Washing Day

Bright Pink Lawn

Wow! What a glorious couple of days we’ve been having here in the UK (I hope it’s the same wherever you are). Added to the weather, I also have a new washing machine! OK, so I know what you’re thinking “what on earth has this got to do with sewing?”

Prewashed Purple Bird jersey

Purple Jersey with Printed Birds Prewashed

The answer is simple, I have been spending my time wearing out my poor new washing machine prewashing all of some of my stash. Somehow this doesn’t feel like it’s breaking my rule of not starting a new project until I’ve completed some of the current ones, so all in all it feels like a complete win!

Birdhouse Cotton

1m Birdhouse Cotton for Something or Other

I’ve only washed materials that I think have a high percentage of cotton, or man made fibres, so all of my wool and wool mixes have stayed safely away from the machine.


Happy Driving Cotton on the Line

Prewashed Happy Driving Cotton

My new machine has a 15 minute cycle that washes at 30 degrees C, and spins at 1000 rpm. I’m just hoping that this is enough to ensure any shrinking / colour-loss occurs, as my normal wash cycle is 1 hour at 40 degrees C with a 1600 spin.


Grey Floral Border Dressweight

Grey Floral Border Dress Material, Prewashed and on the Line

Still, it has to be better than my previously non-existent prewashing routine. Do you pre-wash? Do you think the 15 minutes at 30 degrees C is enough?! NB, if you’re thinking that the materials I’ve shown here are the only ones I’ve washed, and therefore my stash can’t be all that big, I’m afraid you’re wrong πŸ™‚


  1. I hope you are hanging everything up very carefully so that you do not distort the straight grain. A hint from someone learning from their mistakes as they go along!

    1. Hi Barbarags, I must admit, I didn’t, then after the great binge-wash I realised I probably should have done! Most seem to be ok, but let’s just say, knits should be dried on the flat. Silly – I know this about clothing, I just didn’t apply it to fabric. Oh well – another wash won’t harm any of it πŸ™‚

  2. Prewashing is a good thing. It gets rid of any dressing in the fabric and you know exactly how it is going to behave and feel before you cut it out.
    You might want to consider shrinkage in your cotton fabrics as well. Some cottons shrink a lot and others not at all but – it’s best to find that out before sewing πŸ˜‰
    You won’t need to ask me how I know this…..
    I would suggest washing cottons at 40 degrees, as 30 may not be hot enough to fully shrink a fabric. However be a bit wary of highly coloured cottons; too hot a wash can make colours run.
    Sorry, I have probably totally confused you now!

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ No – not too confused (I think). I prewashed a cotton recently (to be blogged as soon as we get some decent weather to take a photo or two) and it ran – a lot – even at 40. But the thing is that it will normally be washed at 40, so I just had to make sure I got it all over and done with before I started. Thank you – not had too much trouble with shrinkage so far, but I think it’s down to luck rather than judgement πŸ™‚

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