The Best Way to Care for Your Handmade Quilt

The Best Way to Care for Your Handmade Quilt

When you think about the time and effort spent to create your quilt, it makes perfect sense to apply some tender loving care to help preserve its quality, structure and colour.
Below we explore the best way to care for handmade quilts to ensure your masterpiece is kept in tip top condition!

First things first, how often should a handmade quilt be washed?

This really depends on how your quilt is being used. For example, if you use it on your bed every day then ideally we recommend once per season. 
In between washes you can:
  • Freshen your quilt regularly by hanging outside away from direct sunlight.
  • In the colder wetter months, you can freshen in the dryer. Use a gentle-cycle/air-dry setting without heat.
  • Gently vacuuming the front and back of your quilt, using the hose nozzle only, will remove dust and dirt.
  • When spot cleaning, never use a product that contains bleach. We recommend treating stains with:
    • white vinegar or a quilt soap, diluted with distilled water - gently blot and not rub the stain, OR
    • mix equal parts shampoo and water (just a couple drops of each), gently blot the mixture onto the stain with a soft, clean cloth or very soft toothbrush.

"We recommend using cotton fabrics in quilt making. Cotton is a robust fabric and is less likely to shrink"

Washing your Quilt

When it comes to washing your quilt you have two choices, by hand or machine wash.

Prior to washing:

  1. Check for any rips, tears or loose seams, fix these before washing to avoid more damage. If there's a small rip in your quilt, usually hand-sewing with the same colour thread can fix the problem.
  2. Treat any nasty stains prior to washing (refer above).
  3. Test for colourfastness to prevent dyes from running.  Simply wet a piece of white cloth with cold water, and gently rub over each different colour or fabric in your quilt.

 Storing your Quilt

 The best way to store your quilt is to:

  • Wrap in clean cotton sheets or muslin bag.
  • Fold the quilt so the back faces out.
  • Use as few folds as possible.
  • Protect the folds from becoming permanent by crumpling up cotton off-cuts or acid-free paper and tucking into the folds as cushion.
  • If being stored for extended periods of time, re-fold the quilt every few months.

The “Don’ts” when Caring for your quilt:

  • Don’t have it dry cleaned.
  • Don’t wash any other items in the machine with your quilt.
  • Don’t hang a wet quilt on the clothesline – it will be very heavy and hanging can damage the stitching. Laying flat is the best option.
  • Don’t leave the quilt in a washing machine to dry – this may shrink the fabric and cause the quilt to pucker and crinkle.
  • Don’t dry in a clothes dryer to avoid shrinkage.
  • Don’t store your quilt in plastic – fabric needs to breathe and the gasses produced by plastic can discolour and deteriorate the fabric.

We hope you find these tips helpful when caring for your homemade quilt.

If you have any further questions, you can reach out to us at or message us on our social channels - Facebook Instagram


Happy quilting!

Trintarabee Quilting Team

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1 comment

Thank you for those tips on how to wash your quilts, it was very useful.


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