I finely got a photo to load....Getting adjusted to new things ( computer ) has a challenge or two.
Sometimes some one will ask me...What difference does batting make and what difference does it make if the fabric is washed or not. This photo demonstrates the difference or at least some of the differences. Both place mats were made using the same unwashed fabric and batting. The one on the right has been washed once...the one on the right has not been washed at all. I believe the batting used was Hobbs 80/20. The one on the right that was washed shrank a good inch. Now for a place mat that is no big deal, but... think about a quilt...........
Lets say you make a top with washed fabrics..that fabric has already shrank. You use a cotton or cotton blend batting, that is going to shrink 3 to 5 % and a unwashed backing... That backing is also going to shrink. So if you wash this quilt that you spent hours creating and a tidy sum of money on... It could do some funny things. The top fabric is already shrank and the batting and backing has not. I don't know...I am just saying...It could have a not so great effect...It might be just fine but personally I don't know if I would risk it myself.
I don't always wash all my fabrics...but I do not mix my fabrics in my quilts either.. ( not on purpose any way ) The top fabrics and the backing fabrics are either all washed or all not washed.
I know it is a pain to wash that 13 yards of backing for that giant quilt but, I will do it if the top fabrics have been washed. The way I see it is... I have spent many hours ( 40 hours often more) cutting pressing and piecing the top. I have spent good money ( if you are a quilter you know the cost ) on the fabrics. I like the quilt or I would not have spent the time and money to create it in the first place. So I want to have the least surprises as possible with the final result. Just my way of thinking.
Take another look at the photo...see how the one on the right is kind of crinkled a bit, and the one on the left is not...it is nice and new looking. If you like the crinkled look...learn what it takes to create that look and if you like the UN crinkled look, learn what it takes to get that look.

If you use a machine quilter to help you finish your quilts...Talk to them about it. If you like a certain look they might be able to make suggestions on how to achieve the look. I am just saying there are options if you want them.

1 comment:

Jean said...

I used to wash all my fabrics the second I got them home...but now I don't always as I don't find that much shrinkage anymore. The other reason I always washed them was because of dyes running, which I feel doesn't happen as much anymore either. I still prewash any fabrics that are red and deep purple.

That said, I do think prewashed fabrics are easier to work with because you have the sizing used to make the fabrics washed away.

Anytime you use cotton batting you will have more shrinkage. It shrinks when washed and that is where some of your bubbly looking surface comes from. The inside has shrunk, and the top has bubbled up. I like that look too!