Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 1
Should have read ahead. No dry cleaning.

We will have to clean our bath tub (never use it, so it has a layer of dust in it), and then hand wash there, I guess.

I am not really sentimental, so it has no value to me in that respect. But I respect the work that went into creating it, and if I can preserve and use it for its intended purpose, then I would like to do that. I would feel bad if I destroyed it while trying to clean it, but it must be cleaned to be usable (IMHO).

1poorguy
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Without seeing the condition, that's a tough one.

For spot cleaning it depends on what's on it. Mold? Discolored Brown?

You may not be able to get everything out of it but my suggestion is try to gently hand wash the cloth areas of stains.
They might not come out, but that's ok because those are love/use marks on a well appreciated quilt.

Depending on the condition I'd try to wash in a washing machine which is a front loader, no agitator, on super gentle.

Hope this helps.
Quilts are special...but sometimes, like your favorite sofa, they just need to be used and appreciated as that.

:-)

nag
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
And air dry.

Maybe others will chime in on drycleaners...


nag
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Not mold. It's sort of a reddish-brown spot about the size of a quarter. Also, the light areas appear to be a bit yellowed and/or dingy. I'm sure that wasn't the original color.

As I said, if I spot clean I would likely make a noticeable clean spot (assuming I can get the stain out) that would be in stark contrast to the rest of the quilt.

I suspect that, except for the spot, most of the discoloration is from being exposed to general household dust, air pollution, and just the general conditions of 20th century living over many years. Maybe also skin oils and grime, since I noted that one edge seemed to be a bit darker than the rest of the quilt (so maybe the owner pulled it up many times over the years?).

The quilt is presently smooth. I have concern that the stitching will "pucker" and the quilt will be permanently wrinkled. Yes, I would do it on the gentle cycles, though I don't have a way to hang-dry something that large so I would have to tumble-dry ultra low (possibly even air dry...our dryer offers that). But if immersion in water causes any shrinkage all that stitching will pucker, and the quilt won't look nice anymore.

1poorguy
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Please don’t hang the quilt to dry! It’s too heavy when wet. Lay it flat outside on a sheet, out of direct sun and away from trees (no bird poop on the quilt, please lol).
The safest way to clean it is to submerge the quilt in water in a large bathtub. Orvus is the safest soap to use.

Stitching can break if the quilt is heavy because it’s wet, and not handled correctly. Depending on the age and type of fabrics, washing will definitely change the look of the quilt. If the fabrics weren’t ever washed, shrinkage due to washing will create the puckered look you mentioned.

Isewquilts2
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Also, you can try to start cleaning by *gently* vacuuming the quilt. Lay a screen On top of the quilt to protect it. Vacuuming may freshen it up enough for you but won’t get rid of the spots.

Isewquilts2
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
With a quilt that old I imagine it's been washed before?

I'm not sure if you can restore color to a fabric that's old and worn.

Perhaps think of those 'imperfections' as love marks and accept the look? A well used quilt is a loved one.

I think about people who leave couches out front for free - to them, it's the memories that make it look perfectly good to give away. To drivers it could be thought of as icky.

nag
Thinking about those new denim jeans that (years ago) we wanted to look old - now they come like that
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
The safest way to clean it is to submerge the quilt in water in a large bathtub. Orvus is the safest soap to use.

I have old quilts and thanks for this great idea!

nag
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I have no idea if it was ever washed. I assume so(??), because of its age. I can't imagine it was never used. Odds are when it was made, it was made to be used. It's now "revered" because of its age and condition (no puckering, hand-stitched, very smooth and neat). Just some dinge from age, and that spot (at least one that I found) that almost looks like a drop of tomato soup or something similar. For all I know that spot could have been there 50 years.

I suspect it is made of cotton. Most synthetics were invented after this quilt was made (I think), and it's definitely not wool. So I'm going with cotton or linen.

Safe to dry clean? Should prevent puckering or shrinkage, but maybe not appropriate for a quilt?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Should have read ahead. No dry cleaning.

We will have to clean our bath tub (never use it, so it has a layer of dust in it), and then hand wash there, I guess.

I am not really sentimental, so it has no value to me in that respect. But I respect the work that went into creating it, and if I can preserve and use it for its intended purpose, then I would like to do that. I would feel bad if I destroyed it while trying to clean it, but it must be cleaned to be usable (IMHO).

1poorguy
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
1poorguy

I’m not an expert in old fabrics, but I have a friend who has some expertise whose brain I have picked on occasion. If, after washing and drying, you decide the quilt is still a little dingy, you could try soaking it in milk for 2-3 hours before washing it again in the bath.

Milk is a traditional “brightener” and is very gentle. Disclaimer: I haven’t used it on old cotton, but I have used it on wool. Reconstituted dried milk works well and is cheaper than fresh.

HTH

- Pip
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Interesting. Makes sense. Despite conventional wisdom milk is actually slightly acidic. I think we have some powdered milk in the pantry somewhere. That's a lot of milk, but then we don't use milk often. I think the powdered milk is several years old.

We haven't had a chance to try to clean it yet. Wife still recovering from surgery (in the hospital). But we'll get there. She has it sitting out demanding our attention.

First step will be to clean the bathtub. We never use it, so it has a layer of dust that would just make the quilt dirtier!

Thanks for the tip.

Per the link up-thread we already have Woolite, so it's just a question of immersing it in the tub and gently washing it (with a bit of spot treatment on the ugly spot). Don't have anywhere that we can lay it out where it's not in the sun. Well, maybe the living room is large enough. The Arizona sun (and humidity) would be ideal for drying, but it will also fade fabric (which is probably why the advice to stay out of the sun). It's been mostly sunny and in the 90s this past week. Which is unusual, even for us.

1poorguy
Print the post Back To Top