Reader Question: Do I have to wash new tea towels before I embroider them? And then should I iron them before I stitch them?
I pre-wash everything. Everything. I don’t mess around. When I come back from the fabric store, everything I just bought goes straight into the laundry hamper and isn’t allowed in my sewing room until it’s been washed, dried and ironed. I’m a little obsessive about it – but I have a good reason.
The very first thing I ever sewed was a tablecloth. Truly, the ugliest, worst-made tablecloth the world has ever seen. One of the many things I did wrong was that I didn’t pre-wash my fabric. So the first time I threw the tablecloth into the wash, it shrank just enough for every seam to pucker and look terrible. This was exacerbated by the fact that I had a seam running right down the middle of the table – the long way – but that’s a whole other sewing problem. 🙂
Now I always pre-wash everything.
Including tea towels.
They’ll come out all wrinkly and you’ll definitely want to iron them before you stitch on them. The hoop will leave rings in your fabric and you can press them out – but I usually throw the whole thing in the wash again. It’s a towel, right? And it’s going to be washed a million times. Just go ahead and wash those creases out. If you need to iron them after you’ve done the embroidery, do it carefully.
There’s a video here showing how to iron finished embroidery without squishing the stitches – but I don’t iron my finished tea towels because I’m lazy and I really USE them.
Got any other sewing or embroidery questions? Send them to me here.