From: Tullahoma, TN
I remember having to make a decision to wash or not to wash the silk dupioni when I made a flower girl dress for my dgd. I chose not to wash that time as I wanted the sheen and the body. Then at a later time I purchased some more silk dupioni to make a blouse for myself. I chose to prewash that time. It definitely changed the hand and the look of the fabric...but it was the look/hand that I wanted for that particular clothing item. (I will confess that the blouse never got made...but the prewashed silk dupioni made wonderful pillows that I machine appliqued Christmas stockings on and gave as Christmas gifts!) I also made the ring bearer's pillow out of the silk dupioni for the flower girl's dress yardage. I did machine embroidered cutwork on it. It has been ten years now...so hard to remember just how I did that...but know that it involved the original wash-away Solvy film as that is what the instructions call for to do this particular cutaway...but the solvy wasn't stuck to the fabric...so I don't think that I ever totally dampened the fabric...may have just pulled it away as the back wouldn't have shown and the satin stitches of the cutwork would have perforated the solvy making it easy to tear away.
My rule of thumb is to treat the fabric yardage prior to cutting the way I plan to treat it after the garment is made. If I'm going to wash the garment/item and dry it in the drier, I do that to the uncut yardage. If I'm going to wash the garment/item and hang it to dry, I do that to the uncut yardage. I wash the yardage in the temperature that I think that the finished item will be washed in. I, personally, always use cold water to wash...but I know others, that I may be sewing for, don't...for example, some baby items will need to be washed in hot. I pretty much wash everything unless it is going to be made into home dec items...curtains, pillows, etc. I don't sew on much fabric that needs to be dry cleaned only (I'm allergic to wool)...so can't comment on what I do prior with such yardage. I serge the cut edges of my yardage just prior to washing. That is the way that I know the stored yardage has been prewashed...seeing the serged edges in my stash = prewashed. I know that some just cut off the corners with a small diagonal cut to keep the fabric from fraying in the washer, but I still prefer to serge the cut edges unless it is very small yardage.
But, I understand that this being a class made it hard to do any of that prewashing. So sorry that this happened to you...I know that sinking feeling when something like this happens when you have put so much work into it!
< Message edited by sewLo -- 6/20/2011 9:30:33 AM >