I have read several articles/forums on the topic of pre-washing/not pre-washing fabric. I use quality fabrics. For sewing purposes, I choose to pre-wash. For quilting, I'm not sure. I've read ~pre-washing takes out the sizing (true) and it changes the feel of working with the fabric. My concern/question: If fabric is not pre-washed and fabric did shrink, would long arm machine top stitching prevent finished quilt from 'buckling'? 

Thanks in advance for all replies.


asked 4/12/2015
Jackie F.2
Jackie F.

3 Answers

I rarely pre-wash.  I like to do a gentle wash (orvis) after the quilt is done so that it shrinks a bit and gets puffy.  always toss in a few of the color catching sheets just in case!!  HOWEVER- beware of those super saturated REDS, BLACKS, NAVY.  I test a small swatch in water before sewing and decide then wether to pre-wash or not.  

answered 4/10/2017 Donna Walsh 33
Donna Walsh

I'd like an answer too. For quilts that are mostly to look at (and admire) I'd say not to pre wash. BUT,  having said that, I was in a charm square exchange a few years ago when the practice was more common to wash. I used one of those squares in a quilt and the first time it was washed, the colour bled all over its surroundings. Very disappointed and not easily fixed.  So today we don't pre-wash? I've been out of the quilting business for quite a few years. 



answered 6/18/2016 Carol Denehy 2
Carol Denehy
Can't answer your long arm question, as I've never had a quilt finished that way.
I generally quilt on the bias with my Bernina 125, using a walking foot and a serpentine stitch, the combination of which I find reduces the number of accidental puckers in the back.
I'd never pre-wash for a baby quilt ... rather, I wash the quilt when it is finished, and I've never yet seen a problem with shrinkage. i do line dry quilts, but might toss them into a dryer afterward to fluff up the batting ... a cool temperature is enough for that.
And as I've had good success with quilt-quality fabrics, I don't prewash those regardless of size. I'm often finishing the quilt minutes before I go out the door to deliver it, and so I leave the first washing to the recipient, suggesting (and providing) a color-catcher sheet (such as that made by "Shout") and cool to warm water only.
answered 2/6/2016 Terry Palardy 15
Terry Palardy
edited 2/6/2016
Terry Palardy15
Terry Palardy

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