Quilts are precious and delicate items that require special care when it comes to preserving and storing them. Whether you’ve inherited a family heirloom or created a masterpiece yourself, it’s essential to know the best ways to preserve and store quilts to ensure they last for generations to come. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best ways to preserve and store quilts, so you can enjoy them for years to come.
- Wash and Dry with Care
Before storing a quilt, it’s essential to make sure it’s clean and dry. Washing a quilt can be tricky, as some types of quilts, such as antique or fragile ones, may not be able to withstand the agitation of a washing machine. If your quilt can be washed, it’s best to use a gentle detergent and cold water, and avoid using a dryer. Instead, air dry the quilt, preferably in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight, to prevent fading. For tips on how to wash and care for an antique quilt, be sure to read the “Whiten that Antique Quilt” article from Nancy’s Notions.
- Store in Acid-Free Materials
Acid-free materials are a must when it comes to storing quilts. Acidic materials, such as cardboard or newspaper, can cause yellowing and deterioration of the fabric over time. Instead, opt for acid-free storage materials, such as acid-free tissue paper, cotton muslin, or archival boxes. Make sure to avoid plastic bags, as they can trap moisture and lead to mold and mildew growth.
- Keep Away from Light and Heat
Direct sunlight and heat can cause fading and discoloration of quilts, so it’s important to store them in a cool, dark place. Avoid storing quilts in attics, basements, or other areas prone to temperature fluctuations, as these conditions can cause damage to the fabric. Instead, store quilts in a closet or other storage area that’s cool, dry, and away from direct sunlight.
- Avoid Folding and Hanging
Folding and hanging quilts for extended periods can cause stress on the fabric and lead to creases, folds, and stretching. Instead, store quilts flat or rolled up, with acid-free tissue paper or muslin between each layer to prevent friction and damage. If you need to hang a quilt temporarily, use a padded hanger and make sure it’s not exposed to direct sunlight or heat. One of the best ways to store quilts is inside a cotton pillowcase.
- Check on Quilts Regularly
Even when stored correctly, quilts should be checked on periodically to ensure they’re not suffering from any damage or deterioration. It’s best to handle quilts with clean hands or gloves to avoid transferring dirt or oils to the fabric. Inspect the quilt for any signs of mold, mildew, or insect damage, and address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.
Preserving and storing quilts is essential to keep them in good condition. By following these tips, you can ensure your quilts remain beautiful and cherished items for generations to come.