I have been asked so many times about quilt care and storage and how to wash a quilt.
It is not an easy answer, partly because it depends upon which batting is inside the quilt and whether it is a very old quilt or quite new.
Never dry clean a quilt as the harsh chemicals are very detrimental to fabrics, and the chemicals never totally come out.
Unless the quilt is in constant use, being dragged all over the neighbourhood by a toddler, you can usually freshen up your quilt by vacuuming it.
Place a nylon stocking over the end of the hose and give your quilts a thorough vacuum.
This works especially well with wall hangings.
However, do not lay it on the floor and run over it with the power head of your vacuum!!
Another way to dust a quilt is to put it in the dryer on “air fluff”.
It doesn’t get any heat, but the dust and cat/dog hair seem to disappear and it looks fresh again.
If the quilt is in constant use, like a baby quilt or the sampler quilt that I keep on the back of the sofa (I have a dog and cat that love it!), then I feel it has to go into the washing machine to remove the dirt.
A front loading washer is easier on quilts than the agitating kind of washer, so if you have a larger quilt, take it to the Laundromat and use those big front loaders!
I do put my quilts in the dryer on low heat and leave it until it is almost dry, then lay it over a bed or railing or even out on the grass on a clean sheet (not in the sun) to finish drying. Cover it with a clean sheet too, to protect it.
You can try the quilt wash products sold at quilt stores.
Remember those images of quilts blowing in the breeze on the line?
It’s a great way to blow the dust out of your quilts, but fold them over the line, rather than pin them along one edge – that would cause a lot of stress at those points and may pull them out of shape.
If your quilts are going to be stored for a long time, it is a good idea to bunch up acid-free tissue paper to place in the folds, or roll your quilts onto a cotton covered tube.
If you have a spare bed which is not often used, you could lay numerous quilts on top of the bed, and cover with a sheet of muslin.
They avoid getting creases this way and are easier to “visit” when the mood strikes!
Keep your quilts in a cool, dry area as temperature fluctuations can damage fabric.
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