Should I Start Prewashing My Fabric?

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I have figured out that quilters seem to have strong opinions about prewashing or not. It just made me wonder, if you always feel the need to prewash, does that mean you never use precuts? If you do use them without problems, then doesn’t that negate the reason for prewash. I don’t prewash, but have never used a dark color I thought might bleed. I’m just trying to figure out if I need to start prewashing.

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Yes, you are correct in that the debate over whether to prewash or not is a hotly debated topic. That being said- I am in the category of people who do not always prewash fabric. However, in terms of those that do prewash, there are some that are dedicated enough to it that they do prewash precut fabric. This is very time consuming as pressing all of the small squares and strips is a process. Also, prewashing precut fabric means that they can potentially shrink- making them not the same size as they were when first purchased.

In terms of whether or not you should start prewashing- I would recommend, if you are using a fabric color that you are afraid might bleed, cut a small square from the fabric and place it in warm to hot water. If it bleeds, definitely prewash, if not you should be ok.

Hope this helps,

Quilters Guide to Preshrinking
How to Prevent Fabric Bleed
Quilt Care Part 1: Cleaning Heirloom Quilts

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