To PreWash or Not to PreWash – Again?

Do you prewash your fabric? I know you are probably thinking how many times are people going to discuss this topic. I myself have read so many articles, talked to and polled many of my fellow quilters on the whole prewashing topic and frankly I thought I was over it, too. However, I just want to share with you my experience and the decision I made regarding – To PreWash or Not to PreWash.

When learning to quilt I was taught to prewash all fabrics. I was a faithful and obedient student so without question before I put any fabric on my shelf to mix and mingle with other fabrics, I always prewashed. I used dye catchers –


After I had been quilting some years, I thought I am a”big girl” and did not want to take the extra time to wash fabric. I just wanted to get quilting, so I decided I was going to stop prewashing my fabric. (It was hard, I had been conditioned and felt guilty every time I cut into a crisp piece of fabric that I did not have to iron out wrinkles from the wash cycle.)

So while going through my email, there was a link posted to iQuilt Instructor, Weeks Ringle’s, YouTube video on guess what, Prewashing Fabrics Tips. I just couldn’t help myself, I had to watch.

So after watching this, I realized that when I was taught to prewash my fabric, I was given the explanation and tools of why it was recommended I do it. I had forgotten or stopped thinking about why I was prewashing and just doing it out of habit which allowed me to make the decision not to prewash anymore. Her showing the dye catcher before and after made it come back to me why I prewashed, I did not want to risk dye runs after washing a finished quilt. I boast the fact that I make these creations with all fabric. Quilts last practically forever and can be washed to be loved on and/or displayed again. The only quilts I may be apprehensive about washing are those that may have beads or trinkets on them. Even the quilts I bedazzle with hot fix stones, I like to believe can be washed just like my “bedazzled” t-shirts that get washed over and over again.

So, I had a change in heart and I am back to prewashing. (The guilt is also gone.) All my fabrics are free to mix and mingle all they want. Not to say that all risk of potential fading or even shrinking is gone but I have peace of mind knowing I gave it my best effort to ensure the endurance of the quilt, at least when washing.

Until next time….

Bizzy Lady

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3 Responses to To PreWash or Not to PreWash – Again?

  1. Gaye Tolliver says:

    PreWash? Yes, please. Let’s not fool ourselves though, it is not a fifteen minute job.

    I like (yes, really!) to iron- so I will wash, dry, and then starch my fabrics prior to storage and then I know they are ‘ready’ to use. I tend to be a “ripper”; so I will tear a strip just a bit larger than what I need, then press it (again) and cut the pieces I need for that block or project section.

    The next question, though, is which ‘starch’ to use? Now see what you started!

    • Thanks for the feedback Gaye and for my future post topic. Starching is something I do on an as needed basis and am going to enjoy exploring the topic further with our followers.

  2. pj says:

    Thank you for this. I go back and forth on this topic, and your post makes me want to prewash again.

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