29 November, 2012

Washing Fabric

I wash all my fabrics once they arrive to my home. I wash even the fat quarters or fat eights.
Of course, the fabrics fray.

I have a few pieces I bought from a shop in Romania (yes, I can find a few Michael Miller fabrics in Romania - www.fabrix.ro, how cool to order and have the fabric in 3 days!). They are cut from the bolt with a pinking blade. And today I noticed that they don't fray after washing, compared to the fabrics cut with a regular blade.

It must be more difficult (takes more time) to cut with a pinking blade?
I would love to have all my fabrics cut in this way. And the fat quarters too!

I have to show you a nice picture too!
A few pieces from an older collection  - Breeze by Rosemarie Lavin for Windham Fabrics.
I will sew new bags someday.

I do have a pinking blade. I use it from time to time.
Since probably the shops don't do the job for us,  I think  it is not big deal to "treat" the edges of the fabric with the pinking blade, before washing. The pieces will be a little smaller,  but without this,  after washing, with all that fraying, they have to be cut and become smaller anyway.
I will try this next time!


  1. I wash everything too- no matter the cut, but have never had any cut with pinking shears- what a difference. Now you have me wondering if I should get out my mother's old pinking shears and have a go at the fabric before I wash.

  2. There is a pinking blade for your rotary cutter. Works great.

  3. How are you washing your fat quaters. Are you doing them by hand or putting them in a mesh bag in the wash. Since they are small figured they would ball up in the wash. Thanks.

  4. I was reading a blog (can't remember which one) which said that they used their serger to finish the edges of fabric before they washed it. I am sure that zigzag stitch on a sewing machine would do the job as well although I have yet to use this tip. I always have frayed edges because I wash my fabrics as well and think that this sounds like a great solution. Love your patterns and your work. Hope to make one of your bags soon.

  5. I cut off each corner of the fabric piece, just a small triangle and that seems to stop "most" of the fraying. The pinked edges are a good idea, I'll try that too!

  6. I'm going to get a pinking blade just for this.....thanks! I use to zigzag stitch the cut edges before washing, but that is so time consuming! This will be much faster! And I think will lose less fabric in the long run!

  7. I usually zigzag the edges of fabric before washing. For smaller pieces I will just soak them and iron them dry.

  8. I wash everything too. I use the delicates or hand-wash only cycle. It really keeps fraying to a minimum.

    xo -E

  9. I have used pinking shears on my fabric before as I wash everything too but I have been a bit lazy of late. It does work though! I have a new washing machine though and it doesn't seem to cause as much fraying as my old one.

  10. I think I am the odd one here. I used to wash all of my fabrics too, but some friends mentioned that unless it is not cotton fabric they do not pre wash. I tried this with my cotton quilting fabrics and have not had any problems with shrinking as long as it is 100% good quality cotton. The sizing or starching helps with cutting and piecing for me. The findings on pinking and other methods to stop fraying is really interesting both in your post and in the comments, and I will keep these tips handy. Sometimes I am able to find beautiful fabrics at markets. I always wash these fabrics and have fraying as well. I will try these idea's next time. Thanks you

  11. I run my fabric through a server to overlock.the edges (but not cut). It is excellent, no fraying at all.



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