Learning how to properly care for your quilt will ensure many years enjoyment. Quilts require lots of time and skill to create. It can take months or even years of practice with trial and error to perfect the skill of quilting. There is also the large investment of all the supplies and notions, like a sewing machine, rulers, patterns, and loads of fabrics and batting. Considering those things, the worth of a quilt should be highly valued.
Below is all the directions I have curated to ensure your quilt lasts for generations.
Washing a Quilt for the very first time, place the quilt alone in the washer with a "dye trapping paper" (such as a Shout® Color Catcher™) or "Synthrapol®" (available online) to remove the extra dye, that could be present if the fabrics weren't prewashed ahead of time. This step is for peace of mind to make sure there isn't any color bleeding into the light colored fabrics.
Next, add your detergent that doesn't have bleach or softeners, because those ingredients could weaken the fabrics and decrease the longevity of the quilt.
Wash on a Cold, gentle (or delicate) cycle. (For 100% cotton quilts or 80-20 Cotton/Polyester quilts, you can use a warm/normal cycle if they are heavily soiled.)
There will be some slight shrinkage of about 1-3% but wool batting has a tendency to shrink a little more with a 3-5% shrinkage rate.
Quilts should not be dry cleaned.
Quilts that are antique, vintage, hand dyed, heavily embellished, wall hangings, art quilts, or silk quilts should be hand washed in a sink or tub or in some cases only spot cleaned.
Drying a Quilt
The best way to keep your quilt for many years to come is my laying it flat to dry. Now as a mom of 5, I like to read this as "hang on a dry rack or clothes line over a couple lines, so it's weight isn't on one area." Its also best to place it with the back side out as to not fade the beautiful fabrics.
Sometimes life has its way and l don't have time or weather for drying a quilt by air, so the next best thing is in the Dryer on low heat.
Quilts that should NOT be dried in a dryer would be antique, delicate hand stitching, or quilts with wool or silk batting.
Do not use dryer sheets (They contain fabric softeners that can break down the quilting cotton or fabrics used in the quilt.)
If you are making your quilts to give as gifts or for yourself, I have a "Quilt Care Magnet" that you can place on your washer with the complete directions to know how to care for your quilt at moments glance. Your husband or kids could even participate in the care.
Simply Click here to get your Ultimate Quilt Care Magnet today!
Quilts are a fun type of art, in that they are meant to be used. So use them. And love them. Quilts get better with age.