Tips for Washing and Storing Fabric

Learn how to prep newly purchased fabric for sewing and crafting projects with these tips.

Michelle DeHoop asks expert Alex Anderson: "I would like to know your thoughts about what to do with fabric once you purchase it and bring it home, either for a project or to add to your stash."

What Alex recommends:

  •  Wash fabrics when you bring them home to remove excess dye and chemicals.
  • If you choose not to wash the fabric, test to see if the color will run. A simple way to test for colorfastness is to place a swatch of the fabric in a bowl of water. Microwave for two to three minutes. If the water is not clear, you should rinse the fabric until the water runs clear.
  • After washing or rinsing the fabric, you can restore "like-new" crispness by pressing fabric with spray starch or sizing.
  • If you plan on storing the fabric for a period of time, use sizing because spray starch attracts silverfish.

Always wash your starched fabrics or quilt tops before storing.

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