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Storing a Quilt

Martha Stewart Living, October 1999

You can buy a good prepackaged heirloom storage kit, or you can make your own. After cleaning the quilt, take a photo to help you identify it later, then wrap it in acid-free tissue paper. Lay the folded, wrapped quilt in a flat storage box, along with a container of desiccant -- such as silica gel -- to absorb moisture. Close the box, and tape the photo to the lid. Then place it inside a plastic bag, which will guard against insects and moisture. This "archival" method of storing your quilt should keep it pristine for many years.


Comments (10)

  • lindafquilts 16 Jan, 2012

    Please, never use plastic sd an option for storing quilts. Purchase or make a pillow type case that has been washed without fabric softener to store your quilt. I prefer rolling the quilt and placing on a shelf that is painted, never on cedar or other raw woods. Take the quilt out at least twice a year to check for damage and refold or reroll. Better still place it on a bed and enjoy.

    Do not dry clean. Your quilts usually don't require washing as you would sheets. Just air them out..

  • cavemom 11 Jan, 2011

    its important to note when you wash them not to use fabric softener as this can cause white fabric to yellow over time.

  • redquiltermom 11 Jan, 2011

    (cont'd) and wrapped in a cotton sheet or pillowcase, which allows the fibers to breathe. A zippered cotton pillow protector is ideal for storing a quilt if it is large enough.

  • redquiltermom 11 Jan, 2011

    NO! NO! NO! Quilts should NEVER be stored in plastic!!! Don't these people know anything?! Contrary to protecting the quilt from moisture, the plastic will trap moisture, causing mold and mildew. These posters have all touched on appropriate methods of storing a quilt. They should be rolled; protected from wood, plastic, etc. by some kind of barrier such as cotton batting or acid-free tissue; then covered in acid-free tissue,

  • curiousinhockessin 13 May, 2010

    Would this method work for old clothing from past generations?

  • mykele 13 May, 2010

    I so agree with those who are "using" their quilts so that everyone can view
    and enjoy the quilts and the workmanship that created them. If they are
    stored away, they are not shared and just sitting in storage. Family
    heirlooms are to be truly enjoyed by all and quilts surely fit in that

  • cmasonb 13 May, 2010

    I too, prefer to keep my quilts out to enjoy them. There is one on each bed in the house and I simply refold in a different position. They bring such delight to a bedroom. My Grandmother made them.

  • FacePainter 13 May, 2010

    I always add a bar or two of wrapped soap in "put-away" packages of any kind, even books. They lend a pleasant scent, and seem to keep the pests away. I buy 12 packs of Ivory or other lightly scented soaps; they're inexpensive.

  • dpgchris 13 May, 2010

    Another appropriate way to store a quilt is wrapped in a sheet or pillowcase if it will fit. Also folding a quilt with a cotton batt puts permanent creases into the quilt over time. If folding, you need to take out and refold in different places. I'm a quilter and I prefer to roll up quilts that are not being used. My choice for a tube are swimming "noodles" They are lightweight and can be cut to the appropriate width. For extra archival protection, you could wrap the noodle with cotton batting.

  • avispohl_gmail_com 23 Mar, 2009

    After inheriting unused, handmade qults which have been several carefully preserved for two generations, I have decided to keep them out and enjoy them on beds and qult racks. I am the last person in my family who knew the women who made the quilts and instead of keeping them hidden away, hope that my family will enjoy them with me for years to come
    A Grandma Myself