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How NOT to Store Your Quilt

How NOT to Store Your Quilt      
It seems simple enough to store quilts all folded up nice and neatly and to place them on the shelf of your closet. But if you do, you are doing FAR more damage to your quilts than if you merely ignored them and did nothing!

Folding quilts up into nice and neat into compact stacks causes the fabric to break down much more rapidly. The nice and tight flat corners places extra pressure on the fabric fibers causing the fibers to break down and fall apart. Lets face it, our quilts (some of them) could very well be at least a 100 years old (some far older than that!), and all of the pressure caused by the earth gravitational pull causes the fabrics to breakdown much faster.

Some friends I have love to wrap their quilts with acid free paper and then place them into archival type boxes (no acids are used to make the archival boxes). There are problems with this as well! The "acid free paper" may really be full of acid. Thus causing your quilt to deteriorate even further. The archival boxes aren't the real answer either, as some boxes contain the very acids that they are not supposed to be made of.

Personally, I have several ways for which to delicately store my antique quilts. One is to make a bag out of unbleached muslin approximately 1/4 of the actual quilts size. Sew the bag closed on 3 sides leaving the top open to slide the quilt in and out of the bag without causing any undue stress to the quilt. Then carefully fold the fabric over and sew a plain cotton string in the top allowing you to open and close the quilt storage bag.

BEFORE you place the quilt into the bag, find some acid free paper and carefully fold quilt at its edges (where the fabric folds are) and stuff the acid free paper into the areas where the fabric may become sharp and break down. What you are doing to keeping earth's gravitational field at bay until the paper will need replacing (this will be about every 6 months or so).

Another method to store your quilt (this is the simplest method by far) is to take a large bed sheet place your quilt flat on the sheet and then roll the sheet and the quilt together lengthwise or widthwise. Once you have done that, simply close the ends of the sheet with either a rubber band or even sew the end shut (tightly). This will keep small insects from crawling inside causing further deterioration.

Here are some things to keep in mind: NEVER, NEVER, EVER place anything heavy on the stored quilt! This will do far more damage than you can imagine.

NEVER stand the quilt on its edges to store it. If you need to store your quilt while it is either folded or rolled up leave the quilt laying on your floor (out of the way).