The following information relates to quilts made by Shadywood Quilts but applies to other quilts as well.
Generally, you can wash your quilt in a washing machine in cold or tepid water. If the quilt is large... queen size or larger... you might want to wash it in a front loading machine or at a laundromat in a large front loading machine.
Your quilt should be durable. We have several quilts that fave been laundered on a regular basis for over 20 years. While, they they have that wrinkly look, the colors are still the same vibrant colors as when it was brand new. We use our Shadywood QuiltWash exclusively to launder the quilts, and the quilts come out soft and the colors stay bright.
If you are worried about the color fading. You can set the color of the backing material by soaking it in white vinegar for about 24 hours. ANY time you start washing in a commercial detergant like TIDE or GAIN, you are going to start the fading process with your quilt. We suggest that you use Shadywood Quilt Wash for this quilt (or any quilt). It is a non-detergent soap, and will not cause your quilt to fade. However, once you start using a commercial detergant, the quilt will start to fade.
Well, hopefully you are actually using your quilt and not storing it. But, if you must store it, there are preferred ways to store your quilt. First of all, what NOT to do.
If storing, use acid free tissue and specific storage boxes for vintage use. The BEST storage bag is a cotton pillowcase that has been laundered a gazillion times. Those ugly brown spots occur from direct contact to the wood, hence the need for the acid free tissue, or the frequently laundered pillowcase. What I use to line storage areas for linens is use old towels as a shelf liner. Those have also been laundered, and provide a nice layer against the wood or cheap plastic shelf liner in your linen closet.
The jury is still out on whether using 'Space Bags" is OK. I must confess that I have several freshly laundered quilts stored in the space bags, and am waiting to see if there is any damage. What I am actually finding is that the bags don't hold their 'vaccuum' and the quilts are actually just stored in plastic bags. Probably not good. However, I am pretty sure that any rogue mice are not getting into quilts stored in the space bags.
Dry in a dryer on low heat, or hang on clothesline. If you use Shadywood Quilt Wash your quilt will come out soft and fresh smelling with no artificial scents. There might be a bit of static electricity, but the reason the QuiltWash works so well, is that is ALL rinses out. When you use regular laundry soap, it usually leaves a residue, and that is what causes the scratchy roughness.
We assume that you have pieced the quilt to your satisfaction before you send it to us to quilt. However, if we are doing a 'quilt finishing' service on a vintage quilt top, sometimes there are 'issues' with the piecing or maybe some fabric has disintegrated. While we are not in the quilt repair business, you can ask us about doing minor repairs.
We ask that you remove all stray threads from your quilt top before giving the quilt-top to us to quilt. Although we try very hard to make sure that we have removed all the loose threads from the quilt, you may notice when your quilt is new that we missed clipping a thread. Don’t worry, just clip the thread close to the top and the problem is solved. No charge for extra threads! :)