various prints and batiks from my stash
Why bother prewashing fabrics these days? It appears that more often than not, quilters are choosing to use fabrics without prewashing. I have two quilts in progress (snowball and color block) in which I decided to throw caution to the wind and not prewash. I'm holding my breath ... fingers crossed that I don't get any bleeding or excessive shrinking.
However, when I use batiks, I ALWAYS prewash (once I was even crazy enough to prewash a pack of 2.5" Bali batik strips, which I don't recommend). I start with a test.
testing for color-fastness
The easiest way to do this is to dump the fabric in a large bowl of water and let it sit for a few minutes. Brilliant reds and dark colors tend to bleed quite a bit. I change the water a few times and then throw the fabric in the washing machine with the rest of the fabric I want to prewash, using in a color catcher for good measure.
Ultimately, I've decided that I prefer working with prewashed fabrics and so my goal is to prewash everything once it comes through the door. On occasion, I'll use sizing spray if I feel I need a little more crispness but otherwise, I prefer the feel of washed fabrics.
Do you prewash your fabrics? Always, sometimes, or never ....
An idea ...