Its there. At the start of every sewing project. An instruction. Launder your fabric before commencing. Yes, take your brand spanking new piece of weave or knit loveliness and pop it in the wash. Then dry it, then press it, then begin sewing.
It sounds so undemanding ... in much the same way that the instruction Fly to the moon sounds simple enough on paper. The simplicity of the wording belies the reality.
The reality, yes. Fraying of raw edges. Curling of selvedges. Appearance of stubborn wrinkles. Disappearance of fabric ooomph. Crazed new angle of weave and weft. The chance of ever cutting crisp, flat pattern pieces from the mangled mess: slim at best.
No one seems to talk openly about it. A bit like haemorrhoids; awfully common, very annoying, but no-one admits to the problem. Occasionally I see pictures posted on blogs (of fabric, not haemorrhoids ... though I'm sure you can find those if you look). Captioned along the lines of ... Here is my new fabric, which I laundered today ... they are invariably sunny pictures of prints and plains breezing on the clothesline. And ne'er a hint of a loose thread.
So is it just me?
Am I the only one who manages to unravel fabric in the wash? The solitary sewist producing such a tangled mess, that the fabric ends up lashed like Ulysses to the washing machine
I have been tempted to skip the washing, but I fear the dire warnings of dye bleeds and 10 percentage shrinkage. However this whole palaver is really taking the shine off new projects ... and not to mention several inches of the original fabric. At least the haemorrhoids can be treated.
Found at the bottom of my washing machine
Edit: Thank you for all the informative comments. This has been fabulous! If you are in the "never wash" camp, you might like to post Craftblog's newly created button for extreme sewers and quilters. See over here for details!