Saturday, September 20, 2014

To Prewash or Not

There are two schools of thought about whether to wash your quilt fabric before you start piecing your next quilt top masterpiece.
A really compelling reason for prewashing was pointed out to me recently by a vendor at a quilt show.
  Most quilt fabric is printed in foreign factories which don't have the same levels of sanitation that we do in the United States.  This fabric is then shipped in containers on boats with rat, mice and bugs and then sprayed with pesticides before being released to be trucked to warehouses in the US and then shipped to your local quilt shops.
  This really does give me the creeps so I have decided to put my head in the sand and am not going to think about it.
Another reason for prewashing is to prevent the possibility of the dyes bleeding when a quilt is washed.
  The introduction of color catchers used in the laundry has helped to prevent this from happening.
Fabric also does shrink when washed and can distort the finished quilt.
  And sizing and chemicals used when the fabric is being printed is also removed when your fabric is prewashed.
Then you those of us, that would include me, that do not prewash.
Remember I am keeping my head in the sand.
I make my quilts to be used and like how the quilt looks after it has been washed and draws up.
I also like to work with unwashed fabric that still has it's sizing.
Today not prewashing came back to bit me. 
Fortunately it's just a block.
Last year when I attended the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, California I bought some hand dyed fabric to use in my Dear Jane quilt.
I am using purple batiks and batik looking purples which is the category these hand dyed fabrics fell into. 
Didn't think about the fact they are hand dyed and purple. 
There are lots of stories out there about people washing a red garment with their other clothes and turning all their whites pink accidentally.
Purple is the other color notorious for bleeding.
I sprayed this block with a water bottle today.
The fabric is now sitting on the washing machine along with three other pieces of hand dyed fabric.
I'm also going to wash the block but I think I will be doing this one over.

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