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Quilt Care

Quilt Care

Typically, you can usually freshen up your quilt by vacuuming it, unless the quilt is in constant use. Place a nylon stocking over the end of the hose and give your quilts a thorough vacuum. This works especially well with wall hangings. Another way to dust a quilt is to put it in the dryer with no heat . Never dry clean a quilt as the harsh chemicals are very detrimental to fabrics, and the chemicals never totally come out.

If a quilt is in constant use then it needs to go into the washing machine to remove the dirt. A front loading washer is easier on quilts than the agitating kind of washer. If you have a larger quilt, take it to the laundromat and use their big front loaders. Consider your batting when you choose how you are going to dry your quilts. You can put them in the dryer on low heat and leave until 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. Covering it with a clean sheet provides additional protection. If you are going to hang your quilts on the line, fold them over the line rather than using pins. Pins can cause stretching and stress on a single side of the quilt. Remember, depending on what batting you have used and how you choose the dry your quilt, you may see some shrinkage/antiquing once the quilt is dry.

Quilt care for antique quilts is more labour intensive. Quilt shops typically carry quilt products and provide adequate instructions for proper use. These products usually require that you submerse your quilt (on a sheet) in the bathtub and soak it for a specified time period. Then drain and rinse with clean water before you wring out excess water and lift it from the tub (on the sheet and perhaps with the help of someone else). The quilt will need to lay flat to dry.


To store, wrap your quilt in a cotton sheet, pillowcase, or acid-free tissue paper. Don’t use plastic, as it retains moisture and can cause mildew. You can prevent permanent creases by refolding your quilt often. Consider rolling your quilts (rather than folding) or putting acid-free tissue paper in the folds and covering the quilt with a cotton cover if you are storing it for a long time.

You could lay numerous quilts on top of a spare bed and protect them with a sheet of muslin.

Consistent cool and dry temperatures offer the best conditions for quilt fabrics. So, basements and attics might not be the ideal place to keep your quilts.

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