Sunday, June 3, 2007

To Wash Fabric or Not?

What about you? I have always washed my fabric (cotton, polyester) right from the time when I first started to quilt. Don’t remember the reason for it, but it was something that was always done.

Last fall, my SIL nearly died because of an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the unwashed fabric. Luckily, she arrived at the hospital before she collapsed. Her throat had closed up and she had a difficult time to breathe. Literally, she was minutes from dying!

So … something to think about when bringing fabric home!

Have a great day!

10 comments:

joyce said...

Wow! Who knew fabric could be so dangerous. I usually wash my fabrics but not always and I feel guilty when I don't. I don't believe good quality fabrics from a quilt store really need to be washed and they have more body before. Some people never pre-wash so I'm not sure which is the right answer.

comicbooklady said...

I am definitely in the pre-wash camp. Pre-wash and hang to dry, then iron. I've had issues with some of the chemicals put on fabrics,too, thankfully not life or death issues.

Carolyn said...

I wash my fabrics...I have a quilt that was made for me by a group of friends and the fabrics weren't prewashed. It was burgundy and white houses and the burgundies ran when I washed it.

I'm glad your SIL got to the hospital in time!

paula, the quilter said...

I'm a prewash person because there is something in the unwashed fabric that makes my hands break out and crack. :(
If I know I'm going to handle a lot of unwashed fabric (like on a shop hop) I wear gloves.

Linda said...

I'm a pre-wash as well. One it gets rid of all the chemicals in the fabrics and two it removes any excess dyes. Once the quilts finished it's then washed again with a couple of capfulls of synthropol just for good measure.

corry said...

I don't alway's pre-wash my fabrics. After reading your story I think it's better I do so in the future! Thanks!

atet said...

Eeek -- I'm in the "no pre-wash" camp but this makes me think. I do actually like the way the fabric behaves better if it isn't pre-washed and I haven't had any problems with fabrics bleeding. Luckily I don't have a reaction to the chemicals, but thanks for giving me something to think about!

teodo said...

ciao Rosemarie
I wash my fabrics only if they have different origins ( american, italian, japanese) and I have to use them in the same quilt but after what you've told me I think I will always wash them.
ciao ciao

Lynda (Granny K) said...

I always wash my fabrics before making a quilt, that way if they are going to shrink/run I can get it over with. I like to iron the fabrics whilst damp, ready for rotary cutting. I never use fabric softener/conditioner. New fabric sometimes makes me sneeze and my hands itch.

goneaussiequilter said...

I wash my fabrics and now after reading this, I will be absolutely sure to wash!