Proper care of your handmade quilt means that it will last longer. Our quilts are made to be used, loved, snuggled and cuddled. There are some important ways to help preserve the piece.
Most important, is to protect the quilt from sunlight. The fabric is 100% cotton and is subject to fading. We have used UV filtered shades on our windows to help prevent fading.
We recommend washing your quilt at least once a year. Since we have dogs who love our quilts and sleep on them often, we wash ours at least 4 times a year (usually we do it when the seasons change). Our recommended method is to use an extra-large washing machine - front loaders are the best. Dilute 1/2 cup of a product called "Mane and Tail Shampoo" to a thin consistency and add to the washer. Wash your quilt with warm water on the gently cycle.
"Mane and Tail" is a shampoo originally made for washing horses. It has no whiteners or bleaches and is made to cut the oil in the animal's hair, rinse out easily and leave no soapy residue. As it turns out, it cuts the "human's" body oil as well and rinses out of the quilts very easily. We like it so much that we use it on all of our hand washables, sweaters, and even the dogs! "Mane and Tail" is found in the hair care departments of most major grocery and drug stores.
Once the quilt is washed, we recommend air-drying it. Since many of the cotton fabrics are surfaced dyed, the tumbling and heat in the dryer will remove some of the dyes and cause fading of the fabric. If you do not have a place to hang the quilt outside (wrong side out), we suggest getting a large inexpensive plastic drop cloth from the hardware store, open it up and put it on your bed and lay the open quilt on top of the plastic to dry.
We do not recommend dry cleaning your quilt. Cotton fabrics only like to be gently washed.
If you are purchasing a Watercolor quilt, you will have to hand wash it. The Watercolor quilted wallhangings have cotton batting inside whichwill "lump up" if washed in the machine. Follow the directions above but wash by hand in a large basin. Squish the quilt to work the soapy water through the quilt (do not twist). We usually soak ours between "squishing" sessions for about 15 minutes to give the soap solution time to release the soil in the quilt.
After a couple of squishing sessions in rinse water, roll the quilt and press out the excess water. We lay ours out flat on an oversized bath towel and roll it up and then twist the roll to get out more excess water. Unwrap and "block" the piece flat and squared and air dry.
With this care, your quilt should last for many years.
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