Do you always wash your cotton before sewing clothing? - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Go Back   Homesteading Today > Country Homemaking > Sewing & Quilting


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 09/12/11, 11:53 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE WA
Posts: 2,212
Do you always wash your cotton before sewing clothing?

what if you are quilting? Do you wash it then????

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09/13/11, 12:00 AM
hippygirl's Avatar  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Alabama (east central)
Posts: 2,588

I've always washed cotton before cutting, but I've known some who don't.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09/13/11, 12:26 AM
AngieM2's Avatar
Site Admin
HST_ADMIN.png
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: N. Alabama
Posts: 42,960

I had never heard of doing this, until I started doing the quilt block swaps here.

I have heard of not doing it if you want to shrink it later to give the old fashioned look.

So, it depends on whether the pre-shrinking is what you need. But, I've been told by some quilt stores that the modern cotton does not need pre-shrinking.

__________________

"Live your life, and forget your age." Norman Vincent Peale

Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09/13/11, 01:35 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Michigan's thumb
Posts: 13,894

I always preshrink, not "wash". The sizing in the fabric acts as a detergent, so if you just put it through a rinse cycle that is enough. The fabric then goes into the dryer, or I usually iron it so it is nice and pressed, ready to cut. When I used to use midgrade fabric for quilting (JoAnn Fabrics) I didn't rinse or wash it first because some of that fabric was flimsy and needed sizing to hold together for cutting and sewing. In that case I sprayed the fabric with water and ironed it. I will test dark colors for bleeding.

I don't think it's a good idea to sew first then shrink because the fabrics shrink at different rates. It's better, if you want that look, to use a backing that has a 1 - 2 % shrinkage.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09/13/11, 08:13 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Jackson county, Texas
Posts: 347

I just wore a shirt yesterday that I made with unwashed cotton..........oooooppps.
Tight in the arms, then remembered I had not washed the fabric first.
It was a fabric line that just came out last fall, I treat fabric like wine, buy it and then let it age on the shelf awhile. lol

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09/13/11, 08:15 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 457

Always do. I want it preshrunk. If I am making clothing, I may put it through the rinse cycle and dry 3 or 4 times before cutting and sewing as cotton usually continues to shrink for a few washes.

__________________

25 years ago, we had Ronald Reagan, Johnny Cash, and Bob Hope. Today, we have Obama, no cash, and no hope.

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09/13/11, 08:23 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 15,311

Always, always, always!

I serge or sew the two cut edges and pin the fabric still folded with lare safety pins to hold it together.

Then, I wash it and add vinegar to the rinse to get whatever chemicals that have been sprayed on.

I read somewhere that insecticides are used on fabric that comes from overseas.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09/13/11, 08:34 AM
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 409

I wash and press before sewing.

__________________

Andrea

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09/13/11, 08:53 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE WA
Posts: 2,212

Thanks! Ardie, that is a great idea....

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09/13/11, 08:59 AM
Tommyice's Avatar
Indomitable
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,002

I've always done what Ardie does with cottons. My apparel fabric I treat differently. Never wash until ready to use so that I can treat it the same way I will treat the garment. Even though some things can be put through the washer/dryer, there are some garments I like to hand wash only.

__________________

Leslie

“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” --Katherine Hepburn

Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09/13/11, 09:05 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: VA
Posts: 1,051

I never prewash, unless it's for a swap. I might prewash navys, reds and black.

I like the shrinkage after I finish a quilt and have never had any problems with unevenness.

I never considered prewashing for garments. Guess that's why some of the things I make don't fit well! LOL

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09/13/11, 09:55 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 293

I always prewash, just what I was always taught to do. I remember a lady in the 80s gave me some blue and red fabric that bled awfully....seems like the stuff now has better dyes though, I never see much bleeding at all.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09/13/11, 10:33 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 6,089

Always. And the amount of shrinkage is appalling in much of the yardgoods sold today.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09/13/11, 10:36 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: south central Kentucky(finally out of all the snow)
Posts: 4,794

I don't sew clothing, so I can't comment on that.

I quilt though and I never prewash/preshrink my fabric before use unless it's for a swap here. I like working with crisp fabric and have way too much material to prewash and resize before using. In 25 years of quilting I have never had a problem with any of the unwashed fabric that I have used in quilts. I do take care to wash my quilts in cold water and don't overly dry them.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09/13/11, 12:58 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NM
Posts: 805

I always wash all fabric, and dry and press as the end product will be laundered. I use a minimum of detergent.

I have hand washed some fat quarters and had some bleed. So I want that taken care of before the fabric goes into a quilt or garment.

Some fabric is wound on the bolts out of alignment with the grain. So I want to give the fabric a chance to wash and dry into alignment.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09/13/11, 01:06 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 15,311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garnet View Post
I always wash all fabric, and dry and press as the end product will be laundered. I use a minimum of detergent.

I have hand washed some fat quarters and had some bleed. So I want that taken care of before the fabric goes into a quilt or garment.

Some fabric is wound on the bolts out of alignment with the grain. So I want to give the fabric a chance to wash and dry into alignment.
That too!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09/13/11, 02:03 PM
RedDirt Cowgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: California Hills
Posts: 1,628

I want to have the fabric in it's finished state after going through the most extreme conditions - hot wash and dry, then ironing - so I can use the right stitch and finishing techniques for a smooth garment. No fabric, even backing, shrinks evenly.

THREAD is the big shrinker that can ruin all your work - I only use the Swiss-made Mettler now; it makes a huge difference, and I think it pays for itself just in the amount of ironing those burbled collars and plackets require. Your sewing machine will thank you too!

__________________

Last edited by RedDirt Cowgirl; 09/13/11 at 02:06 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09/13/11, 06:39 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Michigan's thumb
Posts: 13,894

I also only use Mettler.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09/14/11, 04:46 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Northeastern Oklahoma
Posts: 4,704

I've been told that modern fabrics don't have to be prewashed, but I do it anyway just to be safe and to get out the sizing. I wash, dry and then iron before ever cutting a piece, lots of work, but it's the way I was taught so I'm used to it (but then I'm older than dirt, lol) and I've never had anything shrink up or bleed on me, so I stick with what I know.

Ardie did have a good idea about getting it ready before washing though! I think the hardest part is untwisting it and spreading it out after it comes out of the dryer, especially if it's a 5-yard piece of fabric, like I use lots of times, lol!

Quality thread is a must!

__________________

callie

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” - Dalai Lama

Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09/15/11, 07:00 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 163

Sewing/tailoring class in college: pre-treat your fabric exactly how you will be treating it after the garment is sewn. So for wool jacket and skirt that was to be made I had the fabric, hair canvas and zipper dry cleaned. (that was 28 years ago, maybe it's different now)

__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:26 PM.