Not preparing the fabric is the most common mistake most sewing beginners make these days.

In order to get the best output from your clothes, it is highly advised to wash the fabric before sewing as it has many benefits such as:

  • No Shrinkage After Stitching
  • Gets Rid of Stickiness or Chemicals from the Fabric
  • To Eliminate Wrinkles
  • Prevents Future Color Bleeding

These are the main reasons to prewash your clothing material before you begin to sew them yourself.

Prewash Fabric Before Sewing

Though it may seem like a big deal for some, it will save a lot of your efforts from going down the drain once the stitching is finished.

Benefits of Pre-Washing the Fabric Before Sewing:

Pre-washing the clothes (cotton or other fabric) is recommended mainly depending up on the project type.

While some projects doesn’t require prewash, there are a few others that need you to wash the clothing material for better results.

Say for example, projects like dolls, wall art etc… that are not intended to be washed regularly are spared, while your regular wear like shirts, trousers, quilts, table cloths, custom garments etc… need to be washed.

Hope, you got the difference between the both types of sewing projects.

Let us now look at these fabric prewash benefits in depth so that you’ll have a better understanding of how important prewashing is before sewing the material.

1. No Shrinkage After Stitching

If you don’t want your fabric that you intend to wear or use regularly to shrink after the first wash, then it is highly advised to prewash such materials before sewing.

Some type of fabric (cotton) usually shrinks too much when you wash it in the hot water.

So, such type of cotton materials should be washed with hot water before you actually get ready to sew them.

Likewise, you should first check what type of fabric you’re dealing with and then act accordingly.

2. Gets Rid of Stickiness or Chemicals from the Fabric

The clothing material (fabric) that you purchase directly from the factory comes with a protective coating that may add some sort of stickiness to it.

And, if you start to sew it without washing, then your automatic sewing machine can get jammed up so quickly and can result in malfunctioning.

Washing will make those materials softer as the coating is removed.

Apart from this, the fabric is actually treated with chemicals to make them look brighter to the eyes as well as to prevent wrinkling even when stored for extended duration.

Unfortunately, these chemicals, if not washed, will be harmful to those with sensitive skin.

So, it is highly recommended to wash the fabric before turning them into a perfect shirt or otherwise.

3. To Eliminate Wrinkles from the Clothes

A wrinkled shirt doesn’t look good, isn’t it? And, it is the same with sewing a wrinkled fabric.

Wrinkles on the fabric makes stitching difficult at times and washing/drying the clothes actually helps get rid of the wrinkles naturally.

4. Prevents Future Color Bleeding

There are some fabrics that come in vibrant colors like dark blue, red, purple etc… that have bleeding potential.

And, if you don’t prewash such fabrics before sewing them, then it would result in the fabric losing its actual color (excess dye).

So, it is very important to wash the fabric with vibrant colored fabrics, separately, before actually sewing them.

If you don’t know whether the fabric bleeds color or not, then simply wet the cloth using warm soapy water. Then, place it on a paper towel and leave it for some time to check if the color is bleeding on the towel or not.


Well, these are a few major benefits of washing the fabric before sewing. It is also to be noted that only some type of projects require pre-wash while the others doesn’t require you to do so.

Understand the difference and act according to the project type.