How to Clean and Care for Handmade Quilts

Any enthusiastic quilter will know just how much time, energy, and love goes into making a quilt. You pour an immense amount of creative energy into crafting something that you hope will beautify your home and be enjoyed by your loved ones. Thankfully, there are things that you can do to preserve your handmade quilt so that it will be appreciated for many generations to come.

Quilts on Display

It is vital that, when your quilts are being used for decorative purposes, you rotate them. This gives them a rest from exposure to dust, sunlight, and general wear-and-tear. If it does not have an obvious top or bottom, it is recommended that you periodically flip it. A good tip is to add a hanging sleeve to multiple edges as this makes it easier and more convenient to rotate the quilt.

Storing Quilts

The preferable method of storing a quilt would be flat on an unoccupied bed. This reduced creases and minimises fold damage. Ideally, you should cover the quilt with a clean sheet. If it cannot be stored flat, you can keep it in a cotton bag in a dry environment – avoid basements and attics. Before storing it away you should leave it out to dry for two days to ensure there is absolutely no remaining moisture. Be sure to refold your quilt differently every time before packing it away.

Washing by Hand

Quilts are often made for the purpose of intensive and daily use and are therefore in need of a clean every few months. Handwashing is ideal as it is a gentler process and your quit is therefore less likely to be damaged in the process. A clean bath or basin lined with a blanket or towel is perfect for this. Ensure that you dissolve the handwashing soap in the water prior to wetting the quilt. Use soap sparingly and once your quilt is in the water, gently squeeze it to get rid of dirt and dusk. Be sure to focus on all areas of the quilt without wringing it out. Drain the water and repeat this process until you feel your quilt is sufficiently clean.

Use your hands to press the remaining water out of your quilt. A towel can be used to soak up any excess water. Remove it using the towel or sheet underneath and place it on a clean sheet to dry. Ensure it is out of direct sunlight throughout the entire period. You can use the free time to play at while your quilt is drying.

Machine Washing

Sometimes a quilt is simply too big and heavy to wash by hand. Machine washing, when done right, is a convenient and effective alternative. Note that antique quilts should almost never be washed. When machine washing, you should use a dye magnet to soak up any run-off dye that could potentially stain other areas of the quilt.

You should always opt for a cold-water wash as this minimises the chances of dye run-off and potential fabric shrinkage. Select a slow spin cycle to remove as much water as possible and when drying, you can follow the handwashing instructions.