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Cleaning Hand Stitched Quilts

artfulenterprises | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

I have a queen size hand stitched quilt that desperately needs cleaning. Do all you quilting gurus have any good advice for me in the handling and cleaning process to preserve the integrity of the quilt? It is about 9-10 years old and was constructed with new fabrics.


  1. Palady | | #1

    My thought would be to speak with a quality dry cleaner in your area.

    Attempting to home launder it would take a toll. I say this because a quilt done for me by my mom years ago was machine soaked only then spun and line dried. Still, sadly, it eventaully wore beyond keeping.


  2. decoratrice | | #2

    I have a number of quilts made by my mother in daily use--all hand stitched. I run a bathtub full of water and a gentle soap such as Ivory, then lay the quilt on top and let it sink of its own weight. After a good soak, I gently punch it up and down, then drain the tub. Run three rinses, not moving the quilt except to punch it when the tub is full. Let it drain thoroughly, then shift it onto a towel to support the weight while I carry it outside. I spread a king sized sheet over my car, and gently spread the quilt over that to dry in the sun. 20+ years and no stitching failures, but the fabrics themselves are starting to give way. I would never wash an antique quilt, but would seek out a specialist.

    1. User avater
      artfulenterprises | | #3

      Thank you ladies! Both methods have merit, although given the nature of the hand stitching, those big tumble tubs at the dry cleaners seem a bit risky. I believe I'll try the bathtub approach (my first inclination) Since I'm in Texas, the summer air is quite warm and dry so I'll spread out the quilt to dry out of the sun...perhaps that will prevent fading and weakening of the fabric. I must say I'm pleased to hear from you...I was beginning to think the new format left the forum semi-nonfunctional! I'm glad that's not the case. :o)

  3. chikanbarn 1 | | #4

    cleaning hand stitched quilts

    hi... for cleaning of your quilt u shud firstly check the colorfastness of ur quilts to prevent dyes from running then u shud wash it in cold water with gentle liquid detergent that is free from any dyes or perfumes and then add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the water to both brigten up the colors and soften up the quilt.prope drying of ur quilt is must for its long living and should be dried flat. hope this information vl be useful for u.......

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