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Fibers that need pre-washing

sewing fabric by the yardAlmost all fabrics need to be laundered in the same manner that you plan to launder the completed garment. You can, however, skip pre-washing for 100% polyester fabrics such as polar fleece and minky, or vinyl such as faux leather. You can also eliminate this step if you will never launder the item, such as a wall hanging.

Different pre-treatment methods

Cotton fabricsThe two main methods of pre-washing are your home washing machine and the dry-cleaners. You can also try hand-washing, although most of us tend to shy away from this task.

For example, if you plan to toss your cotton skirt in the washing machine using cold water, and then dry on medium, make sure to do the same with the fabric prior to construction. If your wool skirt and silk blouse will always go to the dry cleaner, then the yardage needs the same treatment before you cut out and stitch. If you prefer to hand wash your silks, and some wools for that matter, you can do so and then hang the yardage to dry on a rack in your bathroom.

One quick tip: either serge or zigzag the cut edges of your fabric together before you toss it in the washing machine. This extra step will

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