Really? You Prewash ALL of your fabric?


The Obama quilt was washed today… all day long.  I followed the directions from a quilter/hand dyer that I have a lot of trust and respect for… Vicki Welch.  I followed her directions from her blog to a T, and added color catchers to the mix for good luck.  The quilt passed inspection after washing and  is now in the dryer.  but I wanted to share a picture of the color catchers with you, and I hope you will take a good look at them.  Click on the photo to enlarge, please.

All fabric used in the quilt was supposed to have been prewashed before using.  Several quilters have admitted that they didn’t prewash.  Do you see the color in the picture?  Those color catchers are sitting on my WHITE WASHING MACHINE.  The color catchers grab loose dye in the water and hold on to it.  If they weren’t in there, guess where the loose dye would have gone?   Yup, on the quilt.

This is why I always, always, always prewash my fabrics.  I don’t allow any fabrics that haven’t first met Mr. Washer and Mr. Dryer to enter my sewing area. 

Please do yourself a favor… ALWAYS PREWASH!  It doesn’t hurt you.

It helps you and your finished product.

6 thoughts on “Really? You Prewash ALL of your fabric?

  1. I find myself pre- washing twice. First time when I buy the fabric and put it away. The second time just before using it in a quilt. The color catchers look like that every time. Even when I block the quilt it tends to release color.

    To this day my quilts usually get washed once a year when I put them away and switch to a different quilt. Again the color catchers look like that. Not sure how long this will persist.




  2. I used to always prewash, but I no longer do so except for heirloom quilts. I've noticed that some of the inexpensive, but very pretty fabrics from Hobby Lobby that I use for utility quilts only have a limited number of washes in them before they start to fade, so why waste a wash on a quilt that will probably see lots of washer cycles? I also use a 100% cotton batting that gives me at least 5% shrinkage, so fabric shrinkage is not an issue. I love lots of poof! 8) I do love the color catchers though. It's amazing how well they work. I wash all my utility quilts in warm water with several color catchers prior to donation and have never had any problem with bleeding. We actually sent several color catcher along with our Quilt of Valor, tucked in the QoV case. Even though we pre-washed everything for that quilt, the intense reds and blues made the three color catchers I put in come out darker than your darkest one above. I figured it would continue to bleed for at least several more washes.

    Different strokes,
    Susan in Texas


  3. I wash all my fabric before adding it to my stash in the sewing room. I do not use color catchers though, or synthrapol, just regular laundry detergent. I am wondering now if a. one prewash is enough for reds and browns, and b. if I should get some color catchers. I am glad that the Obama quilt made it through OK.


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