Should You Prewash Quilt Batting?

Reasons to consider prewashing before use.

Even though many modern battings don’t require pre-washing as they are designed to be used without washing beforehand; however, if the manufacturer recommends doing so on the label then pre-washing the batting might be a better choice. Also, if your batting is old and dirty or a vintage blanket, you must wash it before using it in a quilt.

Reasons to Consider Pre-washing

Pre-washing is recommended for many reasons. Cotton batting, for example, can leave oil spots on the quilt if not pre-washed before inserting. This is due to the oil present in cotton seeds.

Aside from that, after washing the quilt with the non-prewashed batting inside, the batting may bunch up or fall apart between the stitched lines because of shrinkage. The shrinkage rate of some batting such as cotton batting and other natural fiber batting is between 3 and 5 percent. As a result, it is likely to be smaller after you take it out of the dryer.

Moreover, if your batting material is old and dirty, then you definitely need to pre-wash it. This is because dirt, stains, body oil, or any unpleasant odor within the batting can damage the quilt if it is used without pre-washing.

Pre-washing Instructions

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Step 1

Gather the necessary items such as a towel, mild soap, or detergent, and fill your bathtub or laundry room sink with hot water.

Step 2

Add soap or detergent to the water and mix it evenly. After that, immerse the quilt in the water and press it down firmly, then move it gently to let the whole batting soak. Wait for 15-30 minutes. The more the better.

Step 3

You should now drain the tub completely and fill it with fresh water, then gently wash the batting, moving it back and forth carefully. Rinse it in the same way at least twice to ensure no soap or detergent remains on the batting. Also, don’t rush the process.

Step 4

Once the process is complete, drain the tub or sink again and squeeze the quilt so excess water runs down the drain. When squeezing out the quilt, do not wring or twist it. Instead, squeeze it gently.

Step 5

It’s not possible to squeeze out the water completely, so use a large towel; roll the batting with the towel to remove excess water. To finish drying the batting, lay it in a large room or outside in your front yard.

Final thoughts

Most quilt battings don’t require pre-washing these days, but if the label on the pack of batting suggests pre-washing it, you should do so to avoid any casualties. Additionally, washing a old or dirty batting before inserting it into the quilt is necessary to remove any dirt, dust, and oils that may have accumulated on the batting.

This will prevent any of these impurities from transferring to the quilt when it is washed, which can damage the quilt and reduce its overall quality. Washing the batting also helps to maintain its loft and prevents it from shrinking after being quilted. It also helps to ensure that the quilt will last for a long time.


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