Below are suggestions for proper quilt storage in your home.
Thank you for taking care of your Quilts!
- Avoid direct sunlight
- Fluorescent light should be filtered. Light filters are not expensive and may be found at most home improvement stores.
- Incandescent light is Hot and should be used at least 12" from textiles and only sporadically.
I recommend greater than 12”�� distance.
- Remember: Light exposure can quickly cause extreme fading of colors and deterioration of fibers
- Room Temperature of 60-70 degrees
- Comfortable humidity of 50%
- Minimize handling. Wear clean (white) cotton gloves to avoid transfer of body oils to fabric
- Airing and/or vacuuming (Non-Wet Cleaning Methods recommended) Test any process carefully and inconspicuously before using. For example: Do not vacuum a quilt that has brittle fabrics or shattering.
- Airing: Be sure quilt is lying flat, protected from soil on back and front, and out of direct light. I have some old clean nylon door screens which I place flat across chair backs, cover with clean cotton muslin, and then lay the quilt on for airing. Make sure the quilt is supported entirely. (Space limitations may require that you air a quilt in a semi-folded state.) Cover it lightly with more clean cotton muslin, if desired. KEEP THE CAT AWAY!
- Light vacuum cleaning: Use a LOW suction hand vacuum with a nylon screen over the quilt to prevent pulling the fabric or stitches. Vacuum both front and back, and use this as an opportunity to inspect the quilt for any signs of deterioration which may require attention. The key here is low suction. You don't want to pull stitches loose or have batting beard through . . . just remove dust and dirt particles. CLICK HERE for illustrated vacuum instructions.
- Separate storage space for each quilt is advisable.
- Use acid-free tissue and/or clean 100% cotton muslin or sheeting to line storage areas of wood or regular cardboard to prevent migration of acids (which naturally occur in woods and wood pulp products.) Archival quality acid-free, lignin-free, Non-buffered tissue is recommended for use in padding folds of quilt and wrapping for storage.Acid Free Tissue may be purchased here.
Padding/Folding Quilt with Tissue:
When folding the quilt, use crumpled sheets of archival tissue in long "roll" shapes in fold areas of the quilt to support the fabrics and avoid sharp creasing. Many quilts have been packed away with half and quarter folds, and you should re-fold them in thirds to redistribute stress on the quilt. Refolding at least every 6 - 12 months is recommended...every 3-4 months is best, but the main thing is to just do it when you have time. Alter the fold line when you refold. Good, Archival Quality tissue will retain its properties for 2-3 years and may be re-used during refolding. If it seems flattened, just smooth it out and re-crumple it. The LARGE size sheets I provide are very easy to use as a final protective wrap around the whole padded, folded quilt before placing it in a carton, trunk, chest, etc.
Fold in Thirds with Tissue Rolls
(Crude sketch, I know...I’ll get a photo done soon!)
Try not to stack quilts on top of each other or pack them into a too-small area.
Try to have a box for each quilt, and then just stack the boxes.
* Use of Moth Balls or other chemical insect repellents is NOT recommended
with stored textiles.
* NEVER use products like Febreeze.
Airing a quilt for a few days will help odors dissipate.
- If you are displaying a quilt by hanging it, use an attached cotton fabric sleeve which covers the entire width of the quilt and is double, so that it completely surrounds the hanging rod and no part of the hanging rod will touch the back of the quilt. CLICK HERE for How to Make a Sleeve.
- I DO NOT recommend using any kind of velcro on a hanging sleeve or fabric-tab-type sleeves.
- Display out of direct light.
- Hang for about 6 months at a time, and then fold the quilt and let it rest. Even with a sleeve, the weight of a hanging quilt still places stress on stitches and fibers. Putting yourself on a 6 month display rotation will also help you remember to re-fold your quilts, AND you have a good excuse to spend some time with each one!