custom made quilts
Congratulations! You have finally found the perfect quilt for your home. But there’s more to a quilt than just laying it on your bed and hoping it stays perfect! Remember, if you have just purchased a custom made quilt, someone has spent a LOT of time cutting, ironing, piecing and lovingly lining up each piece of fabric to make the masterpiece that you’ve just brought home. Do them, and yourself, a huge favour and take great care of your quilt. Following these simple rules / steps will ensure that your quilt lasts through many generations.
Cleaning your quilt
There are two accepted ways of cleaning your quilt, but generally speaking only one should be used: vacuuming. Lay the quilt out on a large, clean surface. (If the quilt is very delicate first place a fiberglass or nylon screen over it.) Then gently pass a low-suction, handheld vacuum with small brush attachment over the quilt.
Washing (the wet-cleaning method) a quilt can be done but only with great caution. It is not recommended unless done by a qualified textile conservator. DON’T WASH YOUR QUILT if it contains any of the following: inked signatures, a dye that appears unstable, fabrics that are seriously deteriorated, the use of glazed or silk fabrics, the use of woolen yarns with questionable dyes or if it has never been washed. Remember that textile fibers are much more fragile when wet.
If however, you have determined that it is desirable to attempt washing your quilt, first test wash a small section to make sure that the dyes are stable and won’t run. Once you have decided that it is safe to wash your quilt, keep in mind the following suggestions:
NOTE: Historic textiles should NEVER BE PRESSED with a hot iron.
Dry cleaning is NOT RECOMMENDED because the dry cleaning method involves rough agitation of the quilt inside the dry cleaning machine and the dry cleaning solvents may harm some fabrics.
DISPLAYING YOUR QUILT
One of the most logical places to display your quilt is on your bed, but even there it is wise to take a few precautions. Make sure that the quilt is not in direct sunlight, is away from sources of heat and water, and will not be accessible to pets.
If you want to hang your quilt, there are several accepted safe methods, three of which are described below:
NEVER hang a quilt in direct sunlight.
NEVER hang a quilt with clip-on metal curtain hangers. The weight of the quilt gradually creates small tears where it is clipped.
NEVER hang a quilt by directly tacking or nailing it to the wall.
Quilts that are hung should be rested periodically, because of the stress that occurs over extended lengths of time.
Quilts that are hung in the open should be periodically vacuumed to keep dust from damaging the fibers.