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You don't need to wash your fabrics before you make a quilt!

Updated on March 12, 2016
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Quilter, author, tutor, columnist, Jan T Urquhart Baillie has been enthusing others with her passion for quilting for more than 30 years.

To pre-wash or not to pre-wash patchwork fabrics?

You don't need to wash your fabrics before you make a quilt!

There's two schools of thought on this curly topic

Fabrics have sizing which protects them while they are handled, and if you wash that away before you use the fabric, you may have unexpected results.

I never wash my patchwork quilting fabrics first, but if worried, I do a bleed test.

I could have the quilt made while I waste time washing and pressing the fabric first!

I say:

You DON'T NEED to wash your fabrics before you make a quilt!

Yes, you're right!

Yes, you're right!

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    • Julia M S Pearce 6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I wouldn't wash the fabric before making a quilt.

    No way, Monkeybrain!

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      • Wanda Fitzgerald 5 years ago from Central Florida

        I always wash fabrics before cutting quilt pieces or doing any quilting.

      patchwork fabric and binding
      patchwork fabric and binding

      Opinion of an expert

      World-renowned quilter says NO to pre-washing

      On a visit to Queensland, Australia, several years ago, a world-renowned machine quilter and author was asked by a participant at a lecture she was giving, if we should wash our quilting fabrics before we use them.

      Her reply was that we should not, particularly in a humid climate like Brisbane, where the oils from our hands would be easily transferred and absorbed into the fabrics as we handled them over the time it takes to sew a quilt.

      She did however say that we should test any 'suspect' fabrics before we put them into a quilt.

      This well-known quilter had been a chemist, so her opinion was very valid from a scientific point of view.

      Great advice, don't you think?

      Food for thought about washing quilt fabrics

      Are you convinced? - That you do not need to pre-wash your patchwork fabrics

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        • JanTUB profile image
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          Jan T Urquhart Baillie 5 years ago from Australia

          @Charmcrazey: Many people agree with you and with me!

        • Charmcrazey profile image

          Wanda Fitzgerald 5 years ago from Central Florida

          I'm not convinced but you're made a very good effort.

        • JanTUB profile image
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          Jan T Urquhart Baillie 6 years ago from Australia

          @SandyMertens: Depends on who tells you!

        • JanTUB profile image
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          Jan T Urquhart Baillie 6 years ago from Australia

          @jmsp206: That's the spirit!

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          Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Frozen Tundra

          I do remember pre-washing my patchwork years ago. I thought that was what you had to do. Interesting lens.

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          Julia M S Pearce 6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

          The fact that you have made 200 beautiful handmade quilts yourself,I think you just might know what you are talking about.No pre-wash for me when I start one one day.