I might copy you and suggest to handwash on the first wash.
                  incywincystitches.com - Fabric buttons, button supplies and handmade accessories
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                  • #10
                    Eco Balls....

                    Originally posted by incywincy View Post
                    Thanks Jules, I will get some from there next order.
                    I do all my washing with eco balls, so no detergents. (and much cheaper!) But I might copy you and suggest to handwash on the first wash.

                    How good are the eco-balls? Will they cope with two messy boys and a permanently muck-covered daughter (she's doing animal management...)?

                    Definitely wash anything appliqued inside out with eco-balls....


                    Jules
                    Apple Tree Crafts
                    www.appletreecraftfairs.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Apple Tree Crafts View Post
                      How good are the eco-balls? Will they cope with two messy boys and a permanently muck-covered daughter (she's doing animal management...)?

                      Definitely wash anything appliqued inside out with eco-balls....


                      Jules
                      Not sure about a muck-covered animal management student?? But they do well considering Emma gets most of her dinner over herself every night!

                      I had a friend ask me about them yesterday, but she has a baby in real nappies - so I said NO straight away!

                      I think they are worth the investment even is your only using them on your lighter soiled items (i.e fabrics to use on your pieces)

                      They are around £30, but you can get them for about £15 if you hunt on ebay. And they last around 1000 washes before you need to change the little beads inside. I worked that to last about 3 1/2 yrs - at approx 6 washes a week. (very rough guess!)

                      hth? I'm sure if you google them you will find some more info out.

                      I know someone who uses soap nuts (think that's what there called), now they seem very strange!
                      incywincystitches.com - Fabric buttons, button supplies and handmade accessories
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                      • #12
                        Eco balls

                        Just wanted to add a quick note on the eco balls. I have been using them for a while now and keeping a tally of how many times I've used them. I'm down to about a third of the beads inside and have only done about 210 washes with them. They provide a refill in the pack which is supposed to do another 250 washes, but I doubt their claims on that.

                        They won't get very dirty clothes clean and won't shift make-up or grease stains at all. I do use them for lightly soiled coloured clothes, but add half the amount of washing powder for everything else.
                        Fire xxx
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                        • #13
                          This has been a very useful thread. Thanks everyone!

                          I have been pondering on the whole pre-wash thing for ages. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I have four young children and the washer is on permanently as it is. I also find that I use my machine a lot for dyeing fabric and shrinking old wool sweaters (to felt them just in case you were wondering, not to clothe the pixies at the bottom of the garden!). Yep, I go through washing machines like most people go through boxes of cornflakes! My latest is supposed to have an 8kg capacity but I haven't yet worked out if thats dry weight or wet. Doesn't really matter anymore because I bought a heavy cotton cardi in a charity shop the other week and washed that, now my machine is dancing across the kitchen every time it spins!

                          Interesting comments on felt. I was using the Myriad felt (from a supplier in the Netherlands but same stuff) and quite happy with it until I decided that I wanted to use plant-dyed felt instead. I found a supplier who sold lovely, reasonably priced, plant-dyed wool felt made on a small scale. The only problem with this is the inconsistencies in what you get! The first batch I ordered I had no problem with, but the second batch (of supposedly the same thing) was a nightmare. The slightest bit of moisture caused the colour to transfer onto anything it touched. So the slightest wiff of steam from an iron or teensiest bit of (dare I say) sweat from my hands whilst sewing would cause chaos! There was clearly too much loose dye left in the felt and I wish I had washed the blooming stuff first!!!!!!!!

                          Was there a lesson in that experience for me? Maybe, but as I say, I have enough washing to do anyway!
                          Natalie
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