WWQP Bulletin Board

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Why you'll want to prewash those fabrics

I don't post on this page often, but I need to remind everyone about prewashing.
I recently bought some 1/2 yd. cuts of Benartex and Moda Xmas theme fabrics from a local (independent) shop for a project. In the past few years I've recently gone back to pre-washing my quilt fabrics, and here's a good reason why:

I tossed all the fabrics into the same Warm wash/ Low dry cycle. One of the Benartex fabrics came out 39" wide. Back at the store, on the bolt, the difference is not very noticeable. When I took the fabric back to compare it to the unwashed on the bolt, the fabric had shrunk up two inches in the width.

Most quilters buy X amount of fabric for specific projects. If this had been my case, I would have had to buy more fabric, and hope it wasn't sold out by the time I returned. Fortunately for me, I had "bought long" and won't be hurt by this. Benartex will be hearing from me, though.

It really does pay to prewash.


  • At November 8, 2009 at 5:37 PM , Blogger Judy in Ohio said...

    One time I had a very bad experience with a Benartex fabric. It was woven so "wonky" that when I tore it trying to get a straight grain on the piece it was dramatically crooked, so crooked that I took a digital photo and sent it to the president of the company in NYC. I eventually got two yards of similar fabric in the mail with a letter of apology. And I have never knowingly bought another Benartex fabric.

  • At November 8, 2009 at 7:23 PM , Blogger Jane in NC said...

    I posted on this topic some time ago but not sure if it was this board or another I frequent. Inconsistent shrinkage is just one of the reasons to do this. The other is to leach out excess dye. I use Synthropol, a detergent/dye fixative used by hand dyers and recommended by Ricky Tims. I also throw in a color catcher sheet and it is amazing how much dye comes out. Follow Synthropol directions and use hot water wash. I am, of course assuming 100% cotton. I also buy at least an extra 1/4 yard to protect myself from excess shrinkage or one of my dumb cutting errors.

  • At November 9, 2009 at 11:20 AM , Blogger Sara in Florida said...

    Another is dust. I have a lot of alergies. YOu don't know how long the fabric has been in storage, trucks, etc. If you wash it first you cut down the chances of sneezing through a project.
    Sara in Fla.


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