When you buy new fabrics, you need to treat them like new clothes. After all, fabrics are the main component of clothes. Just as you might pre-wash your clothes to get the perfect fit and feel before you first wear them, you should do the same with fabrics. These reasons to pre-wash fabric before sewing will guarantee a better sewing project as you’ll have smoother, stronger material to work with.
Removes Any Chemicals in the Fabric
Many fabric manufacturers treat their fabrics with chemicals to give them a stronger hold and more attractive look. While this is good to preserve the material, these chemicals can cause bodily reactions to those with sensitive skin. There are many chemical finishes to make the fabric crease resistant, anti-static, and antimicrobial. Even dyes can cause allergic reactions for some. Pre-washing your fabrics may help to remove these chemicals and make the fabric safe for all wearers.
Prevent Colors from Running
Multi-colored clothing items risk bleeding onto other fabrics. This refers to the dyes escaping the original fabric material onto other items. Although it might not cause allergic reactions or bodily harm, no one wants their fabric to lose its color. Pre-washing helps ensure the colors don’t run in future washes. Interestingly, the type of fabric may contribute to how sensitive the colors are to run. Synthetic fibers, like nylon or polyester, hold color better than natural fibers and may not fade as much.
Helps Eliminate Wrinkles
This is especially true if your fabric comes in a sealed package. Washing fabrics is similar to washing your clothes. Freshly washed and dried fabrics can eliminate wrinkles rather than if you use it straight from the package.
Further Avoids Shrinkage
Similarly, pre-washing fabrics can avoid shrinkage. Some natural fabrics, like cotton, shrink easily and often. Pre-shrinking the fabric can actually help tailor the fabric to fit more accurately before you begin the project. Otherwise, you risk creating a beautiful article of clothing only for it to shrink in later washes.
How to Safely Wash Your Fabric
Separate lights from darks to avoid color runoff.
Detergent is unnecessary as pre-washing fabric is to prepare the fabric rather than clean it. However, you may want to use soap or detergent on older or vintage fabrics to get rid of odd odors.
Dry the fabric just as you would the final product. This way if it does shrink, it will not affect the final sizing of the garment.
Before you begin any of this, be sure to check out our selection of pure silk fabric here at Fabric Wholesale Direct. We sell solids, prints, embroideries, and many other different types of natural and synthetic fabrics for any sewing project.