Debate - Pre-wash your fabric, or not?
Hey there! I’m back again for another Tuesday post, and this week we’re having a debate!
The topic of the debate is: Pre-washing fabric - do you do it, or not?
What is pre-washing? Thanks for asking! It’s when you wash your fabric before you start cutting, piecing, assembling, and quilting. The thought, as far as I understand, is that you avoid shrinkage and color bleeding if you pre-wash.
But I also believe that it frays the edges of the fabric, which results in needing to trim/clean up before you can cut. And you have to iron the fabric before you can start cutting - although perhaps that is a small price to pay, in some people’s eyes.
I have a lovely mother-in-law, Nancy the Quilting Goddess, who never pre-washes her fabric. But my wonderful mother does pre-wash her fabric, and was shocked to hear that I had landed in the No Pre-Wash Camp.
Washing, trimming, and ironing before starting just doesn’t seem worth it to me. I blame it on my lack of patience. I like to just be able to start!
And in addition, I actually like the shrinkage that happens after finishing the quilt and washing it for the first time, because it makes the quilting lines stand out. It’s definitely a different look, so I suppose that is all down to a matter of personal preference.
In regards to the color bleeding, it would be easy to assume that I’ve suffered from ruined quilts because of this. Especially since I love to use vibrant contrasting colors. Those light fabrics are in danger with that first wash!
But I’ve got a solution! I use these color catching washer sheets so that bleeding colors are a non-issue. For particularly high-contrast projects, or for quilts which are especially large, I’ll even throw in two!
So where do you land - do you pre-wash, or not? Why do you operate that way? If you don’t pre-wash, how do you avoid color bleeding, and how do you feel about the shrinkage?Share with me in the comments!
- Carolyn Knees