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Do you wash fleece prior to sewing?

sewluving's picture

This may have been adressed elsewhere but i'm not sure.  I always prewash my fabrics according to their type however am wondering if I really need to prewash fleece?  I do it but am not sure if I need to. 


Thanks in advance from Heather in Calgary

Heather in Calgary
byf's picture

(post #24145, reply #1 of 54)

I suppose it would depend on the fabric content. I have never prewashed Malden Mills' Polarfleece; it does not shrink or change its hand.

sewluving's picture

(post #24145, reply #7 of 54)

I don't think we get Malden Mills fabrics here at Fabricland in Calgary.  Perhaps that is an American company or maybe I've just never checked.


Thanks for your thoughts

Heather in Calgary
starzoe's picture

(post #24145, reply #2 of 54)

I always wash any fabric that will be washed in the end, so yes, wash the fleece. The hand will not change at all and it may become a little softer (and a little cleaner).

sewluving's picture

(post #24145, reply #8 of 54)

That is what I have done as well but just thought I would toss out my question to see what others do. 


Thank you

Heather in Calgary
ceekay's picture

(post #24145, reply #51 of 54)

I always serge the ends of my fabric before washing prior to cutting .Mind you there are chemicals and dyes to contend with.

marymary's picture

(post #24145, reply #3 of 54)

You don't HAVE to prewash fleece, but I do.  You don't know where it has been, or the conditions under which it was produced.  I much prefer to know that I am working with fabric that is clean.

sewluving's picture

(post #24145, reply #10 of 54)

Thanks, that is sort of why I wash all fabric as well.  We just never know where it has been on it's travels before we get it into our homes.


Thank you

Heather in Calgary
MarieCurie's picture

(post #24145, reply #4 of 54)

Yes, absolutely.  I wash (almost) everything that comes into the house.  As a matter of fact, it goes from the car, out of the bag and into the laundry room without stopping.  I have young children, and all fabric that might get remotely near them--which is everything--gets washed to get rid of the dirt and manufacturing finishing.

sewluving's picture

(post #24145, reply #11 of 54)

Thanks Marie.  I don't have young children but have two very young grands that I sew for.  I do like you do too.  From car to laundry then to the sewing room with fabrics.  Just thought I would get input from others.


Thanks again

Heather in Calgary
Ckbklady's picture

(post #24145, reply #5 of 54)

Hiya! I do wash fleece but only to get the chemical smell off it so I don't get a headache when cutting it out. I find that all fleeces have this, from expensive to cheap.


:) Ckbklady

sewluving's picture

(post #24145, reply #12 of 54)

My nose doesn't work that well anymore so I have never noticed a chemical smell.  However, I used to like the smell of fabric when I would go into a fabric store.  I don't notice it much anymore but still get a funny excited but also calming (not sure how that works either) feeling when I go into a fabric store. It is sort of like I need a 'fix' every once in a while of entering and wandering the aisles of a fabric store.  Weird isn't it?


Thanks Heather

Heather in Calgary
Ckbklady's picture

(post #24145, reply #13 of 54)

Oooooh, no! Not weird at all - the giddy thrill and happy calm of being in a fabric store is beyond compare! you're absolutely right!


When I'm in a busy fabric store and the flustered cashier apologizes for my wait time, I always say, "Oh, no - I'm in no hurry to leave here. I could stand around here all day - this is the nicest place in the world!" Which makes my fellow shoppers giggle and the cashier exhale, usually. But I really mean it!!


:) Ckbklady

Ceeayche's picture

(post #24145, reply #14 of 54)

I've had a similar experience!


Once I was in the fabric store and it was overcrowded at the cutting table and the salesperson was over flustered (a bad combination).  When it was my turn and she asked "how can I help you."  I asked her to "take a cleansing breath and stand quietly for 10 seconds."  She looked up startled!  I told her isn't this the most wonderful chaos in the world, all these colors all these fabrics all these possibilities?  I just love the fabric store.


She visibly relaxed and the customers near me chuckled.  She said thank you.  I told her I wanted her relaxed and happy when she cut my fabric!


 


"Ceeaychelle"
Greet each day with Joy.  Embrace your blessings.

"Ceeaychelle"
Greet each day with Joy.  Embrace your blessings.

KharminJ's picture

(post #24145, reply #18 of 54)

Thank you!!! from all the flustered, over-worked counter people everywhere!

I've seen the most wonderful sharing among customers at the cutting counter - ideas, experience, coupons, and general camaraderie - one of the things that still make the job fun!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

{Just a reminder, all: Please, be sure to let corporate management know that by reducing staff to cut costs, they reduce your pleasure in shopping at their stores, and thus how much you spend ~ it all comes down to their dollars and cents, at the corporate level.}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Re washing fleece: One thing that pre-washing almost any fabric does is relax the center fold and allow the grain to straighten, after the bolting-up process. I saw lots of fabrics pulled off-square throughout the bolt because they started that way in the middle.

Try this experiment some time: run a basting thread up the center fold, before you prewash, and compare where the center line *really* is to where it was pre-folded - you may be surprised!

Happy warm fleecy what-evers! and Bright Blessings ~ Kharmin

sewluving's picture

(post #24145, reply #20 of 54)

Thanks for the headsup re:the fleece washing and the fold.  Hadn't thought of it relaxing that but you are right.


Heather in Calgary

Heather in Calgary
sewluving's picture

(post #24145, reply #15 of 54)

There are even some times that I actually leave the store without buying anything.  Hard to do but I do.......LOL


Heather in Calgary

Heather in Calgary
Ckbklady's picture

(post #24145, reply #19 of 54)

Get out! You do NOT!


OK, if you really do, what's your secret? DH really wants me to know, LOL!


:) Ckbklady (who has never seens a fabric store she didn't like)

sewluving's picture

(post #24145, reply #21 of 54)

Yep, I really really do.  Not sure how but then I usually make up for it on other trips to the fabric store when I come out with my walker just loaded down.  No secret and not will-power either.........LOL 


Heather in Calgary

Heather in Calgary
KharminJ's picture

(post #24145, reply #23 of 54)

TeeHee! Yeah, me too - I put book stores and fabric stores in the same category: "Avoid at all costs, unless you have hours and dollars to spare!"

While I worked at JoAnn's, I had to build a pretty tough "I will NOT buy anything!" mantra into my going home routine - worked really well most of the time, but on the rare occasions when I let it down, I spent like a sailor! (The sale had to be pretty darn good to get that wall down, though).

rodezzy's picture

(post #24145, reply #25 of 54)

Not weird at all to me.  I get antsy if I haven't been to a fabric or craft store in a while.  I go even if I'm not in the market for anything.  And when I do that, I just go up and down every isle and look, read and check out the books.  I sit down and go through the pattern books for the season and just hang out. 


Sometimes I end up buying something, I'm always on the look out for new trims and buttons, notions and things.  Sometimes there's a piece of fabric I just can't live without.  It may end up on a doll, in a quilt, or a garment. I never know.  So I just visit and enjoy. 


Then when I want to make something, I'm blessed to have a stash to go to, and maybe I don't have money at the time to go out and buy something I need.  So having a stash makes it better, I don't go through "withdrawal" when I want to be creative.


Rodezzy, Fiber Artist

Rodezzy, Fiber Artist

sewluving's picture

(post #24145, reply #27 of 54)

Yes Rodezzy.  It is kind of like a calming fix for me.  LOL


Heather in Calgary

Heather in Calgary
KharminJ's picture

Hey, Heather! Happy Sunday to (post #24145, reply #52 of 54)

Hey, Heather! Happy Sunday to you!
I agree - not weird at all! I get that 'buzz' in the leather-goods store, too!

Bright Blessings and Happy Holidays! ~ Kharmin

robyn bradbrook's picture

chemical smell (post #24145, reply #53 of 54)

What do you wash with to remove the chemical smell?

spicegirl1's picture

Chemical Smell (post #24145, reply #54 of 54)

Wash with whatever you plan to use once the project has been completed.  Airing the "fabric" outside can also help in removing odor.  If that does not work, try adding a cup of white vinegar to the rinse water.

Fabrics are plastic wrapped at the factory.  However, I choose to pre-wash because they can become soiled when; fabric stores carelessly lay bolts on the floor, stick them unwrapped in their storage area, or when handled by customers.

Fleece does not ravel, so there is no need to serge or otherwise finish the ends.

woodruff's picture

(post #24145, reply #6 of 54)

Although I generally wash all my washable fabrics as soon as they come through the door, I don't wash Malden's terrific 200 wt or 300 wt fleeces, and I have noticed no shrinkage. However, I do prewash their very lightest fabrics, the ones that are used for underwear, because those become close-fitting garments and I don't need any surprises in that department!

sewluving's picture

(post #24145, reply #9 of 54)

I have not noticed shrinkage on my fleece fabrics either but just wondered what others do in this case.


Thanks

Heather in Calgary
cafms's picture

(post #24145, reply #16 of 54)

Is Malden Mills back in business?  I thought they had closed a couple years ago.  I couldn't get the website to come up.

woodruff's picture

(post #24145, reply #17 of 54)

Mr. Malden lost his controlling interest. They are now called http://www.milldirecttextiles.com/

Same nice fabrics. Get the swatch kits, though; the color illustrations on the site are so far off that it's ridiculous.

cafms's picture

(post #24145, reply #22 of 54)

Thanks so much.  I bookmarked them again to look at later.  I have some swatch kits from several years ago.  Wonder if they are the same.  I'll have to contact them if I want to ored from the kits I have.  Tahnks again for the info.

ljb2115's picture

(post #24145, reply #34 of 54)

Laundering or dry cleaning any new fabric will relax it, get rid of any chemical smells and residue, and most shrinkage will be done with before fashioning it into a garment.  How many times someone has lamented that his/her garment was rendered unusable because of shrinkage?   Wool crepe is the worst.  Take it to the cleaners for the whole works.  It is worth the extra effort and cost.  Remind the cleaners to not hang fabric, but fold it carefully.  Also remind the counter person that this is wool yardage - not a tablecloth!  Actually happened to me - the order was listed as a tablecloth. One cleaner asked me what the order was and what would I do with it???  This was ten yards of wool crepe.