Friday, March 22, 2013

Dear Quilters: advice, please?

Dear quilters and other fabric folk,

could you please advise me on the safest way to clean a quilt?

I recently inherited this quilt, made for a double bed.  It has personal significance, but even if it didn't, it is a beautiful quilt in its own right - the amount of work that went into it is both staggering and inspiring.

It is in fantastic condition as far as I can tell, apart from a few small stains of unknown origin; you can see two examples above the ruler, in the 5-7" area, in the pink and white fabrics.  I would guess beverages, but it is a guess.  The certainty is, that the stains have been there for a good long time.

In fact, I feel certain the quilt has not been washed or cleaned in years.  It has probably been folded up at the bottom of a bed in a spare room.  So even if this was good sun-bleaching weather, the entire quilt should still be cleaned in some way, just to get years of what I imagine as sneakily infiltrating dust out of the fabric.

My washer is a front-loader, and I could fit the quilt in it easily, but I wonder about the potential hazards of the spin cycle...?

Thanks very, very much for any and all suggestions!