You’ve finished the binding, buried the threads and made the label. It’s done! Your cotton quilt is ready for the world. Are you ready to protect it from light, friction, dust and dirt? Will you become a quilt care superhero?
“I’m not a superhero” you might say.
Never fear! Perhaps you weren’t born with superhero powers, but these quilt care tips will train you to launch your alter ego if your quilt is under attack. You have discovered the superhero quilt care training regime for contemporary cotton quilts.
Protect from direct sunlight
Whether on a bed or hanging on a wall, direct sunlight is a villain in plain view. Does the sun shine directly on your quilt? Rotate the quilt to reduce the impacts on the fabric over time. If the quilt hangs on the wall, move it to other locations around the house or switch out another quilt regularly.
Defend from dust and dirt
Use this arsenal of cleaning techniques to meet the dirt enemy: Dust, Spot Clean, Wash.
- Dust: Shake off dirt resting on top of your quilt. Use a vacuum’s upholstery attachment to ward off fine surface dirt or dust on your quilt. If that doesn’t end the battle, then pull out your next skill.
- Spot Clean: Blend a small amount of a gentle detergent into warm water. Place a clean white towel beneath the stain to absorb excess moisture. Dip a clean white muslin or cheesecloth into the water and squeeze the water absorbed onto the stain. Let sit for one minute, then blot the spot to absorb excess water. Keep an eye out any color bleeding. Repeat until stain disappears. Rinse the spot with cold water to remove detergent. Air dry flat.
- Wash: Wet quilts are more vulnerable to fabric damage, so save it as a last case scenario. Wash cotton quilts in lukewarm water with a small amount of gentle detergent – if washing by hand, using a bath tub is perfect. Lay the quilt in the soap and water and swish the water round the quilt (don’t swish the quilt around the water) for at least 5 minutes. Pull out the quilt in a bundle and place it in a wash tub. Drain the soapy water and refill with rinse water. Place the quilt into the rinse water. Repeat until the rinse water comes out clean. Roll the quilt on top of a pile of old towels to remove excess water. Dry flat as possible in a well ventilated space, turning to encourage drying. If washing by machine, the delicate or gentle cycle on a machine capable of tumbling the weight of your quilt – which may not be your machine at home. Dry as described above.
Store flat or rolled
There’s nothing like a guest bed for storing quilts flat! Lay your quilts in a stack on top of the bed. Rolling quilts is another way to protect quilts for longer periods. If storing quilts for more than three months, be sure to rearrange your stack on the bed and re-roll quilts in a cupboard.
Give quilts a cover
Disguise your quilts with a cotton cover to protect them. Are you storing them flat? Lay a sheet on top of the pile. Pillow cases are excellent hideaways for rolled, clean quilts to protect itself from invaders.
Danni causati da un cagnolino…
Beware of beloved pets
You love them and they love you, it’s true. Pets are the kryptonite of many a quilt care superhero. The bond masks the danger to quilts. Dogs and cats sense the care invested in quilts, but frequently respond with energetic pawing as if trying to roll around those good vibes.
If keeping them off beds is not possible, keep a soft blanket at the foot of the bed for pet nesting (or go the extra mile and make them their own quilt). Draping smaller quilts vertically on sofas or quilt ladders protects them from the paws of invaders
Create a Quilt First Aid Kit
Alas, a quilt care superhero may not show up in time to completely protect the innocent. When tears, stains or wear happens, pull out the repair bag of extra fabric pieces you created after you planned your quilt. This small stash of fabrics and batting used in the quilt can patch or replace damaged sections.
Light, friction, dust and dirt are the enemies of every quilt. Equip yourself with this arsenal of skills to boost your quilt’s longevity. You can don your superhero costume and proclaim yourself a quilt care superhero!