Hi, I’m wondering about prewashing quilt batting. I come from the garment school of thought where we prewash everything that is washable. I have been prewashing my batting with a gentle rinse, spin, and then dry, but it doesn’t seem like other quilters do this. Are there any cons to this that I don’t know about? I have only made a few quilts so far, and would like to know of any thoughts on prewashing.
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The short answer is that you can prewash most batting – but that you don’t actually have to. Modern quilt batting is designed to resist shrinking or to shrink very minimally (and that very shrinkage creates a homey look many quilt enthusiasts enjoy). Batting that is very old, dirty, or that you are making from a recycled blanket will need to be washed before use.Your batting can be washed if you’ve accidently spilled something on it, stored it somewhere where it picked up an unpleasant odor, or if you are not sure of what it is made of. Quilt batting purchased new and stored correctly generally won’t require washing, but batting that you’ve inherited from another quilter and received without a clear idea of what it is might. Batting that isn’t really batting at all – old wooly blankets or quilts come to mind – does need to be washed thoroughly to prevent shrinking and the problems associated with it. We’d love to hear from our readers – have you ever washed batting prior to quilting?