At least a year ago, I posted about my sticker shock when I went looking in thrift shops in the San Diego area for cottons for quilting (as I had the year before for wool clothing for rug hooking). I received a few messages from readers about all the wonderful things that those thrift stores do with the money they make (which I was already very aware of) and why it was those prices need to be so high (which worried me, wondering how people in need could afford to shop at those prices). In the end, I came to understand most of why it is what it is, but pretty much gave up my searching; frankly, if I'm going to spend $6-8 dollars on a shirt to cut up, I'd rather spent the same or a dollar or two more to buy an entire yard of new fabric.
This past week in Taos, I gave it another try, and scored, so I've been having fun washing, disassembling, and folding up pieces of my new found treasures. Yesterday I found men's shirts for .50 each, so I bought the stack of blues/whites and the wonderful Indonesian cotton shirt was also only .50. The kilts I found for $8.00 each, but once they were completely returned to yardage, I got well over a yard of wool from each, less than half of what I would pay for brand new wool yardage. Cool!!
Question for my rug hooking friends: these kilts were obviously brand new (from Scotland, no less) and in pristine condition. Should I wash the yardage and dry it or just use it as is? It's a bit lighter than some of my wools, almost a shirt weight. Would washing it and running it through the dryer give it a little more grist for hooking?