Sparrow Studioz - APQS Canada's Studio Blog: Pictures of my shrinkage... Oh my!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pictures of my shrinkage... Oh my!

These are the before and after measurements of the wide backs we carry. I have to say, I always knew there was some shrinkage but never imagined it was this much. And just as our fabric reps suggested, batiks have been preshrunk. You can see there is barely any difference before and after washing The blue batik in this picture.

So now the question is, do we prewash our backing fabrics? What say you?

As a sidenote, these backings were washed in warm water rinsed in cold and then ironed. Thanks to our Sheila Van Der Linden, the YEG Quilter for taking these fabrics home and washing them. 


  1. I have never washed my backing fabrics or my tops either except for some flannels, or where I fear there may be running of colours. I always think if you have cotton top and back that the shrinkage should be similar enough that it won't cause a problem, but I have been surprised too by the amount of shrinkage there is. My king size quilt is now a queen after several washings! Marg McCulloch

  2. These shrink about 6% (5% for the lower left and 1/2% for the batik). Much more than the usual 3 to 3.5% of most quilting cottons.

    I always prewash when combining flannels on one side the cottons on the other (i.e., baby quilts) because flannels shrink 6-7%.

  3. pre-wash. I treat batiks with salt and vinegar to set the dye. works good. An example of why you or wash. I made a top using a Real Tree panel and yardage. As I ironed it with stream it shrank in front of my eyes. never had fabric do that before unless it was polyester. That is why I nearly always pre-wash

  4. My personal rule has always been, if you wash - wash everything including batting. If you don't - don't wash anything until afterwards. Consistency is the key.

  5. I had a wide back shrink 8 inches, lucky the store warned me or I would not have had enough fabric..

  6. I do not prewash anything and that has only ever been a challenge once because of older red fabrics- good old retayne came to the rescue and the quilt mercifully came out okay.
    I am pretty sure that I still wouldn't start pre washing fabrics because I would need shares in Tide detergent to afford all the laundry soap needed to wash my large stash of fabrics. I also would never have time to quilt because I would be too busy washing and pressing fabric.. LOL
    I am with Belinda- wash everything or nothing and I think it should be alright .. I never wash my quilts in hot water and always wash with a mild detergent.. and a cool dryer...
    It is one of a quilter's dilemmas...

  7. I have always washed everything. I learned this from some very stern teachers many years ago and it's hard to break this kind of now ingrained part of the process. Wash warm, rinse cold, no softener, dry in the dryer. If it is going to shrink it will. Also will reveal if colours run. But that's just me and I'm not judgemental.

  8. I've never pre-washed quilting cottons - only cottons for making garments that will be washed. I've never had an incident that made me wish I had. I don't blame others for doing it and would definitely wash fabrics if I didn't know their age.