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Pre-wash or Not Pre-wash Fabric

Pre-wash or Not Pre-wash Fabric
Joyce Mitchel

With today’s fabrics and the techniques that go into making them this is becoming a matter of personal choice. Long ago, in a day gone by, you had to pre-wash all fabric because the colors would run; there was no question. But today the techniques for producing fabrics have changed greatly and most fabrics do not have to be washed before using. I would suggest that you test your fabric if it is something that you are worried about, or just wash it all if you are unsure and don’t want to test. Mostly it is the hard dyes that need pre-washing, such as dark reds, forest greens, navy blues, blacks; anything that has a large amount of dye added in order to get the dark rich colors. To do a simple test just clip a small piece of the fabric and put it in a little bowl of warm water; if you see a little dye run out of the piece then you will know that you should wash this fabric before cutting. One rule of thumb though for you to remember is that if you wash one piece in the quilt top then you should wash them all [just not together]. Also remember if you wash the top fabric then be sure to wash your backing and if your batting is not polyester or pre-washed cotton and such then you should also wash it. There are a lot of products out on the market to help you in setting the colors in your fabric so that after you wash it you will have the same great look that you bought the piece for in the first place. Just ask your local quilt shop owner to help you.

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