Monday, September 29, 2014

Storing Quilts

I like noodles! They are such a versatile tool. I so wish I had stock in the company that makes them! Kind of like “white out” – I arrived too late to the party! I had never ever thought of doing this…

The one thing I would do a bit differently, that she doesn’t mention at Sew Kind of Wonderful, is add sheets of acid-free tissue paper between the noodle and my quilt! The noodle is made of plastic!   

Quilting 101 shared these “eight” tips (but there are two #7’s !!!):

Eight tips for storing your quilts safely 
Tip #1 – Keep your quilt dry. Find a place where your quilt will get good circulation of cool, dry air. Damp air and moisture can attract mold and mildew to that will quickly rot the fibers in the fabric and ruin your quilt.
 Tip #2 – Wrap your quilt in a cotton sheet. Never store your quilt in a plastic box or plastic wrap as these are non-breathable and will cause moisture to build up. Wrapping your quilt gently in a cotton sheet is great as it will protect the fabric from dust yet will still let the material breathe.
 Tip #3 – Avoid extremes of temperature. Although it may be convenient, it is never a good idea to store your quilts in the attic or cellar as extremes in temperature can be very damaging to a quilt. Changes in temperature can cause stress and deterioration of the fibers in the quilt and excess heat will cause it to dry out.
 Tip #4 – Watch out for bugs and mice! When choosing a place to store your quilts, think about how accessible that place might be for small bugs, mice and insects. Garages, attics and sheds are popular havens for rodents and insects and should be avoided at all costs. Cardboard boxes should also be avoided as it is not unknown for mice to chew through the cardboard and harvest fibers from the quilt inside to build their nests!
 Tip #5 – Keep your quilt in the dark. Sunlight can be very damaging to a quilt, by breaking down the fibers and fading the colors. Direct sunlight should be avoided at all costs. Be particularly careful when drying your quilt out on a line after washing it. Even the light from fluorescent lighting can be damaging to a quilt over time.
 Tip #6 – Keep your quilt unfolded. It is best to try and avoid folding your quilt for long periods of time unless you have to. By far the best place to store your quilts is by lying them on an unused bed with a cotton sheet on top. If you must fold your quilts, then every few months you should make a point of unfolding the quilts and shaking them out to air them. Make sure when you put them back that you re-fold them in a different way to prevent creases that occur when a quilt is folded the same way all the time. The topic of folding brings us on to the next point which is:
 Tip #7 – Use acid-free paper. If you must fold your quilts to store them, you should always place some crumpled acid-free tissue paper in the folds to pad it out and minimize creasing. Remember that creases tend to become permanent over time and the tissue paper will help the quilt keep its shape. It is important to use acid-free paper to do this however as conventional tissue-paper contains acids that will stain and corrode the quilt fabrics over time.
 Tip #7 – Roll your quilts. If you are short of space then it is preferable to roll your quilts rather than folding them. The rolled quilt can then be kept safely inside a large cardboard tube, but make sure that you line the tube and wrap the quilt in acid free paper first to prevent contamination from the cardboard!
 Tip #8 – Keep your quilt away from wood. Be careful where you leave your quilts! Unfinished wood, such as the type often found inside wooden drawers or chests, often contains acids that can damage fabric. If you must store your quilts in these places make sure you line them carefully with acid-free paper before putting the quilt down.


In the “How to Store an Antique Quilt” article, I found an additional TIP worthy of noting:
If you're hanging the quilt on the wall for the summer season, be sure to distribute the weight evenly over the entire width to avoid stressing the fabric. Don't plan to store a quilt on a wall for more than six months. (Emphasis mine)

Common themes I found across the different sites …

Keep quilts away from ALL LIGHT (Direct & Indirect)
Keep quilts away from plastic and anything with acid in its makeup (such as cardboard)
Re-fold often and not the same way
Quilts must breathe!


  1. I've learned a lot about the storage of quilts. Thanks for taking your time to research and share your thoughts on these tips.

    1. I'm glad I was of help! You're very welcome!


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