Quilt Care Tips

You probably have a quilt or two lying around your house. The quilt could be made by your own hand or given to you from someone. You’ll want to preserve your quilts and pass them on to the next generation, right? So, show the quilts some TLC by following these tips.

Keep it in the dark:
This doesn’t mean hiding your quilt in the basement. But it does mean keeping the quilt out of direct sunlight or intense lighting. Keeping the quilt in the dark prevents the quilt from fading.

Don’t Cross-Contaminate:
When you buy a quilt at a yard sale or flea market it could be infested with bugs and mold. In order to protect your find, quarantine them in an airtight bag for 6 months or put them into an airtight bag and stick the quilt into the freezer for a week. This will prevent the mold from spreading and it will kill any bugs that might be in the quilt. After the quarantined period is over, then you can clean and care for the quilts.

Clean Carefully:
The best way (that I have found) for preserving a delicate quilt design is to vacuum the quilt. This process is simple, just place a fiberglass screen (like from a window) onto the quilt. Attach your vacuum’s dusting attachment and run it carefully over the screen. Before you start vacuuming the quilt, be sure to inspect it thoroughly for any seam damages, brittleness, or browning. If any of these signs are apparent then have a professional clean the quilt.

Store it properly:
Fold the quilt and pack tissue paper at the creases. This prevents any wrinkling. Once you have the quilt folded, cover it with a cotton sheet. Store the quilt in an acid-free box (home improvement store). Then place the box in a cool, low-humidity area, like in a ground level closet.

Consult a pro before restoring:
Don’t take a chance of trying to fix a quilt that is damaged by yourself. Instead find a licensed conservator at conservation-us.org. You will need to tell the conservator the size of the quilt, the approximate age of the quilt, and the intended use for the damaged quilt. The conservator will in turn give you a price estimate. This is for major repairs on older quilts.

Replace damaged fabric:
If your quilt has more sentimental than monetary value, patch it with a similiar piece of fabric (check on Ebay for scraps of vintage remnants). To preserve the existing fabric, try sewing a piece of bridal veil netting over the top of the fabric. The veil will prevent further fraying of the fabric.

With these tips, you can preserve your precious quilts for future generations. Enjoy your quilts!