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Thread: Easier Way to Prepare Fleece?

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    Cavy Slave noodlesluvspie's Avatar
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    Easier Way to Prepare Fleece?

    Hello! Does anyone know, is there an easier way to prepare fleece before sewing? I have an old washing machine and I?m afraid washing the fleece 5-6 times is killing the machine. I?ve tried using 1 cup of vinegar in the wash to help speed up the process as I?ve heard that can help. Also, how long should the wash cycle be? Thanks for your help!

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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: Easier Way to Prepare Fleece?

    Since I have a top-load washer, I opted to soak the fleece in hot water with a bunch of laundry detergent and Clorox free and clear stain remover and color booster. You don't need these exact chemicals, I think just about any kind of chemical/detergent treatment will help strip the fleece of its waterproof coating. Just make sure everything is "free and clear" and that you put a lot in with a smaller amount of water so that it's really concentrated.

    I just let everything mix in well and then hit "stop" on the washer and let the fleece soak for as long as the water stayed warm (it was like 4-6 hours). Every hour or so (just whenever I thought about it) I'd go re-start the washer for like 30 seconds just to let the agitator mix everything up again. Once the water had cooled down to a warm temperature, I let the wash cycle finish. Dry completely on low/delicate heat. Then test the fleece to see if it's wicking. Test on multiple areas of the fleece! For some reason, some areas of the fleece may start to wick before other areas.

    Some fleece wicks faster than others, I'm convinced, maybe just because it's different quality or is prepared differently to give it a stronger waterproof coating. I've found that plain, solid color fleece seems to wick the fastest. Some of the super-cute pattern fleeces seem like they take forever! Anyway, using the formula described above, I was able to get three huge, solid color fleece swaths wicked in about 2 cycles each. (I think I did each of them again one more time after that, just for good measure.) Got them all done over a stay-at-home weekend.

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    Re: Easier Way to Prepare Fleece?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleSqueakers View Post
    Since I have a top-load washer, I opted to soak the fleece in hot water with a bunch of laundry detergent and Clorox free and clear stain remover and color booster. You don't need these exact chemicals, I think just about any kind of chemical/detergent treatment will help strip the fleece of its waterproof coating. Just make sure everything is "free and clear" and that you put a lot in with a smaller amount of water so that it's really concentrated.

    I just let everything mix in well and then hit "stop" on the washer and let the fleece soak for as long as the water stayed warm (it was like 4-6 hours). Every hour or so (just whenever I thought about it) I'd go re-start the washer for like 30 seconds just to let the agitator mix everything up again. Once the water had cooled down to a warm temperature, I let the wash cycle finish. Dry completely on low/delicate heat. Then test the fleece to see if it's wicking. Test on multiple areas of the fleece! For some reason, some areas of the fleece may start to wick before other areas.

    Some fleece wicks faster than others, I'm convinced, maybe just because it's different quality or is prepared differently to give it a stronger waterproof coating. I've found that plain, solid color fleece seems to wick the fastest. Some of the super-cute pattern fleeces seem like they take forever! Anyway, using the formula described above, I was able to get three huge, solid color fleece swaths wicked in about 2 cycles each. (I think I did each of them again one more time after that, just for good measure.) Got them all done over a stay-at-home weekend.
    Awesome, thank you! I also have a top-loader so I will give this a try. I agree, it seems like some patterns wick faster than others. Weird!

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    Re: Easier Way to Prepare Fleece?

    New to this. Why are you trying to strip the fleece’s waterproofing?

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    Re: Easier Way to Prepare Fleece?

    Quote Originally Posted by Warrens2008 View Post
    New to this. Why are you trying to strip the fleece?s waterproofing?
    You want the urine to go through the fleece into the absorbent layer below. If it retains the fleeces waterproofing, it "puddles" on top of the fleece and can get the piggies wet, dirty, ECT.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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    Re: Easier Way to Prepare Fleece?

    That is a really good point thanks a lot.

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    Re: Easier Way to Prepare Fleece?

    The principle of the fleece is to provide a layer of fabric that wicks liquid (read.....urine and water) to an absorbent layer underneath so as to provide a dry surface for cavies. The absorbent layer "should" be something that is really absorbent and dries quickly. Most of us use uHaul moving pads which are huge and inexpensive or other absorbent material. Also, many of us sew fleece liners with a layer (or two) of the uHaul pad in the middle. When the pad is encased in fleece, it's lifespan is much longer.

    The caveat when sewing liners is that the fleece shrinks very little, if at all, but the uHaul pad shrinks quite a bit. One must wash the pad in hot water and dry on Hot in order to maximize shrinkage before sewing. Nothing worse than to carefully sew liners only to have the middle layer shrink and leave the outer fleece bunched up!

    If one doesn't wish to sew liners, then another absorbent layer that works very well is reusable incontinence pads. We don't recommend using towels as they get wet.......and stay wet and then quickly become stinky. If you want to learn more about sewing liners, there is a world of information in previous threads. Just use the search box on the upper right by the red "magnifying glass". You will find that almost any question you have will have been previously answered.

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