Proper Quilt Care

Quilts are works of art, the tiny intricate stitches a result of hours and hours of work and dedication, not to mention years of training and practice.

With care, the beauty of a handmade quilt can be preserved for several generations to enjoy.

Quilt fabric today is almost always 100 percent cotton or a cotton-polyester blend, both of which are machine-washable. The batting, or filling in the quilts, is usually machine-washable polyester. But since quilts are held together with tiny quilting stitches, it’s a good idea to use caution when washing.

1. If you do machine-wash your quilts, do so on a gentle cycle in cold water to prevent shrinkage. And if the quilt has dark colors, it should be properly dry-cleaned to prevent the colors from bleeding.

2. If they are machine-dried, the dryer should be set on a low setting. The quilt may also be hung outdoors, preferably over several clotheslines to distribute the weight, or dried flat on the grass with towels underneath.

3. If a quilt is stored, it should be rolled instead of folded to prevent permanent creases. If it must be folded because of space limitations, take it out several times a year and refold it.

4. Never store a quilt in plastic. Instead, store it in a sheet or pillow case that allows air to circulate around it, and be sure it is protected from insect damage.


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