As it turns out, pre-washing the cheap fabrics seems to have taken a lot of the “tacky” feel out of them. I noticed, as I was putting them into the washing machine, they had a fairly foul smell – I wonder if the nasty feeling was preservative chemicals of some sort? At any rate, they’re less icky now, and definitely feel less like polyester. The ink on the Japanese fabrics is still a bit odd, though – perhaps it’s the style.
I’m giving the charm pack to Erin A., since she said she liked some of the Japanese stuff, and I have more than enough fabric to keep me busy for a good, long time to come.