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Do you wash your material before you use it or do you just use the material?

I personally wash everything and of course spend hours ironing before I carefully fold and put away. My first go round with quilting - I never washed material but for some reason this time I have been.

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I ALWAYS wash the fabric first. All it takes is one time when you haven't, and then you wash the finished project and some of the excess dye from that particular piece runs on to an adjacent fabric (and it's always the light ones that take the "hit", of course), and ... well, it turns into a very bad day. I run it through the dryer, too, to let it do its shrinking before it's in a project, because the same scenario holds for shrinkage - all it takes is one piece shrinking, and puckering the surrounding fabrics and, again, it turns into a very bad day.

Plus, if you wash the fabric, you get to spend more time petting it and admiring it. (I don't mind ironing it, but usually you have to iron it again when you take it out to use it.)
See, I despise bad days of any kind, I knew there was a reason I'd decided to wash everything! I also do like you and dry everything and then of course cut those strings that end up in a ball on the end of the material away.

I rarely iron in the real world but in my quilting world I never mind! go figure
Oh yes! I wash all the fabrics the same way I plan to treat them in real life...a little mild soap, warm setting with a bit of Kosher salt for those drippy dyes and then high heat cotton dryer! I iron them until beautifully flat and wrinkle free- then I hang them over a hanger using the ROYGBIV system-the only organized place in my house is the quilt fabric closet! By doing my prep work it ultimately saves me time and heartache - I've never had a finished quilt go wonky after it was laundered and I knew early on which fabrics would cause dye bleeding issues and I could make the decission not to use it if the quilt was a gift.
I have always washed my fabric and dried it in the dryer prior to cutting and I've never had any trouble with dyes running or quilts shrinking out of shape. However, I'm making a bed quilt with 3 Sisters pastels and decided not to wash the fabric so I can get that old-fashioned crinkly look when I wash it after it's completed. I'm a little nervous, but it's too late now. I would never try not washing with medium or dark colors.
I think that will be absolutely gorgeous! Pastels I might take a chance on but I'm like you not dark colors or even medium.

Please share pictures of the 3 Sisters quilt!
I agree, I always wash the reds! I've only used Batiks once (probably never again) they're definitely to be washed.
HI all,
I used to wash, but have been reading to the contrary from a lot of teachers .
So when I got some fabric recently for another design, I tested some of the dark rusts & none ran...so I didn't wash the others.
Plus it is easier to cut & sew when the sizing is still in it I think,
Patsy In Ohio
That's interesting, why are they saying not to wash and press?
I think you get straighter, more on grain cuts when you wash first. If I was just going to wash and put it away I wouldn't iron it though, no point in ironing it twice! And definitely don't use any starch if you're just going to put it away!!
Definitely wash. Here's my way: I pink (pinking rotary cutter) the cut edges of the fabric so I don't get those strings. Then my fabrics get a vinegar bath to set the color especially if they are darks or mediums, then wash with just a tiny bit of soap in warm water and dry on cotton with no fabric softener in either the washer or dryer. Fold it and store it in my sewing room. I iron it just before cutting and I use Mary Ellen's Best Press starch alternative. No fabric makes it back to my sewin room without being washed first. I know it's been washed if it's back there. I don't wash my fabrics if the pattern says not to such as a rag quilt. Besides the bleeding factor, I also wash because you can get the straight of grain better - the edges are together B4 you wash it and then after you wash it you can see how catty-wompus the fabric cut really is by putting the selvage edges together. The fabric never lines up on the ends. Needless to say, I'm anal about my fabric washing - LOL.
How long do you soak your fabrics, and how much vinegar do you use. Do you use presoak cycle on your washer.
I always wash my fabric first (unless it is for postcards and even the most of the time i wash first.) It is just a habit I am in and that way I know I won't have puckers.

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