To do or not to do… pre-washing fabric.

Do you pre-wash your fabric before you cut it up, sew it all together again and call it a quilt?

I used to be quite stubborn about NOT pre-washing my fabric.  I really do like that straight-from-the-shop crispness.  I’m also impatient and lazy.

But days like today prove to me, over and over again, that pre-washing should be on the top of your priority list.

I wash my quilts.  I wash the bejeezus out of them.  Every year they get washed once or twice due to cat hair, dust, living in the city, and the sheer amount of pollen and allergens that blow in on the breeze.  This quilt, Very Berry, is several years old and has been washed at least four times in the past.  Probably much more if I think about it.

very berry

The fabric dye still runs.  A lot.  The fabrics are good quality, from some of the leading US fabric manufacturers, so they aren’t cheap nasties.

The wash water, though hard to see in this piccy, was the colour of Port Wine.  I use Soak to wash my quilts.

washing water

The dye catcher/s were dark plum when they came out of the water.

dye catcher

The rinse water (I always rinse thoroughly even if the detergent says I don’t have to) was still stained.

rinse water

Thank goodness (again) that it didn’t run into the white fabric.  The pink as well as the brown is still giving off colour.

You might think that it’s only deep colours than run, but I’ve had cream run yellow, green run yellow and blue etc.  I’m not going to preach pre-washing but it’s worth checking (thoroughly) the colour fastness of the fabric you are using.

On a side note, I received a lovely parcel from Nanette before Easter with my Easter swap goodies.  Mmmmm chocolate bullets.  My favourite.  They lasted about 20 seconds and I had to put in extra time on the treadmill to fit my jeans!  LOL  Thank you.

swap parcel liquorice bullets

I’d better get back to sewing my back-log of blocks…  I wish I had some chocolate bullets left to help me on my way LOL  See you tomorrow everyone, toni xx






3 thoughts on “To do or not to do… pre-washing fabric.

  1. I too have been caught out with fabric running! I always prewash now and if in doubt the old fashion way of adding a little salt to set the colour… really works!

  2. I don’t prewash but I do use color catchers in the wash when I wash the finished quilt. I love your quilt. Is it one of your patterns?

  3. I am very bad about prewashing Toni… one day I will learn the hard way!! Those dye catchers seem quite magical…

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