How to Properly Store Quilts for Long Term Storage
A quilt provides extra warmth, style, and comfort to your home. It can also be made out of delicate fabrics that are prone to damage. For instance, quilts can contain fragments of childhood clothing, photographic prints, and other memorable items. All of these elements come together in a meaningful collage of memories. So, when you need to store a quilt for a long period, follow some care instructions to make sure that it stays in the best shape. This is especially important if the quilt is a treasured family heirloom that was made by a loved one.
When a cloth is stored in a storage unit, attic, or basement, many threatening conditions can wear down fabric quickly. Taking preventive measures against these damages does not take long but can give you lasting benefits. Also, protecting your quilt does not cost a lot of money. By following these steps, you can ensure that your valued quilts look, smell, and feel just like they did before you put them in storage. Here's how to properly store quilts.
Keep Quilts Cool, Dry, and away from Light
Quilts must be protected from its three main offenders — heat, humidity, and UV rays. Heat can break down fabrics more easily and make them more susceptible to the hazards of damp conditions. In fact, heat combined with humidity can breed mold and even rot the fabric. Humidity is dangerous because when it seeps into the fabric, it can encourage the growth of mold, mildew, and even attract pests.
Light is another dangerous element to a quilt in long-term storage. Each quilt is made with different kinds of fabrics that have their own tolerance to fading. However, most fabrics tend to fade from long-term exposure to light — regardless of their makeup. To eliminate the risk of any color fading, keep your quilt in a container that can block out all light.
Can You Vacuum a Quilt?
Yes, you can vacuum a quilt, but it's crucial to be cautious. Use a soft brush attachment or a low-suction handheld vacuum, and set the suction to a gentle level. Place a mesh or gauze barrier over the quilt to prevent direct contact with the vacuum. Vacuum in the direction of stitches, avoiding delicate embellishments. Be especially gentle with old or fragile quilts and, if unsure, consult a textile conservation expert. Regularly rotating and airing out the quilt can reduce the need for frequent vacuuming while preserving its condition.
Wrap Quilts in Gentle Materials
Although there are many types of vacuum seal plastic bags on the market right now, they should not be your first line of defense for a quilt. Direct contact with plastic for a long time can damage the delicate fabric of a quilt. Instead, cover it with a pillowcase or cotton sheet first, then seal it in a vacuum bag.
This method also blocks out some light before you place the quilts in other lightproof solutions like an opaque plastic storage bin or a cardboard box. Having a gentle barrier of cloth will protect the exterior of the quilt from any harsh properties from the plastic.
Use Acid-Free Cardboard Boxes
When you put a quilt away, it is important to protect it from common risk factors that damage fabrics. Corrosive materials are another hazard. If you plan to put your quilts in a cardboard box, make sure that the box is acid-free. Boxes made with acidic material or not extremely common, but it's good to check to have peace of mind. If you have any reservations about the cardboard box, simply place your quilt in another container before you put it inside the box.
Keep Pests Away
There are several ways to stop harmful pests like dust mites, moths, and other fabric-destroying animals. First of all, sealing your quilts in a secure container can keep all sorts of pests away and is difficult for mice and moths to access. Desiccant packs also reduce the stagnant smell associated with a cloth that’s placed in storage for a long time. If you plan to put your quilts in sealed vacuum bags, then place them in a tightly sealed Tupperware container with a snap lid. The thin plastic of a bag isn’t enough to stop a determined mouse from chewing through it.
Though the smell of mothballs can stick for a long time, you can place a few of them in the storage area. This repels pests like mice and moths so that they will be less likely to enter and breed in the storage area. If you know that the storage area is susceptible to a certain type of pest, be proactive and place an effective trap or repellent for that species. For example, if there is a history of bugs in your attic, place ant and cockroach repellent in that same area. This will help prevent bugs from getting near your valued possessions. Check your quilt storage area periodically for any signs of pests and administer any mitigation methods when necessary.
Roll, Don’t Fold!
Any piece of fabric stored for a long time is destined to settle and form harsh creases that can take a long time to iron out. The longer a fabric is pressed into one position, the more permanent these creases can be. If you want your quilts to come out without any folds, then roll them instead of folding them. Not only is it easier to roll a quilt than meticulous than to fold it, but you can potentially store more quilts with this method. If you must fold the quilt, do so in an even and orderly pattern. Therefore, when the quit is taken out of storage, the folds will be presentable and easier to iron out over time.
Climate-Controlled Storage Units For Quilts
When you need to store quilts in long-term storage, Climate-controlled units give you the best chance of maintaining their beauty, splendor, and comfort. Find a climate control unit from Storage Rentals of America near you.
We're Your Storage Solution!
Storage Rentals of America is your convenient self-storage solution. So come into our office or give our storage experts a call at 1-800-457-5678. Our call center is available 7 days a week and can help determine which storage unit size best fits your storage needs.