Date Posted: 09:08:03 04/12/12 Thu
Subject: question for sewers
our walmart is re-modeling their craft department and have marked down tons of fabric. i was wanting your opinions on washing the fabric before you use it. does anybody do this? when i was taught to sew we never did this, but now i am reading that you need to wash before using. just wondering???
[> Re: question for sewers -- Carmelita, 09:30:57 04/12/12 Thu 
I was always taught to wash the fabric, not just to get the stuff that is in it out but also so it will do it's shrinking then instead of after making an outfit or whatever and having it do it afterwards with the first washing and then possible not fitting you!
Of course I was very selective about what I bought and tried to get the stuff that would not shrink or wrinkle very much and then there's also the thought of fabri colors bleeding.
[> Re: question for sewers -- KrafteeKaren, 10:16:20 04/12/12 Thu 
I never wash my material before I sew up something and never was taught to do it. Jersey (t-shirt material) and Cotton will shrink once it is washed in warm water, once in a blue moon on cold water. I don't wash any of my clothes in warm, always in cold and on Delicate cycle, same as for drying. Something you might check is on the side of the material it sometimes has a name and washing instructions. The biggest reason I don't wash my material is I like it to lay flat and not wrinkled when I cut something out....but that is just my thoughts on it.
[> Re: question for sewers -- Huskerfan, 12:06:58 04/12/12 Thu 
I do not prewash most of the material but if it was for quilting I think I would. Some materials should be washed like corderoy, denim and some cottons. I have also bought some material because it was so cheap and washed it and it shrunk a lot. It is best to prewash. I just don't take the time.
[> Re: question for sewers -- Shirttails, 12:11:00 04/12/12 Thu 
I was taught to wash my knits when I took Stretch n Sew lessons. I do not wash my fabrics for quilt tops. I was told not to do that at the quilt guild. If I did wash it beforehand, I'd iron it before cutting. I sew alot and it's been a long time since I have washed fabrics before sewing.
[> Re: question for sewers -- jazz, 13:00:35 04/12/12 Thu 
If I am doing a small hand project, I do not wash the fabrics. For a quilt top, I would.
Pre-washing fabric accomplishes several things:
- takes out the sizing, starches, etc.
- set the colors
When using cotton fabrics with cotton/blend, always pre-wash, as one type may shrink more than the other, causing lots of frustration.
I was not taught any of that in the 3 years of Home Ec. I took. Of course, that was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, & animals skins were wash & wear. *wink*
[> Re: question for sewers -- debra, 23:22:30 04/13/12 Fri 
thanks for all the answers! i guess it just depends. i was in 4=H when i was a kid and i dont remember the lady having us wash the fabric first. she was a very nice lady that taught me a lot of things. i also took 4 years of home-ec. we didnt do it there either. Jazz, dont feel so bad...when i worked in pre-k and we studied dinosaurs, the teacher told the kids that i was so old, that i rode dinosaurs to school! lots of nice memories!
[> Re: question for sewers -- wanda, 16:58:00 04/12/12 Thu 
i always wash my fabric. if it's going to fade i can see this and i might not even want to sew it after this, saves me a lot of work. and a lot of the time if it wrinkles a whole lot i will just throw it back for use for something besides clothing, i do not like to iron..and it doesn't take that long to wash it so i do before i sew.
[> Re: question for sewers -- bonniek, 17:13:33 04/12/12 Thu 
So much depends on what you are doing with it. Just to stash it I would not wash it first no matter the fiber content. SO much of the fabric from Walmart is 2nds and end of bolt runs-that stuff on tables for $1 or $2 per yard- so I would wash anything I got from there before any project because it will likely change my mind if I want to deal with the resulting fabric. Ordinarily I do not wash quilting fabrics, but always wash garment fabrics before I start the project. There's no hard and fast RULE-LOL, so do what seems right for your situation! Have fun with your fabrics!
[> Re: question for sewers -- garnet, 00:46:34 04/13/12 Fri 
I have done a lot of all kinds of sewing with all kinds of fabric. I launder all fabric before sewing.