Quilts take a considerable amount of time, care, and effort to make. And although they’re usually designed to be handed down over generations, improper storage can lead to premature wear and damage of the fabric, which is the last thing you want to do to a treasured gift.
The best storage containers for quilts should always be cool and dry, as exposure to heat and humidity can damage the fabric. You should also store quilts away from light to prevent fading. As a rule, you should store quilts in acid-free boxes, as potentially corrosive materials can damage fabrics.
Please read on for my recommended storage containers and useful tips on prolonging your quilt’s lifespan through proper storage.
Although not the largest storage chest, the SA Richards Acid-Free Storage Chest For Textiles doesn’t disappoint when it comes to short and long-term quilt storage. The storage container is made of lignin and acid-free material and includes 24 sheets of tissue (acid-free) to help prevent fabric staining and creasing.
Point to note, though, since the storage chest isn’t large enough to fit quilts when stored flat; it’s highly advisable to unfold or unroll them frequently to keep them in good condition.
The Madam Sew Large Quilt Storage Bag is ideal for both long-term and short-term quilt storage for a number of reasons. Besides being made from highly durable fabric, the bag also boasts reinforced stitching that keeps your quilt safely tucked away from allergens and unwelcome insects.
The bag is also breathable, a feature that helps deter allergens- creating the best possible environment for your quilts. You’ll also appreciate the storage bag’s large size if you’re looking to store several large quilts.
The Vacwell Jumbo Vacuum Storage Bags uses an advanced seal closure system to keep your quilt dry, cool, and adequately protected from light. While it’s great for keeping air, allergens, and moisture out, it might not be the best option for long-term quilt storage, at least if you don’t want to find your quilts creased beyond repair.
However, the storage bag is ideal when moving homes, hiking, or even for holiday vacations.
If you’re looking for a short-term storage solution for your quilt, then the Stock Your Home set of hangers is a great idea. These bad boys are strong enough to hold up to 40 pounds (18.14 kg) of beddings or quilts without bending, making them ideal for temporary quilt storage.
8 Tips for Proper Quilt Storage
1. Avoid Wet, Hot or Areas Exposed to Light
Although mostly durable (depending on fabric and materials used), quilts are highly susceptible to humidity, heat, and UV rays. Heat is notorious for breaking fabrics over time, making them prone to damage when exposed to dap conditions.
Storing quilts in a humid location can lead to rotting or even breeding of mold and mildew once moisture seeps into the fabric over time. You should also avoid storing your beloved quilt (s) in areas exposed to direct sunlight, as UV light can fade the fabric, especially if exposed for long.
2. Roll Quilts
If you want to avoid harsh and unsightly creases, then it’s best to roll quilts instead of folding them, more so when planning for long-term storage. You’ll find your quilts in pristine conditions if you roll them.
Rolling quilts is not only ideal for fabrics, but it also allows you to save on space when storing several quilts. However, if you must fold a quilt before storage, then it is highly advisable to fold in even patterns.
Even patterns will be a lot easier to iron out compared to unorderly creases.
3. Go for Acid-Free Containers
A large number of people prefer storing quilts in cardboard boxes. If you’re the type, using an acid-free cardboard box is highly recommended. Acidic material can lead to gradual corrosion over time, damaging your quilts fabric in the process.
Therefore, be sure to confirm whether a cardboard box is acid-free before rolling your quilt in for storage. But if you’re unsure whether the box is acid-free or not, you can place it in a separate, tightly sealed container before putting it inside the main box.
4. Consider Wrapping Quilts Gently Before Storing in Containers
Sure, there might be tons of sealed plastic bags out there, but they can end up backfiring if you don’t find an appropriate storage location.
As a result, most quilt experts recommend wrapping in a soft fabric like a cotton sheet first before placing it inside a vacuum bag. Not only will the soft clothing offer additional protection to the quilt, but it will also help keep light away.
5. Avoid Plastic Bags
Storing quilts in a garbage bag or unsealed plastic container is a sure recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, plastic bags tend to trap moisture, thereby promoting the growth of mold and mildew. Additionally, the moisture trapped can break down the quilts’ fibers, leaving them stained and discolored- and you wouldn’t want that!
6. Be Wary of Pests and Insects
Quilts and pests don’t get along too well. Neglecting your quilt for a few months is enough to find it massively infested by fabric-destroying pets and insects. Think in the line of moths, mites and even mice.
So what is the best way to keep pests at bay and guarantee your quilts’ longevity? Easy, store them in cool, dry places away from mice or any other pests. This means ditching the basement- a hotbed of pests- and leaning more towards frequently maintained locations with moderate traffic.
You should invest in repellants or traps to keep pests or bugs away, especially if you plan to tuck your quilts in less-frequented areas like attics or even the basement.
7. Unroll/Unfold the Quilts Regularly
The trick to having your quilts in pristine condition after months or years of continuous storage is to unroll and spread them out in a cool, dry and dark location whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Doing so will prevent the formation of flat spots.
And if you’re the type that insists on folding quilts, it is even more important to unfold them regularly to avoid dealing with semi-permanent fold lines after years of storage.
Another useful tip is to avoid stacking too many quilts on top of each other as the bottom ones can end up flattened or heavily creased, especially if not correctly stored.
8. Avoid Raw Wood
Storing quilts in cedar chests or chests made from raw wood can stain your quilt, especially if left in storage for several months or even years. As a rule, you should wrap your quilt in a pillowcase or clean (and dry) cotton sheets before inserting it inside a wooden shelf.
You can also slip your quilt into clean, dry cotton pillowcases before placing them inside the shelf for storage. Avoiding direct contact between the quilt and wooden surface is highly advisable to avoid discoloration or staining.
Here are articles related to quilting that you may find useful:
Now that we’ve taken an in-depth look at some proven quilt-storage tips, you should be well placed to pick a good spot to store your beloved quilts.
Remember to store quilts in clean and tightly sealed containers as this will help keep moisture, mold, and mildew away.
Your storage location is also crucial as too much moisture, or dirt can attract pests that can destroy quilts, especially if stored away for long.
The trick is to store quilts in areas with controlled temperatures away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and gradual fabric damage.
For more, don’t miss What Is the Strongest Sewing Thread?
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