Care of Wool-Filled Quilts
When using a new quilt, duvet covers, sewn to fit the size of the quilt should be used at all times. This helps to keep the quilt clean. Duvet covers should be removed and laundered on a weekly basis along with regular bedding. The quilt can be aired outdoors regularly winter and summer. This helps to keep the fibers fresh. In the past, as most women made their own bedding women took pride in their bedding items and took extreme care to keep them clean, and fresh. Today with clothes dryers, quilts can be air fluffed without heat. Adding fabric softener sheets or a damp bath towel to the dryer helps the process. Airing quilts outside is still practiced by many.
Cleaning Wool-Filled Quilts
The basics: When washing wool products, the important thing is not to agitate the wool, as agitation causes the fibres to mat together and shrink. Soaking and spinning, though, are fine.
There are several methods to clean a wool filled quilt:
1. Dry Cleaning
Some prefer not to dry clean because of the cleaning chemicals used in the process.
Quilts can be washed in the large front loading Laundromat washers, using a very gentle cycle, warm water and a suitable soap, for example, Dawn, Oxyclean, Woolite. Spin on gentle cycle and air dry at home.
Dissolve a suitable low-suds cleaner (Oxyclean) in warm water. Fill the tub with a generous amount of water. Immerse the quilt and wash using a soft brush or cotton hand towel, scrubbing the areas that are soiled. If the water appears to be excessively dirty, repeat the washing process again. Let the quilt drain, draped over a smooth strong dowel that fits the length of the bathtub. Rinse with clean warm water adding a small amount of fabric softener. Let drip well, then dry outdoors on the clothesline or on a railing on a warm breezy day. Use a clean sheet over the railing before placing the quilt out to dry. We have been successful using this method, and it would be the recommended choice.
The success of any of these methods depends on the size of the quilt and how soiled it may be. If care is taken, a quilt may be used for many years before it becomes necessary to clean it.
If a quilt has been used for many years and becomes matted and soiled, then it will be necessary to take it apart completely. The fleece should be re-washed, re-carded and quilted again, preferably using new fabric.
Storing of Quilts
If a spare bed is available, quilts may be stored one atop each other. The quilts should be aired a couple of times a year.
Storing quilts in plastic bags or plastic bins is not recommended. If a cedar trunk is available, fold the quilt loosely, store in the trunk in a dry place. To prevent mold and moisture from forming, it is important to store quilts in a dry place.