Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Pre-Washing Fabrics

Do you pre-wash?
I used to faithfully wash all my fabric before I folded them and put them away.
Then I stopped.
I washed a few finished quilts that hadn't been pre-washed and saw no differences.
So why bother with the extra laundry?

I do wash any fabric that I receive secondhand, as well as my solid reds - if I'm using a lot of it.

While I don't pre-wash as a matter of course, I completely support/understand the desire to have fabrics pre-washed, especially in a swap or at the Lotto.

Open of the reasons I love the Lotto is the scrappiness of it.  But washing scraps?
It can be done, and its easy. 

My secret?

I use delicates bags.
- those mesh bags that you can put tights and what-not in, so they don't get stretched in the wash.

It's really simple - 

I unfold all the fabric scraps to be washed and plop them in the bag. 
I do make sure they're larger than I actually need.  

Then the bag gets tossed in the next load of laundry to go in the washer - this one was washed with shirts, socks and jersey things, but I've washed fabric like this with everything from Jeans and towels to sheets.

Usually when the dryer's done, they're not completely dry, which is just dandy, cause I like ironing damp fabric.

They do come out ridiculously wrinkled.

(this is after ironing without spraying it with water)

I use a hot iron and a spray bottle of water and that works.

Surprisingly there is very little shrinkage.
Just to see, I threw a left-over pre-cut charm in the bag with the rest.

I didn't measure it before, and I can't assume it was actually 5" square -
(the last pack of pre-cuts that I used weren't actually 5" square - which I didn't realize until I tried line up 4-patches, but that is another story)   

- but it was roughly 5"

After ironing:

It lost about  1/4" and that doesn't count the fuzzy edge.

I like the fuzzy edge.  I try to leave it uncut if I'm not using the whole piece of fabric.

That's how I can tell it's been pre-washed!

1 comment:

  1. That's a great tip. If you don't have a delicates bag I think an old pillowcase would also work.