You may wonder if you really need to pre-wash. It seems like there is so many things you need to do before you can actually start the sewing process. The answer is yes. There are some fabrics that require dry cleaning, so make sure you check the directions before just throwing it in the wash machine. If it is machine washable, pre-washing and drying is always a must if you want to wash and dry after the garment is sewn. If you are planning on line drying all the time, you may not need to pre-wash.
Most fabrics will shrink in the dryer. You will want it to shrink before you sew your garment rather than after. If it shrinks after, it can cause bunching at the seams, or shrink so much it doesn’t even fit you. Huge bummer! It is also important to pre-wash anything that has different fabrics together. For example if your garment is lined, the lining and the outer garment may shrink differently leaving your garment all wonky.
So now that we have determined it is important to pre-wash your fabric, what is the best way to do it? You will want to wash and dry the fabric on the same settings you plan on using for the finished garment. Woven fabric will fray and tangle when washed and dried. To save yourself some fabric that would normally get cut off from fraying, you can serge or stitch the edges together before washing. You don’t need to worry about the selvaged edges since they won’t fray. You simply fold the fabric in half with the unfinished edges together and stitch together close to the edge. When you are finished pre-washing, simply cut off the edge you stitched together. This can sometimes save you inches of lost fabric due to fraying!
It can seem annoying to pre-wash fabric when you are antsy to get started, but it is really important. You can simply throw the fabric in with clothes you are planning to wash anyway, or if you have a large amount of fabric you purchased, just throw it all together for one load. Whatever way you do it. once you get used to it will start to feel like no big deal.
To follow along with the Whole Series Click Here!