When to Prewash
Almost every time you purchase a piece of fabric except in the instances above, it is a great time to prewash.
When you will be using a fusible with your fabrics, prewash so that your fusible will perform to its’ best ability.
Always prewash dark colored fabrics that will be used with lighter colors. It is devastating to make a beautiful red and white quilt and wash it only to come out with a mistakenly red and pink quilt!
If your fabric has a strong odor either from chemicals, smoke, or pets, it is always best to prewash it. You certainly would not want to subject yourself to the strong smell the entire time you were making the quilt and then the odor not wash out and you not be able to stand to sleep under it. You also don’t want to chance causing yourself or someone near your quilt an asthma attack from the scent.
Always prewash fabrics being used to make a baby quilt or one for someone who is ill. Chemicals that are used to finish a fabric can be very hard on a baby’s skin or the respiratory system of someone who is ill. A fresh clean smell that is achieved by prewashing will be greatly appreciated.
If you know that your quilt will be used and washed and you like a smooth pretty quilt top, prewashing is necessary so that all shrinkage can occur and you can ensure that your fabrics will not bleed when it is washed the first time.
If you will be using a dark fabric and quilting it with a light colored thread or perle cotton, like is used for Sashiko, you will want to prewash your fabric so that the color from the fabric will not rub off on the thread or perle cotton while stitching should the fabric become moist for any reason.
What are your most compelling reasons to prewash or not? Please take a moment and share.