Okay, so I have a day-off of work and I'm at home by myself - and I think "I know I'll throw some fabric in the washing machine to pre-wash it whilst I remember and I have the time." And, I don't know about you guys, but if I have the chance I much prefer that all my fabrics are washed, dried (I air-dry naturally folks = as there's no room for a tumble-drier in my house LOL!) and pressed before I decide to start a project. I find it rather off-putting when the passion and impulse to start something new turns into a damp squib because I haven't pre-washed my fabric yet :(
Washing = 1 or 2 hours + Drying = another couple of hours + Pressing = Time wasted twiddling my thumbs.
So, now whenever I remember I wash new pieces of fabric as they join my stash + if there are some other similarly coloured as yet unwashed pieces they get thrown in to the machine too.
And that's just what I've done today.
But, before I wash 'em I have now adopted the following as best-practice for me...
TIPS when you PRE-WASH YOUR FABRIC
Overlock (Serge) Cut-Ends = prevents fraying, and reduces loose threads from clogging up
your washing machine's waste pipe.
Mark the Fabric “Face” - Any paper labels would dissolve in the wash - so,
an embroidered “F” will identify the correct side (face) of your fabric.
I was finding that I was constantly unclogging the waste-water drainage pipe on my washing machine on the next "normal" wash-load after I'd washed some fabric. And, each time the debris I removed was made-up of threads that I was tediously pulling out with some fiddly tweezers. All those threads were the same colour as the fabric I'd just washed... and it didn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out the source LOL! Hence, now I overlock the cut-edges (no need on the selvedges of course!) before washing the fabric.
Different sides... And, it doesn't apply to all fabrics - as 99.99999% in my own stash have easily discernible face (front) from back/reverse sides - printed fabrics being an obvious example. However, some fabrics are soooo hard to tell - and if you were to accidentally mis-match pattern pieces it could affect the look of the garment as even a subtle difference in the reflected-light/colour/nap between 2 adjacent pieces could make a finished garment look "off". This happened today - I had a couple of pieces to wash that came to me with some handy green paper labels saying "FACE" stapled to the correct side of the fabric. Now, clearly paper is going to dissolve and fall off with the water in the washing machine. So, I quickly stitched a letter "F" into the selvedge on each piece = all sorted!