Whether you buy a quilt online, or from the store, you know taking care of quilts is a responsibility. But the quality and reliability of quilts is such that it doesn’t hinder us from stocking up on them!
Before we start- what are quilts essentially, and why do they need to be taken care of?
A single quilt is created by joining together pieces or patches of different fabrics, stitched decoratively in layers. They keep our beds warm and also add a quirky touch to the bedroom with their vivid colours and unique quilt patterns. Quilts are usually made of cotton or cotton blends are therefore perfect for both summers and winters.
If your quilt is new and is about to head straight to the storage, it is better to give it a light wash beforehand. Any stains or smudges can become permanent if not taken care of at the earliest. A machine wash is not harmful, but to be cautious in protecting its colours, use a colour catcher in the load.
However, if it is an old one- passed on to you from your grandmom or grand-grandmom there are high chances of it being made of wool. Wool is a tricky fabric to take care of but the results are worth it.
Soak the quilt in ice-cold water in your bathtub. Remove it after a few hours to hang the woollen quilt on a dry line and give it light jerks. This should eject most of all resident fungi or spores, if any. Then set your vacuum cleaner at the lowest intensity and very carefully move it over the quilt- this does the rest of job.
To dry it completely, use a blow dryer on low speed or let it dry out naturally in diffused sunlight.
As for storage, give your quilts plenty of space to breathe- so a plastic bag is a complete no-no. It is recommended to not fold your quilts, but space is a concern for many so a better option is to roll it around a tube.
The best type of quilt cover should be a case made of cotton or muslin because they’re acid free and do not sweat out the colours of the quilt. This is why plastic is a bad option, it traps humidity.
A brilliant way to keep insects like termite and bed bugs from breeding in the warm quilt is to use some sort of a repellent. A natural repellent is best, the scent doesn’t bother you and it does the required job of keeping pests away. Using Neem or cedar bricks is a common practice.
Once you have stored a quilt or a quilt set, it is also your responsibility to bring it out every few months. Storing it safely is only half the job. It needs to be unfolded periodically to keep its fibre threads intact.
You know your quilts are precious when their maintenance is a whole day’s duty but preserving them with attention and care increases their shelf life by a few years- sometimes even decades!