Thursday, March 14, 2013

My decision about pre-washing fabric

I thank everyone for taking the time to post your opinions.  I love to know what other quilters are doing.  I think this is one of those things everyone must decide for themselves.

With the help of my friend Kathie I re-found the articles about washing fabrics.  They were written by Becky Goldsmith of Piece O'Cake fame.  Here are the links:

      Washing fabric -- part 1
      Washing fabric -- part 2

One of the commenters asks her my exact question.

Dawn said...
Do you wash charm packs and layer cakes too? Thanks for the post. I used to wash my fabrics until charm packs came along....I was afraid the squares would shrink too much to use in a pattern.

Becky's answer was interesting.  
Becky said in reply to Dawn... 
I would really really want to wash charm packs and jelly rolls. If I did, I'd put them in a lingerie bag to do it. The problem is that most are cut to specific sizes and there is no allowance for shrinkage. It would sort of defeat the whole purpose of buying them in the first place. So I have not been able to bring myself to buy them. I know they are pretty but I just don't like using unwashed fabric.
I know that many people use them and love them. I'm just not in that group.

Many, many of us have already bought them.  So I'm going to make an exception for pre-cuts and used them unwashed.  I'll wash the finished quilt right away with at least two color catchers.

And I'm still going to pre-wash everything else.  Except for the grab bags full of scraps that I pick up now and then.


Julierose said...

Thank you for the link to Piece o' Cake about washing fabric. I never have before, but lately I notice that I get "stuffy" in my sewing room. And sneeze a lot! Maybe it is the fabric--gosh, I CAN'T be allergic to FABRIC!! Yikes! I am going to wash my fabrics on my new project and give it a try. Julierose

Sherri said...

I use a lot of precuts when I quilt. And I never pre-wash them for the reasons you mentioned. I always use 1-2 color catchers when washing and have absolutely never ever had a single problem with colors bleeding. I did read Becky's article, though, and it really does give some food for thought about pre-washing!

Joanne said...

I would never attempt to wash jelly rolls or charm packs, but I'm like you -- I'll wash the quilt as soon as it's finished with color catchers. And, I also wash everything in cold water, but I dry in the dryer -- so doesn't really matter on shrinkage!

Kigwit said...

I wash anything from fat eighths on up. I don't wash charm squares or jelly rolls. However, I do have to keep some unwashed kona cotton to use with those or only use precuts in a project to keep the shrinking thing okay.

I have had colors run before so I am a little paranoid about it.