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Cleaning an old quilt

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A friend of mine has an old, hand-quilted yellow and white quilt that her kitty has piddled on. She has asked for suggestions for removing the yellow stains. She doesn't know if it's ever been washed or if it's colorfast. Do you have any suggestions? This is a family quilt, so it means a lot to her. So does her kitty!


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Yikes!!! What a shame!

Here's the consensus about cleaning old textiles-----

1. Don't clean them. Leave all old stains and love them as they are. If this is not an option----

2. Carefully use a cleaner specifically made for textiles (Orvus,etc. ) Support the top at all times by putting in a large plastic laundry basket and placing it into the bathtub. Add the soap and water according to instructions. Do not agitate or wring. Press as much water out with your hands as you can and rinse, rinse, rinse. Press water out again. Lift the basket out and lay the quilt flat to dry--either outside or on the floor (covered with towels or a sheet, of course.)

The key is to start with the least harsh treatment and advance until the stain is gone. If you are concerned about bleeding, use Synthropol or Retayne. Synthropol will pull extra dye out and Retayne will set the dye. Both are usually available in quilt shops. Also, ask there for advice--they may know an appraiser or restorer who can lead you through the steps.

Good luck. I hope this helps.

Linda Rech

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Orvus can also be purchased at livestock stores...the original purpose was for washing livestock...but it is so mild and gentle...great for laundry too. Depending on how much you want to use Orvus...you might get a better price...but it comes in large containers.

Cheryl Mathre

Stone Creek Quilting

Sandy Hook, VA

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