The debate of pre-washing or not pre-washing your fabric comes down to personal preference. However, when it comes to a fabric you are worried might bleed, you should probably pre-wash it. Toby Lischko explains how to know if a certain fabric color is going to bleed and how to prevent fabric bleeding on an already constructed quilt.
Prevent Fabric Bleeding
Types of Fabric That Tend to Bleed
Toby begins by talking about some of the different types of fabric that tend to bleed more than others, like batiks. She then goes on to talk about the colors and patterns of batik fabrics that can tend to bleed more than others. Toby further explains that it is important to test the fabric ahead of cutting and constructing your quilt so you know beforehand if the fabric will bleed or not.
Testing Your Fabric
Toby shows any easy way to do this with a small piece of fabric and a small bowl of warm to hot water. She shows how to submerge the fabric and then squeeze out the water several times. If the water starts to change color in any way, you will definitely want to pre-wash it before using it in a quilt.
Fabric Wash Products
Toby then talks about products that can be used in the wash with fabrics that you know are going to bleed, like Synthrapol and Color or Dye Catchers. While the main purpose of these products is to prevent fabric bleeding on color to another fabric, it is still a good idea to pre-wash like colors of fabrics together as opposed to throwing everything in all at once.