What To Know About Machine-Washing Quilting Fabric

fabrics, quilting
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Learn more about taking care of your quilting fabrics to elevate your craft!

Everyone should have a hobby that can help them decompress during their free time. For many people, calming activities like getting into a good summer book and creative hobbies like quilting do the trick. If you’ve recently started quilting and are trying to learn more about this hobby, we can help. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about machine-washing quilting fabric.

Do You Always Have To Wash Your Quilting Fabric?

The short answer is no. All fabric is different, and all quilters are different. Some fabric comes with instructions on whether you need to wash it before you start quilting. Still, regardless of these instructions, many experienced quilters have their own preferences. Unless the fabric you’re using directly says otherwise, it’s typically a safe choice to wash the fabric before using it for quilting.

Why Should You Pre-Wash Your Fabric?

There are various reasons to machine-wash your quilting fabric before you start working with it. Many quilters wash their fabric, especially if their design incorporates dyed fabric like batik, to prevent the colors from running and ruining the visual effect of the quilt.

Others pre-wash their fabric so that it’s all the same stiffness and size and easier to sew together. Some quilters even pre-wash fabric to protect themselves and others from potential allergens. While you don’t have to wash all your fabric before you use it, it’s certainly worth considering.

How Should You Machine-Wash Your Fabric?

If you decide that you want to wash your fabric, you just need to follow a few easy steps. Start with cutting off any untrimmed or raw edges so that you don’t put loose threads in the machine. Place similar colors together, leaving dark fabrics with other dark fabrics and light fabrics with other light fabrics, and put them into your washing machine. Use a mild detergent and don’t use fabric softener, as this can make the fabric difficult to work with later.

After the fabric is clean, dry it on medium heat and remove it from the machine as soon as possible. Either fold the fabric and place it in storage or starch and press it so that it holds its shape and doesn’t wrinkle.

There’s a lot that you need to know about machine-washing quilting fabric but staying aware that you might not always need to pre-wash, knowing why you should pre-wash in some cases, and knowing how to safely wash your fabrics are some of the most important concepts. As you continue to quilt and grow in your craft, you’ll keep learning about best practices and how you should treat each fabric you use.

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