Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to Prevent Knots and Tangles When Prewashing Fabric

**I am sorry - the pics for this post was accidentally deleted and cannot be retrieved**

For anyone who sews, quilts or works with fabric, prewashing is a must unless you’re making something small and it doesn’t matter. I can’t tell you now many times I’ve prewashed a bunch of fabric together only to have the edges frayed and tangled up in knots in the washing machine. Lately, I've been dreading prewashing because I know things will end up in a tangled mess. I have tried to zig zag the edges. It works, but it takes time to zig zag a large piece of fabric. Serging would work too, but that too takes time. I'm kind of impatient when it comes to stuff like that.

Yesterday, I bought a bunch of fabric - I had a mix, about 3 fat quarters, some ½ yards and 4 full yards. I was thinking, “How can I avoid the dreaded tangled mess that I always get with prewashing.” So I Googled on how to prevent fraying while prewashing and I kinda put several findings together and it worked. Here’s what I did:

Cut about ½” off each corner, I used my pinking shears - helps to prevent fraying.
• Put very little laundry detergent into your washer and turn on the cold water.
• Open up your fabric and place in washer evenly.
• Stop the water when all fabrics are thoroughly submerged (what frays the fabric is the agitation of   the washer).
• You want to gently swish the water - because I’m short, I use a dowel to help with clothes in the washer and I use that to gently poke and move the fabric around. You can use your hand.
• Let everything soak for about 20 minutes (set a timer so you don’t forget!).
• After 20 minutes, turn your washer dial to rinse - letting the machine rinse and spin your fabric.
• When complete, throw your fabric in the dryer and dry as usual.

I had a good amount of fabric, like I said - of different cuts, and I only had 1 tangle and some fraying - nothing knotted up. I was pleasantly surprised. The only deal with my method is that you will have to be present to do the steps I did - you can't turn it on and go shopping. So, next time you have to prewash fabric, give this a try and see if it works for you.

**Note: This post was originally written several months ago. The above pic was taken today.**

1 comment:

JOSEPH said...

Good tip! It's been a while since I've pre washed fabric but I'll keep this in mind!