Handmade quilts are a thing of beauty - both a practical item and a piece of art. If you inherited Grandma's handmade quilt or have other quilts in your possession, make sure they are properly cared for and used. Take a look at the following tips to do that.
Storing Your Quilt
Handmade quilts contain pieces of fabric that are cut and then sewed together by hand with a needle and thread, not by a sewing machine. Because of this, these quilts can be less sturdy than their machine-sewn cousins, especially if the thread and fabric are vintage. Still, a handmade quilt is tougher than you think, as long as you store it safely. Here's how to store your quilt:
- Stay away from direct sunlight. This keeps the colors fresh and bright.
- Keep the quilt rolled. Folding for long periods can cause permanent creases and other damage.
- Avoid plastic and vinyl. These materials keep air from circulating through the fabric. You can keep a quilt on a shelf as-is and experience little or no yellowing.
- Use professional wrappings. If you have a delicate, vintage, or extremely valuable quilt, consider storing it in professional wrappings to protect it. A dealer or professional cleaner can give you suggestions.
Keep in mind that quilts are meant to be used and enjoyed, so you don't have to keep yours stored away out of sight all the time.
Enjoying Your Quilt
If you decide to use your handmade quilt, keep some tips in mind to help minimize damage:
- Don't allow pets to have access to the quilt. It's not always easy to remove dog or cat hair from a quilt repeatedly, and frequent washing will harm the quilt. Also, animals might scratch or chew the precious fabric of the quilt.
- Never eat or drink near the quilt. It may be tempting to roll up in a cozy quilt and eat in front of the TV, but crumbs and liquid can stain and ruin a quilt.
- Take caution with children. It's better to let young ones have a blanket that is machine washable instead.
- Avoid dangerous objects. Be mindful of shoes, jewelry, and other sharp objects you wear while using a quilt. Some fabrics are easily snagged or ripped and are difficult to repair.
If you want to enjoy the quilt but are afraid of harming it, consider hanging the quilt on a wall. The quilt can still be easily viewed and admired but is out of the way of potential damage.
Cleaning Your Quilt
If you just received a quilt it might be dusty or dirty. Or, you might already have a quilt that needs to be washed. How do you decide how to clean it? Depending on the condition of the quilt, it can be washed in a washing machine or washed by hand.
If a quilt is old and delicate, do not throw it in the washing machine. Instead, consider spot-cleaning the surface or washing it by hand in a bathtub with cold water and gentle soap. If the quilt is just dusty, you can gently vacuum it with the brush attachment.
If the quilt is in good condition, you can use the washing machine to do the dirty work. Just remember to use cool water and a gentle detergent without perfumes or dyes which can hurt the fabric. Only allow the quilt to spin in the machine just long enough to remove most of the water.
To dry your quilt, skip the dryer, which will shrink the fabric. Instead, lay the quilt flat on a clean sheet, away from direct sun. Never hang a quilt up to dry because the weight will stretch and tear the thread.
If you're unsure how to clean your quilt and are afraid of ruining a work of art, visit Crystal Cleaning Center. We can wash your heirloom quilt and keep it looking as beautiful as the day it was created.