Cleaning Your Quilts

There are a few guidelines to the care of any quilt that you must remember. The three worst enemias of fabrics are light, dust and water. If you are going to use the quilts, make sure that they are in good condition to start with.

The best place for a quilt is on a bed – after all, this was the reason it was made – but, if you have more quilts than beds and, like so many collectors, simply like to see them around, they can be used in a variety of ways. The only proviso is that when they are draped or displayed they should never be in direct sunlight.

Fabrics fade very quickly in strong light, which can also weaken the cloth at the same time. If a quilt is over the back of a chair or sofa, it should be away from a window. Artificial light, especially fluorescent lights, can also fade fabrics. Strong spotlights trained on a quilt that is hanging against a wall will damage it with heat and will also attract dust. Dry dust will penetrate the weave of the cloth and block up the holes that give fabrics their softness and flexibility, so, if building work, plastering or redecorating is going to be done in your home, all your quilts should be sealed away until the work is completed.


Water can stain a quilt, and once a fabric is stained there is no way of removing the mark. Old quilts sometimes have brown marks on them that look like rust; this, too, is unremovable. However, if you can live with a few spots, the history of the quilt itself will come alive for you. It is a good idea to circulate your quilts every three or four months. Changing them with the seasons is a good system, and they will all last longer.

Cleaning. When you buy a quilt ask the seller if it has been treated in any way. If the answer is ‘yes’, ask how the quilt has been cleaned, because it is not advisable to mix dry different cleaning fluids with each other, or with detergents or soap.

If the surface of the quilt needs cleaning, the best way to do it is with a vacuum cleaner, through a mesh csreen of fine, stiff needlework canvas that has been tacked or stapled onto a wooden frame or canvas stretchers. This will make the canvas easy to pick up and put down as well as preventing the quilt being sucked into the vacuum. Lay the quilt out on a large, flat surface, such as a bed or a sheet on the floor, place the frame down on the quilt with the canvas directly next to it, fit the upholstery nozzle to the vacuum cleaner set to its lowest setting and move it across the quilt. This should be done slowly and gently.


Tags: home cleaning tips

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.