Do you have an antique quilt or a vintage quilt that you are trying to preserve? Here are 12 helpful tips and tricks for how to store vintage quilts that have special meaning in your life.
12 Tips for How to Store Vintage Quilts
- Never store your vintage quilts in an airtight container. Fabrics actually need to breathe and air tight containers can actually make the quilts smell over time. This includes plastic containers and plastic bags. They will end up doing more damage to a vintage quilt by the vapors that plastics release.
- Do store your quilts in a cotton pillowcase. Cotton pillowcases are great for absorbing excess moisture as well as keeping the quilt from getting too much sunlight on one side. Using pillowcases is also great for stacking them in a linen closet because they are all the same size.
- Do rotate how a quilt is folded or rolled. Some quilters like to fold quilts while others like to roll. Both ways are great for storing quilts….but the main fact is that quilts need to be rotated how they are folded or rolled to decrease the folds becoming permanent.
- Store quilts with other textiles or linens. Once upon a time it was a practice to store quilts in cedar chests. While you can still do this, make sure they are not stored with books or photographs or other things with chemicals. They can deteriorate vintage quilt colors and fabrics.
- Never store quilts with moth balls. Moth balls can actually do more damage than help.
- If a quilt is an antique or valuable wrap in archival tissue paper. Archival tissue paper can help neutralize acids or other things in the air and help preserve both the colors and consistency of the fabrics in a vintage quilt.
- Never store a quilt in a basement or attic. Both places are both prone to natural dampness and wide temperature and humidity fluctuations as well as flooding or leaks.
- Store unused quilts flat on a guest bed. Storing quilts flat helps to preserve them and keep their shape without folds. And it looks so pretty!
- Store quilts in a dark cool place. Fabrics in quilts tend to last longer when stored in a cool dark place to preserve each of the fabrics.
- Store quilt rolls in flat, white sheets. Bulk white flat cotton sheets are used to help to preserve quilts that are rolled up. The quilts can then be stored in archival boxes.
- Take the time to air out quilts periodically. Hanging quilts out on a clothesline for an hour or so will actually help to air them out as well as brighten whites. But be sure not to leave them out too long as colored fabrics will fade.
- Make sure your quilt is clean before storing. HERE is a post on washing vintage quilts.
Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you preserve all those family heirloom quilts to last for many more generations.