Prewashing Fabric

I am making a quilt using pre-cut jelly roll strips, but I had to buy some yardage of some cream-colored cotton to piece between the jelly roll fabric. I did not wash the jelly roll fabric; should I wash the other fabric?


ANSWER

Prewashing fabric is a matter of personal choice. But one thing is for certain, you must treat all your fabric in the same manner. For example, if you're going to prewash, then prewash ALL your fabrics, including the jelly roll strips. If you don't want to prewash, then don't prewash ANY of your fabrics.

If you choose to prewash, I'd recommend washing your jelly rolls by hand. That's because jelly roll strips are small, and they can easily stretch out of shape. Remember to wash darks and lights separately. Fill the washer or a sink with warm water and add a mild soap like Orvus or Woolite.

Or, if you prefer, add a color fixative like Retayne Color Fixative to the wash. This prevents dyes from bleeding into your other fabrics. You can find dye magnets at your local grocery store (by the dryer sheets) or at discount stores like Walmart or Target.

Place the jelly roll strips in the water, then swirl gently. Let them soak for about 20 minutes. Drain the water and repeat for the rinse cycle. Next, place the strips in the dryer on low heat, or lay the strips on a towel to air dry. Press strips to remove wrinkles.

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