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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pre-washing Fabric

 More and more I wash fabrics prior to cutting out a garment. Actually, I frequently wash them before adding them to my stash. As clothing has become more relaxed and less "buttoned up" fabric that doesn't look brand new is more stylish and comfortable.
Here is a photo of some linen yardage.The piece on the left is unwashed and the piece on the right has been washed. The picture may not show the contrast very well, but I much prefer the look and feel of the fabric on the right.

  I serge the cut edges so that the fabric doesn't fray, and then I throw it in the washer and the dryer.
If after the first round the fabric still hasn't softened to my liking I will repeat the process.
 I have washed all types of fabrics including silk and wool. A hard finished wool that looks like it needs to be made into a very tailored garment can soften and get a little "fuzzy" making it suitable for a more relaxed styled garment.
 It is no surprise that this process will frequently shorten the yardage, sometimes significantly, but the surprises that emerge from the dryer are often very exciting!

1 comment:

  1. I learned years ago to always prewash my fabric after I experienced spending hours making myself a gorgeous dress that fitted me perfectly and then when I washed it... well no surprise here... it turned out to be about 2 sizes too small and as you can imagine I was heartbroken LOL. I only started serging my edges before washing last year and what a HUGE difference that makes! No more tangled threads or messes to unravel. It's amazing how different the texture and the colours can be after being washed. With some fabrics when I press them before cutting I use fabric spray starch to make them less slippery and easier to sew with and then once I've made it I throw it in the wash again and it's a good feeling knowing that it's already been preshrunk and I won't get any nasty surprises and it will still fit LOL.