care & conservation


The care and conservation of older quilts is a complex subject.
Here a few simple ideas on the basics of keeping, cleaning, and “fixing” antique quilts. This information is by no means complete, but may be helpful in getting you started addressing some basic issues.

We will be adding more information to this page.

  •  Jean Demeter has 15 years of experience washing antique and vintage quilts.
  •  The Quilt Complex has been doing repairs and restoration for many years now and we feel confident that we can determine the best course for your heirloom.
  • contact: for more information
  • Always fold your quilt(s) off the center line, and differently each time you fold it
  • Store your quilt in clean cotton, such as a pillow case or cotton sheet or . . . alternatively in an acid-free “archival” box and unbuffered acid-free tissue paper
  • Your quilt should not come in direct contact with wood or a wood product (such as cardboard)
  • Keep your quilt where the temperature and humidity are stable and moderate (no attics or basements)
  • Inspect and re-fold your stored quilt(s) regularly

  • Never allow direct sunlight on your quilt. Also avoid fluorescent light.
  • To hang your quilt, sew a cotton/muslin tube; put a dowel or batten through the sleeve . . .
  • An alternative to a “sleeve” or tube, is to sew strips of velcro on the back
  • Hang your quilt for no longer than four months; “rest” it for at least six months

  • For best results, consult with an expert
  • Never dry clean a quilt without consulting a quilt conservationist
  • Quilts with sturdy fabrics can usually be vacuumed with a low suction instrument -- through a screen, or through cotton cheesecloth

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