do you need to wash fabric before sewing

Why Do You Need To Wash Fabric Before Sewing?

Before sewing and cutting its essential requirement to pre-wash fabric. You might think why do you need to wash fabric before sewing? Prewash is typically advised when starting a new sewing project.

You’ve been there, pondering if washing is actually necessary while gazing at the cloth. When you could start stitching, why wait for the ironing board and machine?

Although it’s not enjoyable, pre-washing is essential when creating or purchasing clothing. Washing fabrics causes them to shrink slightly, especially knits.

Imagine working on a garment for hours only to have it shrink after washing! However, there are easy steps you may follow to understand how to prewash cloth. You’ll keep your works the proper size and keep surprises at bay.

Why Do You Need To Wash Fabric Before Sewing?

Does cotton fabric need to be washed before sewing? Well, that all depends on the fabric’s worth and the project you’re working on. When piecing together a patchwork quilt, for instance, remember that bright shades could bleed into lighter materials after washing.

Investing a little bit extra in high-quality fabric might be useful if you’re making an heirloom quilt because premium cotton tends to bleed less than less expensive options.

One last thing to consider is shrinking. Consistent, high-quality cotton could skip the pre-wash stage without any issues. However, if you’re merging many cotton varieties into one cover, you might want to consider pre-washing.

How To Wash Cotton Fabric Before Sewing?

This is a guideline describing why you need to wash the fabric before sewing. First, collect the various kinds of cotton cloth you intend to use. Next, for a gentle wash, pour a small amount of soap or detergent into warm water.

Recall that applying fabric softener or bleach might change the characteristics of the cloth. Next, make sure the fabric is completely covered by gently mixing it with the soapy water. Rinse it well to remove any soap residue.

To eliminate extra humidity, softly roll or fold the fabric after washing. It’s vital to keep in mind that colors may weaken if visible to sunlight directly.

Should I Wash The Fabric Before Sewing Curtains?

Even if creating curtains is your favorite hobby, you don’t want your effort of love to be wasted away. You may be asking why washing the cloth before sewing curtains is so necessary. It is vital that you pre-wash your garments before commencing your sewing project to avoid unpleasant surprises later.

This will stop the material from shrinking and remove any remaining chemicals or dirt. Pre-washing also provides information on the fabric’s behavior with water and washing, providing you with an idea of how durable it will be in the future.

You’ll save yourself the annoyance and guarantee that your curtains keep their form and size after washing.

Why Is It Better To Wash Fabric Before Sewing?

Do you need to wash the fabric before sewing? Wear may cause some shrinking, especially for some items like jeans after washing. On the other hand, longitudinal shrinkage usually stays constant. Thus, pre-washing is essential, particularly for fitted styles or situations where exact size is important.

Cotton textiles typically shrink about 5%, but with natural fibers in particular, they can shrink by up to 10%. You’ll need to simulate the washing and drying procedure your finished garment will go through in order to avoid this.

Furthermore, pre-washing is necessary to remove extra color, chemical sizing, and debris from the fabric’s manufacturing process. Although these treatments make cloth easier to handle during manufacture, washing them out will make the fabric softer.

Guideline Of How To Pre-wash Fabric Before Sewing:

Testing Prior to Washing:

  • Before washing the entire cloth, check for shrinkage and color bleed in a small area.

Examining Care Labels:

  • Check care labels frequently for detailed washing instructions.

Using Mild Detergent:

  • For fragile textiles, wash the garment with a mild, dye-free soap.

Assuring Dissolution:

  • Before adding cloth, make sure the detergent has completely dissolved.

Gentle Cleaning:

  • To avoid fading or damage, steer clear of vigorous cleaning.

Length of Soak:

  • Allow the cloth to soak for fifteen minutes, and then gently remove any remaining water.

With Caution, Dry:

  • To avoid spillage in easily accessible locations, gently wring out the water and hang the cloth to dry completely overnight.

Important Ironing:

  • For a smooth finish, iron the cloth on a level surface.
  • Use a light iron to completely eliminate creases.

Handle Ironing Process:

  • Adjust the iron’s temperature to the desired level.
  • Iron back and forth to eliminate creases.

These procedures guarantee that your fabric is prepped for sewing tasks, cleaned, and appropriately handled.

If You Don’t Wash Fabric Before Sewing, Then What Happens?

Rejecting to pre-wash fabric beforehand sewing can cause a drop in a number of different types of textiles. Wool, for example, shrinks easily, especially if it isn’t treated to resist shrinkage. Despite its reputation for strength, linen may shrink significantly, especially if it comes in contact with water.

Despite its fragility, silk can still shrink if it isn’t handled beforehand. Similar behaviors may be seen in other materials; they may exhibit sudden sizing changes upon washing, leading to problems with fit. It is essential to adhere to the recommendation to pre-wash fabric before stitching.

It ensures that your sewing items fit as planned by helping to retain the fabric’s size. Your final clothes may change size unexpectedly if you don’t pre-wash them, which will impact how they fit and appear overall.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What happens if the fabric isn’t washed before being stitched?

Should you choose not to wash it, the cloth may shrink. Depending on the type of cloth, it may shrink a few or even several inches. Compared to cotton, materials like linen and flannel frequently shrink more. If you’re not sure whether an item will shrink, test it ahead by washing a little piece.

Why is it necessary to wash the fabric before sewing?

To guarantee that it won’t shrink later, you wash the fabric before cutting and stitching. This aids in the finished clothing maintaining its size after washing.

Why is it necessary to wash waterproof fabric before sewing?

Waterproof fabric should be washed and dried before stitching for two major reasons: First of all, it makes sure your finished product is clean and odor-free by removing any chemicals or sizing from the cloth.


Why do you need to wash fabric before sewing? It’s an essential step to make sure your designs stay high-quality, fit well, and don’t shrink. Particularly for curtains, pre-washing ensures the correct size and avoids surprises. It softens cloth by removing excess color, chemicals, and grime.

It preserves project integrity and is crucial for comprehending fabric behavior. Adhering to this recommendation guarantees superior quality, cleaner cloth, which results in more successful stitching endeavors.

Washing fabric before sewing isn’t only basic sense; it’s also necessary for fitting garments that maintain quality standards and withstand shrinking, which will make your efforts more satisfying.

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