Fabric Pre-Washing Tips

By 9/28/2012 , ,

Fabric-Pre-Washing-Tips-Hello-KirstiIt’s definitely taken me a while to get ‘a method’ down, but I think I’ve found the perfect system for me.

Fabric-Pre-Washing-Tips-Hello-Kirsti-0011. I bring fabric home from the store, or from my Mom’s stash. I keep it in a separate pile.

2. Once I’ve got a ‘loads’ worth or I have a project I must start right away, I prep it.Fabric-Pre-Washing-Tips-Hello-Kirsti-007

3. I do long length rolled hem on the two raw edges of all the woven fabric. This prevents the washer from ‘eating’ your fabric, and having to cut apart the ‘strings’ in order to get the fabric out of the washer.

Fabric-Pre-Washing-Tips-Hello-Kirsti-0024. Wash as you would when the project is completed. For me this is just ‘warm’

5. Dry as you would when the project is completed.Fabric-Pre-Washing-Tips-Hello-Kirsti-009

6. Now you have an indicator that the fabric is washed because the edges are serged, no more playing sniff and guess wondering if the fabric is ready to sew. For the knits I take a safety pin and pin it to the selvage and use that as my “I washed it indicator.

Those are my two cents on fabric prepping.

What are your favorite methods? I’d love to hear.

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21 comments

  1. That is a great idea. :) I would love for you to share it at SHOW-licious Crafts. Just follow the link to the post. I love new friends/readers posting new ideas, so fun!! www.sewlicioushomedecor.com

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  2. Great Idea!! Do you know if I should pre-wash swimwear fabric?!? Thanks!

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  3. I just ran across this on Pinterest....any suggestions for those that do not have a serger?

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    1. Hi Rachel thanks for stopping by! A zig zag stitch close to the edge or over the edge will have the same effect, it will only unravel up to your stitching.

      A straight stitch would just pull out in the wash but the zig zag will have more gripping power!

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  4. Where did you find that blue tractor fabric!? I love it! Just saw your post on pinterest, good thought! I also will trow my fabric to wash in with a load of sheets if I don't want to wait until enough accumulates to wash separately!

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    1. I found the sweet little tractors over a year ago at JoAnn's on clearance, still haven't used it, LOL! Love the wash with sheets idea to cut down on loads!

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  5. For cotton fabrics add 1/2 C white vinegar to wash load to help "Set" the colors. Works great with denim too. Once dried (line or dryer) there isn't any smell. You can use fragrance a fabric sheet if you want an extra clean smell or static guard.

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  6. For cotton fabrics add 1/2 C white vinegar to wash load to help "Set" the colors. Works great with denim too. Once dried (line or dryer) there isn't any smell. You can use fragrance a fabric sheet if you want an extra clean smell or static guard.

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  7. If I under stand correctly you just sew the two edges together before sewing? :)

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    1. Karla I serge the edges independently. If you don't have a serger a zigzag stitch with have the same effect, happy sewing!

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  8. Great idea! I dread fighting those knots

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  9. Kristin this is a great idea, especially being able to tell which fabric is already washed. Karla, I think stitching both sides together would work too, because you just trim it after all.

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    1. Yes, I do this sometimes. It works fine.

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  10. I just cut off a tiny slice from each end with pinking shears. Easy peasy.

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  11. I've used the serger, a zig zag stitch on the sewing machine and cut a zigzag edge with pinking shears. All work fine. The only thing I might add is that when I buy tiny cuts, like 1/4 or 1/3 yard pieces for scrap or applique quilts I first fold the piece in half (just like it comes off the bolt) with the selvages together. Then I sew the raw edges so that the piece is half as long (It's kind of like a long skinny bag after being sewn.). This keeps the piece from wrapping up with the other pieces.

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  12. I have always cut across the corners ....... Just a small triangle and keeps most from unraveling.

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  13. I wash my pieces individually in lingerie bags. So if thread does come loose it doesn't get tangled up. There is usually a little bit of loose thread to cut, but since it's just on the one piece and contained in the bag, it isn't a lot of work. I can usually yellif fabric has been washed by looking at those cut edges. If The edges are completely smooth from a fresh-cut you can tell it hasn't been washed.

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    1. Awesome! I wondered if a lingerie bag would work, especially if you just have a couple pieces that need washing. I'll give it a try next time :)

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    2. I wash everything with very hot water. Unless of course if its wool. The purpose of the hot water is to preshrink and take the sizing out of everything. I even wash faux suede and leathers. To prep the fabric simply cut the four corners off the fabric about an inch in. This releases the threads that unravel and your fabrics won't bunch up. You still get the threads but since they aren't attached to anything they just pull off if they're loose. I don't have a dryer so everything is then hung to dry. I wash as soon as a load of laundry is ready. This way I don't have to guess which fabrics have been washed and which ones might shrink the first time I wash the garment. I don't iron anything until I'm ready to sew.

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    3. 705 this is the first time I understood why cutting the corners off is useful. Everyone just says "cut off the corners". I tried it once and still had unravelling, but now I know what to look for.

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