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Pre Washing Vintage and Modern Fabric

Posted on January 31, 2011


Don’t you just hate it when you wash your fabric before a big project and the edges fray so much they get tangled up in your machine?  Or around themselves for that matter!!  Well I do! One thing I learnt quickly when it comes to pre washing my fabric was to use my pinking shears.


Trim down both raw edge sides before you pop it into the washing machine. Add detergent (without fabric softener) and run on a short delicate to medium cold cycle.   Line dry.

Why do I line dry?  Well i don't like the shrinkage that occurs in the dryer. Some cottons can shrink anywhere between 4-6 inches. And also I have noticed that some fabrics (especially vintage ones) can fade.



When I am lucky enough to get my mitts on some vintage fabric I always hand wash it in a detergent meant for washing new born babies clothes, e.g. Dreft Baby Laundry Detergent. It’s much gentler on the threads, but will still get a ton of dust and dirt out. I am very careful to make sure all of the detergent is rinsed out and then I pop it on the clothes line outside to dry. I haven't had to use my pinking shears and had no issue with frayed edges.  

It’s amazing how beautiful a scrunched up piece of scrap fabric can turn out!  Ahhh off to do a little more washing me thinks, and discover what other goodies are in the latest scrap bag I picked up!!


 Happy Sewing from Sarah
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