Quilts and blankets are a beautiful way to stay warm during the cold winter months, but as the weather gets warmer, it is important to know the proper way to store your quilts and blankets until you need them again in the fall.
Before you store you quilt, make sure it's as clean as possible. If it's resistant to fading or colors running, you can hand wash it with a mild detergent in your bathtub. If you have a simple, store-bought blanket, you usually can wash it in your washing machine, but be sure to check the label to ensure it's safe for machine washing.
It's important to fully dry your blanket or quilt before storing. If the label on your blanket says it is safe for machine drying, then use your clothes dryer. For more delicate quilts and blankets, allow the excess water to drain after washing them by lifting them gently out of the tub. A drying rack or clothesline is the preferred method of drying delicate blankets and quilts. Be sure to cover the quilt with a light sheet to prevent sun damage if drying outside. If you don't have a drying rack or clothesline, place the quilt in a clean bed of towels, cover it with a clean sheet, and allow it to dry.
Roll and pad between cotton sheets or cotton muslin, with the decorative side facing outward. Do not roll so tightly that you cause wrinkling. Be sure to wrap it around the blanket or quilt about 1½ times, and that the muslin is wide enough that you can tuck it into the ends of the tube. Securely tie the cover, but make sure not to cause folds in the roll by tying it too tightly.
You can also store blankets and quilts in an acid-free box. Be sure to use a large box to prevent wrinkles and folding. Line the box with tissue, polyester wadding, or white cotton sheets. If using tissue, be sure it is acid-free. White tissue is recommended, as other colors can bleed onto fabric. Completely wrap the entire quilt or blanket in the tissue, sheet, or wadding so none of it is exposed. If you must fold the blanket or quilt, be sure to put the acid-free tissue or sheet between each layer. Then add the lid and seal it completely. Be sure to put some slits in the box to allow air to circulate. Avoid plastic bags or cellophane "windows," as they prevent air movement. They can also cause moisture to form inside and mildew to grow.
Once packaged, quilts and blankets should be stored on rust-free metal shelves or in drawers. If you wish to store them in wooden drawers or on wooden shelves, you must first seal the wood with a water-borne polyurethane varnish and place some acid-free tissue between the wood and your box. That ensures that acids won't transfer from the wood to your quilt or blanket.
Storage locations should be clean and dark, with a relatively even temperature if possible. Attics, basements, and closets on exterior walls are poor choices for storage. Attic temperatures can be too warm; basements can be cold and are prone to moisture, flooding, and mildew; and closets on the exterior walls do not have even temperatures. For delicate and antique quilts, consider a climate controlled self storage unit.
Label and date what you are storing, especially if you are storing many items in identical containers.
Be sure to periodically check your blankets' and quilts' conditions. Look for mildew, and take that opportunity to refold or replace tissue if necessary.
With the proper steps, you can maintain the quality of your quilts and blankets for years to come.
The advice on this website is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only. "Storage Tips" are offered as-is and no warranty is expressed or implied. For more information, see StorageFront's Terms and Conditions.