Pre-washing fabric is a personal decision. Either you do or you don’t. I never pre-washed quilt fabric until this happened.
This quilt hung in my office at work. The building sold and the new owners gutted it around us until we moved out. Everything in my office was covered in dirt and drywall dust for months. When we finally moved I brought the quilt home to wash it.
I washed it in cold water and threw it in the dryer. I didn’t notice that the colors ran until I pulled it out of the dryer. Fortunately, the bleed isn’t very noticeable on the front.
After that little incident I decided to pre-wash anything hand dyed, red or purple.
Before I started hand appliquing red birds on a white background for Birds in the Branches, I washed the red fabric. The fossil fern was fine. This is the batik.
I am crazy glad I washed it first.
There will be red in the border of that quilt and I’m washing every last piece of it first.
I am not a prewasher, but I have learned that those reds, hand-dyed or commercial, are notorious! Turns out that dark orange can be a bleeder, too. I found out this week when the commercial orange that I had put into a project bled. Fortunately for me, I noticed this before drying, and I used a color catcher! Happy ending! 🙂
I always mean to but need to be a bit more disciplined about this. I’ve also had some blues run so I think pre-washing everything is a sound approach.
I pre-wash batiks but otherwise don’t bother. I usually wash a quilt after I finish it with a color catcher to be safe.