Proper Long-Term Quilt Storage

  1. Document your quilt first.
    If your quilt is a real treasure to you, document it first before storing. Take a photograph, get it appraised and insure it. Keep a note book or file of this photo and information.
  2. Clean your quilt before you store it
    1. To remove surface dust, place a piece of screen or an old window screen over your quilt and vacuum gently with a hand-held attachment.
    2. If there are stains, remove them before storing. NEVER send to a dry cleaner since the cleaning agents used could be hard on your quilt, not to mention the possibility of the quilt being lost. Consult a good book which will tell how to clean a quilt to learn about stain removal.
  3. Flat storage is ideal for quilt. If you have a darkened area such as a spare bedroom lay your quilt flat on the bed, maybe under the covers if necessary.
  4. Quilts may also be stored under a bed, folded just once or twice. Refold your quilt along different lines every three to six months or roll around tube so no folds are necessary.
  5. Fold back side in with tissue paper. If folding is necessary fold horizontally first since horizontal creases seem to fall out easier when a quilt is hung due to the weight of the quilt. Fold the quilt with the back side in and use layers of crushed acid-free tissue paper to cushion the folds. Next wrap in muslin and place in an Archival Quality Acid Free box or in a Cotton Pillow Case.
  6. Prevent direct contact with wood. The natural oils in woods or their finishes can sometimes transfer to quilts if stored directly against the wood. Cardboard boxes can also be damaging. Look for acid-free boxes and tissue paper, often available from your dry cleaners or mail order source.
  7. Store in an Archival Quality Acid Free box or in a Cotton Pillow case if storing folded is absolutely necessary. (Never store a quilt in plastic for long-term storage. To help prevent mildew, fabric needs to breathe.)
  8. Label the storage container. In case someone else will have to retrieve your quilt in the future, label the outside of its container, noting where any documentation regarding the quilt is located. To prevent damage to your quilt from contact with the acids in paper, attach documentation to the outside of box in a separate envelope.
  9. Check regularly for moisture build-up. Even if you donít store in plastic moisture can be a problem. If the quilt feels cool or moist place a tub of desiccant near by to absorb moisture or keep in an area that is de-humidified. Desiccant should be available from a hardware or drugstore.
  10. Prevent bugs from eating the fabric of your quilt. Place a bag of Artemisia near your quilts. Dried Artemisia, also known as wormwood, is an herb that may be purchased at some health food stores or off the internet.
  11. Inspect your quilt regularly for possible bug or moisture damage.
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