Learn how to wash a quilt safely so that your quilts survive for future generations to enjoy.
These simple steps will preserve your quilting legacy!
We assume you've tested for bleeding fabric ahead of time.
Remember that if you prewash fabrics before they are used in a quilt, this does not insure they are colorfast.
Only testing for bleeding can confirm that.
These instructions are based on piecing with 100% cottons.
If you use a batting other than cotton, wool or polyester, do check the batting for any special washing instructions.
Air drying is gentler than throwing it in the dryer.
The quilt rubs/abrades itself as it tumbles in the heat. It's hard on the fabrics and quilting stitches.
If you're pressed for time, put it into the dryer, but for just a few minutes to remove some of the dampness and then lay it flat to finish drying.Use portable fans to shorten the drying time.
If you have an antique quilt, consult with a professional before washing it yourself.
Fabrics are weakened by time. You don't know if they are colorfast or what, if any, chemicals have been applied. Consult the experts.
...just lifting a wet quilt puts lots of strain on your stitches.
Even more so if they are is sparse.
The less quilting, the more strain on each individual stitch. Support it as much as possible anytime it is wet to prevent your stitches from breaking or popping.
...lay a sheet in the bottom of the tub, underneath the quilt.
Wash as usual.
Now after all the water has been drained and "smushed" out, use the sheet like handles to lift the wet quilt and eliminate the strain on the stitches.
It's handy to transport your wet patchwork in a laundry basket.
...this puts too much strain on the stitching.
...run an empty load first before washing your quilt.
It's cheap insurance.
A quilter recently told me of how she washed her king-size quilt at a laundromat. There must have been bleach left in the dispenser...the backing ended up spotted...thank goodness the top survived. But it was a close one.
Do take the time to learn how to wash a quilt safely to ensure it survives as a lasting legacy for future generations.
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