November 22, 2008

Prewash (Part One)

Minyike asked before in a comment how I do the prewash. The answer would be too lengthy for a comment, so thats why I made a post for it.

For that we should take a look back. As I stated in the Starting post, I only buy 100% Cotton, because Polyester and hybrid fabrics may have issues with ironing. (As a matter of fact that is the reason why I use only 100% Cotton thread. Even though there are some fascinating multicolor threads, but all of them contain Polyester. Do you have no problems with that? I am curious.)
Cotton of course needs to be prewashed, because they always shrink when we wash them (and not in the same way!). In the other hand prewashing also helps by washing out potentially harmful dyes and chemicals.

I start with a test for color bleeding. There are some suspicious fabrics: the dark, saturated colors and lower quality fabrics are especially likely to bleed.
At first I soak a small piece of the fabric in warm, soapy water. After about 30 minutes, I remove the fabric and check for color in the water.
If I see colored water, it means the fabric has bled some of its dye. So I add a dash of salt and about ¼ cup of white vinegar in a pan of cold water, and soak the fabric for about 20 minutes. After soaking, I test the fabric in warm water again. If the water still gets colored I would rather not use that fabric.
If the water was clear, I lay the fabric to dry on a white paper towel. If the towel is still clean after the fabric dries, the fabric is safe to use.

I know this seems like a real hassle (and it is), but I rather fight with the fabrics in such a case than have a finished quilt go to waste.
My intention is to continue this post soon.

I couldn’t take usable photos of the prewash, so there are two photos of Budapest, Hungary for you. These pictures were not taken by me, they come from Myreille’s blog, but I really like her photos. To tell you the truth I like the World when I see it with her eyes.
Before the storm, Budapest

Restaurant Vapiano, Budapest


minyike said...

I also usually use prewash, but I've never used this job with the colored fabric. Thank you, Maria!

Maria, Patchwork Mill said...

Your welcome! I will post the continue soon.

snowflake said...

Maria, thank-you for the salt water and vinegar tip, I think it will work well with other dark colored clothes too, now I will not have to ruin another pile of laundry. That picture of Budapest before the storm is truly beautiful.