Today’s title has been debated over and over again. My opinion is based on the fabric you are working with. Typically, I don’t pre-wash most printed fabric (unless they are DARK). There are certain fabrics I usually always pre-wash…Batiks!! Especially if they are highly saturated in color. Take the fabric below, this actually photo-ed a bit lighter…
I pre-washed and so glad I did! Many batiks are hand dyed and need have the excess color/dye in them. I used “Shout Color Catchers” by SC Johnson. I put two Color Catchers in the first washing with a little laundry detergent and warm water. See how they came out below. I repeated with a second wash, the second sheets in the photo.
The results show just why it is a good idea to pre-wash! I stopped with two washings, but be aware some fabrics might need more. There are several products on the market for treating dyed fabrics. “Retayne” and “Synthrapol” are two I have used. another way to test is put the fabric in a sink with water. Lift out of the water and see if there is dye in the water. If there is…pre-wash!!
#1- Test fabric for color fastness!
#2- “Color Catcher” sheets is one way to “catch” the dye from the wash water.