How To Store An Antique Patchwork Quilt

Some of the patchwork quilts made in the 19th century still exist today. Even though the intricate stitching and various pieces of fabric that are sewn together to make a patchwork quilt weakens with age and use, they will last for years with the proper care. When placing an antique patchwork quilt in a storage unit, you must take special care to ensure that it does not get ruined while in storage.

Clean The Quilt With A Vacuum

Thoroughly clean your antique patchwork quilt with a vacuum before packing it up for storage. Soil and stains left on the quilt can discolor the fabric and be impossible to remove.

Open up the quilt and place it on a flat surface. Use a handheld vacuum or a vacuum cleaner attachment to clean off dust, lint and other small particles on the antique quilt. Before turning on the vacuum, place a nylon stocking over the end of the vacuum. This keeps the suction of the vacuum from damaging the quilt during cleaning.

Run the vacuum over the entire front and back surface of the quilt. Use caution if there are areas of the quilt that have loose stitches or fabric.

Wash The Quilt By Hand

Wash your antique patchwork quilt by hand, because placing it in the washing machine can damage the fragile pieces of cloth and tear out the stitching. Follow the steps below to learn how to wash your antique quilt.

  1. Thoroughly clean and rinse out your bathtub to remove any soap residue.
  2. Spread a white cotton sheet in the bottom of the bathtub. The sheet is necessary for removing the quilt from the bathtub after washing.
  3. Place the patchwork quilt on top of the sheet and run enough lukewarm water into the tub to cover the quilt.
  4. Add one half cup of mild liquid detergent to the running water. Do not use powdered detergent as it can clump up on the quilt.
  5. Use the palms of your hands and press down on the entire surface of the quilt to work in the detergent.
  6. Let the dirty water out of the bathtub and run the same amount of clean water into the tub. Use the palms of your hands to press down on the quilt to rinse out the detergent.
  7. Repeat the rinsing process if there is still soapy water in the tub after rinsing the first time.
  8. After draining the last rinse water out of the bathtub, use thick towels to soak up as much water as possible out of the quilt. Repeat this process using dry towels until you have removed most of the water out of the quilt.
  9. Roll up the quilt and the sheet together and lift them out of the tub.
  10. Place a dry sheet on a large, flat surface, unroll the quilt and carefully transfer the quilt to the dry sheet for drying. Allow the quilt to dry for at least 48 hours before packing it for storage.

Pack Up The Quilt

Before packing up the quilt, put on a pair of clean gloves to keep from transferring any oil that is on your hands to the freshly washed quilt. Loosely fold the quilt to keep sharp creases from forming, which can weaken the stitching. Place the folded quilt in a box or a plastic storage container.

Secure the lid and add a label to identify the contents before placing the quilt in the storage unit. Do not place anything heavy on the boxed quilt when placing it inside the storage unit as this can crush the box and damage the quilt.

When you properly clean and pack your antique patchwork quilt for storage, it will last for many more years. Contact a company that provides self storage units when you need to store your antique quilts, such as North Star Mini Storage.