Have you ever wondered how to care for your new quilt? Here is a simple guide to quilt care that I like to follow! And at the end of this you can get a sneak peak of some freebie quilt care cards that you are welcome to print and share with your quilts if you choose!
When I researched this topic and compared how I care for my quilts to others, I learned there is a wide variety of opinions on this matter. So I would definitely suggest you create your own set of rules by taking my opinions on this matter and comparing with others to decide what is best for your quilts!
This guide for new quilts not old! Read ahead
Please note this is written for new quilts. This is not a guide for restoring or preserving old family heirlooms! If you have an heirloom quilt I would refer you to National Quilters Circle blog post about the special needs for them.
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First off, if you have not read my blog post Prewash Quilting Cotton: To Prewash or not to Prewash that is something that may impact your decision of how to care for your quilt. I do not prewash my fabric because I like the stiffness to work with right off the bolt.
So Let’s Get To It!
- Machine Washing – All quilts should be washed before being gifted, sold, or even stored. Here’s why:
- Removes chemicals that may have been left behind from the manufacturing process.
- Removes any spray starch or basting spray you have used.
- Find any issues with unraveled seams, loose pieces, or binding that may need repair.
2. Color Catchers – These are a non-negotiable part of the process for me when washing a quilt for the first time. These will “catch” any color that may be released from the cotton. If not used, the color will nearly always show up on any of the white parts of your quilt. Not all cottons bleed their color, but when it does happen its disheartening after all that work, so avoid it by using Color Catchers.
I always add 2 per quilt and 3 – 4 if it has a lot of red with white. Reds tend to the be worse offender at bleeding onto other parts of the quilt. Click right here to get yours from Amazon! Also if its known to be a color bleeder, I might repeat and use some new ones for a second washing too.
3. Cold Water Wash – Be sure to use cold water. You don’t want to use hot and cause more shrinkage than necessary . Plus bright colors tend to not hold up as well to hot water washing in our regular laundry, so I would definitely think that translates to quilts as well.
4. Detergent – I am a bit on the opposite side of things here. I throw whatever detergent in the washer that I have on hand. Currently that is Tide Pods. Many suggest to use a mild detergent, but I just don’t usually. If I have it on hand I might just use it. Here are some of my favorites that I use or have used in all my laundry.
5. Washing Cycle – I use either delicate or bulky setting. Generally it is the bulky/comforter setting so I feel its getting the most amount of water for a proper washing.
6. Drying – I dry all my quilts on medium to delicate. Low heat is a must. I do not think you should line dry a wet quilt. This is due to the weight of the water pulling on the quilt and I feel like could put a lot of undo pressure on seams. If you love line drying, then dry it half way in a dryer first, then finish up on the line.
7. Folding– I’m a bit lax here I will admit. I know you should avoid folding and stacking too many on top of one another, especially for long periods, as it will cause creasing that is difficult to get out. I have not experienced this yet, so its hard to speak to. I might consider rolling my quilts to possibly help prevent this.
8. Storing – Avoid sealed plastic bags and containers for long periods of time. If there is any moisture at all mold may form and cause problems for the integrity of the quilt and health of users. No mothballs. The smell will be nearly impossible to get out of a quilt. Now of course it is more desirable than holes in your quilt, but avoid if you can. If you can store in a well ventilated closet and re-fold them every few months that is ideal. Keep away from direct sunlight so they don’t fade.
Some final thought and a freebie!
All my quilts are made to be used. I do not make quilts with the intent that they sit on a shelf! So I definitely expect them to hold up to multiple washings! I do have a few quilts that have over 2,000 pieces in them so that is a lot of seams to keep together. These quilts would definitely get a more gentle wash and detergent as a just in case.
Check out the picture below for these cute Quilt Care Cards I made for you to use! You can find them in my Resource Library which if you aren’t already signed up, I’d love to have you join me on this amazing quilting journey! I hope you have found this a simple guide to quilt care to see that it doesn’t need to be difficult to care for your quilts!