Too wash or not - Washing fabric and completed projects

Is it dirty?  Does it smell, Did you get it from a yard sale or unknown origin?
Is it new?  DON't wash it - unless you have severe allergies!
Read on my quilty friends!
When fabric is manufactured it is done so with sizing and or stabilizers.
What they are: chemicals.
Finishing chemicals.  Each differs.  Some are to stiffen the fabrics, others stabilize colors, and yet others are there for processing through folding on to the bolts!
Sew, your fabric is new, don't wash it, unless you have allergies to chemicals or someone in your household does.
Why would I tell you not to wash them?  When you cut them, the cuts are cleaner, crisper edged and less fraying will occur unless using a dull blade.
Now remember when you cut fabric any fabric you will have "dust", this dust will go up your nose for sure!  I know It happens to me all the time,  I have very pretty bogey's!  I know TIA, but it is so true!  The dust goes up my nose and lands there, and I sneeze if it is a very stiff fabric - do to the sizing!
Now, you can wear a mask when cutting and for some with asthma I recommend this for sure.  The rest of you, do what you will.  But as for washing it, 90% of quilting fabric is pre shrunk during the fabrication process.  Now if you are concerned over color bleeds then by all means wash it.  Here a few tips on how to wash it -
  1. Put it in a bag that is made for washing small amounts of laundry or for dedicates.
  2. Keep like colors together
  3. Use color grabbers for those dark robust colors, they will bleed
  4. Do NOT use fabric softener - disaster waiting to happen.  Makes it squishy.
  5. Rinse in cold water.
  6. Finally partially dry in dryer then remove and snap it!  YES SNAP IT in the air so it pops and drops a lot of those wrinkles.  Then dry the remainder of the way either flat, or with an iron without steam!
That's it!  Then cut to your hearts desire.
Now when I say wash EVERY time, no matter!
  1. Garage sales items
  2. No idea where it came from
  3. Smells funky
  4. Donated to you or to someone who donated to you after they tried to donate it elsewhere, and it was just lost in the land of unwanted fabrics!
  5. It was Granny's stash and you have no idea how old it really is - Mold -even dry ones like to live in fabric that is stored improperly
  6. You got it from a destash group!  ALWAYS!
  7. You see a stain or discoloration - it may not come out! Don't waste time on it if not.
  8. Pet hairs visible or possible - some will use a lint brush to remove them, so you are not aware.
  9. And again if it is a dark robust color you are sure will bleed!
  10. IF its iffy, then if you are not sure if it is - Don't "if"'on it, wash it!
Again go with the best thing for you.  And follow the instruction above.
Now for those of us who wash quilts before mailing them out. I do it every time.  Why?
  1. I am by no means perfect - and if a seam pops or did not catch I will find it in the wash!  EVERY TIME!
  2. It removes any pet dander, dust, air borne molds and or debris, and hairs.
  3. I love the crinkly look!
How to and What not to do!
  1. Again cool water!  Gentle cycle.
  2. Color catchers a half box or so
  3. Fabric softener is okay if you know the person is not allergic
  4. Use quilt soap!  Or one that is hypo allergenic
  5. Dry on low to partial dry then HANG to dry the remainder unless it is yours and you can do it all the way dry however you like.
    1. (partial dry, if bleeding, you can get it out easier)
    2. (partial dry, if seams pop you are able to see before major fray happens)
    3. (Partial dry, allows us to see how it is going to lay when dried)
Do not fill the machine over full if it is too big, laundry mat with a huge washer and dryer is much better!  For sure.
Do not wash in hot water
Do not put things in with the quilt that will fuzz - will create freak out moments for sure!
Do not put in dryer that is too small, fire hazard, and will dry weird and funky every time due to being bunched up!
Do not lay where fur babies can get to it, lost cause if you do!
Sew, now those are the basics of many questions on this topic.  I hope I gave some insight here!
Remember: A quilt unfinished is a quilt waiting to love!
Create with joy, love and passion! Until next time...


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