The sight of a washing line full of fabric. Yes, I prewash my fabric. I think it originated from using so much vintage and salvaged fabric - possibly if I used exclusively high quality quilting cottons I wouldn't bother, but there can be a fair amount of variation in shrinkage even in quilting cottons. I also find some fabrics fade a surprising amount, which can mean that, for instance, two blues that seemed to match perfectly no longer do when they are washed.
My system is, broadly:
- Wait until there is enough of a particular shade to do a wash (or throw them in with our normal light/dark laundry)
- Wash at 40 degrees with standard laundry detergent (we use either Bio D or Ecover). I don't use a colour catcher sheet - too cheapskate. Although possibly the first time I get a proper bleeding fabric will be when I convert to them. Until then, no catchers.
- Hang on the line
- Press (this bit is boring. A couple of episodes of Doctor Who on the computer keep me going if there's a lot)
We don't have a tumble dryer, so I don't tumble them. You can't beat a few hours in the breeze on a sunny day, anyway.
This batch has been waiting for a wash for weeks (can you tell I have more fabric than I need in my life?). There are even some of the limited edition Liberty cottons from our trip to the Quilts exhibition in the V&A. I was finally spurred into action by the imminent opening of my fabric journal (just as soon as I come up with a name for the darned thing). Task number one is going to be emptying my stash out, photographing every fabric, and storing it back on the shelves in an orderly fashion. So, come back in about 2016 and we'll be all set to go.
Incidentally, aren't the vegetables coming along well?