Monday, 3 May 2010

To wash or not to wash

Since I started to make baby quilts I have been plagued by this question. I spend hours patching quilting and binding baby quilts, but should you wash your quilt before selling it?

We all know that if you work with heavily dyed fabrics such as red fabric, a pre-wash will save you angst later on. But do you wash your quilt after you have finished quilting and binding?

I don't wash any of my other products, but I have this niggling in the back of my mind that if someone is going to buy a baby quilt then they are not going to wash it before they use it.

So what are the pro's and con's? You run the risk of shrinkage or colours running, but is it better if it happens before the product gets to the customer?

I took the plunge and washed my baby quilts in a low allergy soap wash with vinegar as fabric softener and there was only minimal shrinkage.

So these two quilts are washed, pressed and packed ready to go on Saturday for the Modish Market at Malvern Town Hall and I have three others which are awaiting finishing, but realistically with everything else happening this week, I will probably only get one more done before market day.


Jandi said...

I don't prewash my fabrics before making my quilts because I love the crinkly look when they shrink a bit around the quilting stitches. That being said, I always wash quilts before giving them away. Again, this is because I love the way they look after they have been washed.

Ange Moore said...

I've only made one baby quilt and I did wash it (but didn't iron it) before giving it to the recipient. I really like the way that it softened and crinkled (like everyone raves about - the soft, crinkly quilt).

CurlyPops said...

If I was giving it as a gift, I would definitely wash it, but selling is a whole different kettle of fish! Do customers know that quilts are supposed to be a bit crinkly after washing? Maybe you could add a swing tag that states that the quilt has been lovingly hand washed and is ready to use?

Jennie said...

I know for entering quilts in shows they have to be unused, but couldn't remember if they had to be washed also. For the Royal Melb Show:

Exhibits must not have been worn, used or marked.

Exhibitors may wash/rinse exhibits for presentation. That is, to remove any soiling that may have occurred in the making up of the exhibit.

So it doesn't seem that washing a quilt before display or sale is a must, but you'd want to if it fell under the couch which you were sewing on the binding.

If I were selling quilts I wouldn't wash them beforehand. You're going to be selling them in person, so it's easy to explain that the fabrics were washed before sewing and the customer may choose to wash it before use.