January 10, 2012

Pre-Washing Fabric Revisited

I've been lax at times about pre washing fabric.  A recent experience with a Quilt of Valor that a topper sent me for quilting, and subsequent washing disaster with this quilt before sending it to a soldier left me feeling perhaps I should revisit the fact that I frequently have gotten lazy about washing newly purchased fabrics.

I used to wash every fabric that I purchased. Lights to darks and everything in between! In fact I loved the whole process. Then I read more how some quilters didn't wash their fabrics and they didn't think it was necessary with the newer fabric manufacturers, that "quilt shop quality" fabric seldom bled. That it was nicer to cut un-washed fabric. That the sizing left in un-washed fabric made it easier to piece. All those suggestions gave me a good excuse to skip the washing process completely. Until that bleeding Quilt of Valor slapped me in the face! and made me revaluate what could happen if I went on my merry way making quilts with un-washed fabric.

I haven't bought fabric in ages---not since my huge destashing last year. Sad to say one of our local quilt shops closed this past month.  Happy to say she had a killer sale the last week before closing 40% to 50% off all fabrics. Among some of my purchases: half a bolt of Moda Muslin, and some Dimples in colors I was missing in my Dimples stash.  Today as one of my New Year quilting resolutions I washed all the dark colors.

Here are the results of cool water, gentle cycle, color catcher washed fabrics. Three Color Catchers pictured below the fabric.  The real culprit of the bunch looking at the color catchers is the dark colored purple maroon Dimples. My misguided notion was that quality fabrics like Andovers Dimples probably had very little dye release.
New Years resolution confirmed. Every dark red, dark blue, dark green, blackish, purple, brown, batik for sure---or anything with a dark background hits the washer first before it ever makes it to the fabric stash.


Diane said...

I learned the hard way too with a red bleeding...years ago. I pre wash.

Hilda said...

I just recently prewashed the most innocent looking yardage of buttery gold fabric with white socks and underwear--not thinking it needed any Synthrapol, and now have lovely yellowed white clothing! With few exceptions, my stash is all prewashed. BTW, I love your new blog look!

colleencl said...

Angie -- Love your new blog look too ... it is so bright and attractive. Great article ... ssh, don't tell anyone ... I don't prewash! Yikes!!