Tip of the Week – Fabric Pre-washing Guide

Pre-wash your fabrics before you sew them.

Tip of the Week: Pre-wash your fabric before sewing. (with printable washing guide)

If you’re a quilter go ahead and ignore this one, but if most of the projects you sew are articles of clothing, then this is pretty important. Practically every seamstress has a story about “that time they sewed something awesome, and them promptly shrunk it in the laundry.” (like this one) We’ve all done it! But one way to spare yourself this frustration, is to get into the habit of tossing your new fabric purchases directly into the hamper as soon as you get home from the store. Then you know whenever you grab something from your stash it’s already pre-shrunk and ready to go.
The problem is that there are so many different kinds of fabric and fiber blends that it can be hard to remember how exactly each one needs to be handled. It’s nice if you have the care instructions from the bolt end as a reminder, but lets face it… sometimes you just forget. So I’ve made a handy Fabric Pre-washing Printable that you can post right next to you washing machine to help you remember.

Fabric washing guide - printable

Go ahead and use it as an excuse to buy even more fabric!Have a great weekend!

Please, please, please! Keep in mind that these are only the most general guidelines. Every fabric reacts differently when washed, and the best directions are those directly from the manufacturer. (aka. don’t e-mail me saying that you followed my chart and your $40/yard fabric is ruined. Launder at your own risk! ;-D)

16 thoughts on “Tip of the Week – Fabric Pre-washing Guide

  1. We don't have a fabric shop near here so all of my purchases are online and of course, I rarely get any actual information about the fabric content. That said, I wash everything on a 40 degree shortwash when I get it and then it goes into my stash so that it's ready for use 🙂

    1. Huh. It seems odd that they wouldn't have a note on the site that "this fabric is 100% cotton" or something like that. But I do happen to know how to find out what kind of fibers a fabric is made of when you don't have a label. Guess that'll have to post about that soon!

  2. WHat a great resource! I always pre wash but I do have to look up directions for certain fabrics sometimes. Thanks for making it easier!

    1. You're very welcome Alecks! I laminated mine and posted it right next to our washing machine so I never have to hunt for directions again!

    1. Yay for return seamstresses! I hope you're enjoying it, and making lots of fun projects! Don't forget to check out the rest of the sewing tips. (up top) There are some super cool tricks that ever sewer should know!

  3. this is great thanks! I just had disaster with a knit shirt… I prewashed it, sewed it, it looked great! Washed it again… and crazy!!! Wow! All wonky!!! :o) pinned!
    Emily @ nap-timecreations.com

    1. I've actually got a post in the works that shows you how to figure out the fiber content on those random fabrics. I'll have to make a chart for that info too so we can hang them both together!

    1. I never used to wash anything before we had an washer in our apartment. It was terrible! But now everything goes straight in the hamper as soon as I get home from the store.

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