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precut fabrics- to wash or not?

precut fabrics- to wash or not?

Postby janetd » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:39 am

I have some precut 2 1/2" batik strips I'll be using soon and need to know should I prewash & treat with retayne? What would be the best way to do this with precuts? All answers would be greatly appreciated as this has been on my mind for awhile now and that's probably why I haven't used these strips yet.
Thanks,
Janet
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Postby PDQuilt » Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:06 am

Washing will distort these small pieces. Be brave! Make your quilt and THEN soak it in the retayne. My experience has been that batiks don't run, as they are put through rinsing during the manufacturing process, unlike fabrics that are merely printed designs. My humble opinion, and I'd be interested in anyone who has another idea about this. :)
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Postby AlexAnderson » Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:04 pm

I vote NO - they will not survive the experience -
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Postby QuilterLynn » Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:58 pm

Well, if Alex says NO, I vote NO, too! Course I've about quit pre-washing anything. I just use color grabber sheets when I wash the finished quilt --- or Retayne.
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Postby Sewdreamy » Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:31 pm

I'm glad you asked this because I'm thinking about how best to use these precut sets to help my niece with coming up with projects for her occupational therapy classes she does with folks at the day-care center for the elderly where she works. I was wondering about that the other day. I like the idea of soaking the finished piece with Retayne or color grabber sheets. Thanks!
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Postby NancyinSTL » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:13 pm

A friend gave me a stack of beautiful batik fat quarters as a Christmas gift. Yesterday, I started working on my June Stars for the TQS BOM and planned to use a couple of the dark green batik fat quarters. I was afraid that they might bleed, so I handwashed them at least five times using my regular laundry detergent. They bled a lot at first and were still bleeding a little after the fifth handwashing. Therefore, I decided not to use them in this quilt after all. If they had been narrow strips like yours, I might have considered handwashing them using a lingerie bag.
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Postby cjbeg » Sat Jun 13, 2009 3:51 pm

I think you would loose your mind if you tried to pre wash all those strips and have to attempt to untangle them. I have used the batic strips without any problem, but it also didn't include the usual reds blues and blacks that can run. Just my two cents. Cheryl
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Postby ipquilter » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:31 pm

If the quilt is going to be used and washed I always pre-wash. If the fabric is for an art quilt I don't pre-wash.
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Postby QuilterLynn » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:25 am

I find it so interesting that we all adapt/adopt our own methods for dealing with this issue, and I still hear very few "horror" stories. Maybe I'm just not listening! ha
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Postby EditorAnne » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:21 am

I prewash all my fabrics, and that's why I don't buy precut strips. They shrink and distort like crazy.

One time I bought a bunch of precut four-inch squares for a quick baby quilt. I soaked them in hot water and then ironed them dry. They shrank half an inch widthwise! That's a lot of shrinkage over just four inches! I used 'em anyway, since all I was doing was sewing them together in one long strip.

Anne in Vancouver, Canada
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Postby florence » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:31 am

Ditto Anne. I even pre-wash scraps in a lingerie bag. I'm more concerned about shrinkage than excess dye, just b/c it's more common. But IF I was going to use pre-cuts, and pre-cuts ONLY in a quilt, I'd just wash it afterwards, & let it all shrink together. I wouldn't mix washed & non-washed.
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Don't prewash pre-cut strips

Postby BethMI » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:36 pm

I've made quilts from several jelly rolls and not prewashed my strips and I have never had a problem with untoward shrinkage when I was done with the project.

I think that the key is to start with good quality fabric. All of it will shrink a little bit, but so will everything else in the quilt, so let it all shrink together. I think you would add more distortion into the project by soaking the strip and then drying it and ironing it than you get with the unwashed strip in the first place. Plus you eliminate the convenience, which is the reason you bought those precut strips in the first place!

Besides - quilting is a hobby, guys. Why put yourself thru that for a result that even the expert disagree about? It can't be TOO bad!

BethMI
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