The first thing you are going to do is inspect your vintage quilt. (Much like you've described your problem.) Follow the package's recommended directions (do not use oxygen bleach on silk or wool quilts) allowing plenty of time for the stain remover to work before moving on to washing the quilt. If the quilt has any holes or pulled seams, you will want to repair or replace those before washing. I use 100% cotton batting and wash it by soaking it in hot water in the washer, spin drying, then tossing it in the dryer with a towel or two to keep it from balling up. Treating Stains on a Vintage Quilt . Wash a batting like this without enough quilting and the fibers will bunch up together when washed. Antique quilts were made using cotton batting, which shrinks just enough in the wash to give a softly krinkled look. It only has ⅛ inch (0.32 cm.) If washing the quilt did not remove all of the stains, you can remove most spots by mixing a solution of oxygen-based bleach and cold water. Even with these battings, you never want to agitate. Many quilters use cotton batting because it is lightweight and soft. I just throw newly purchased fabric in the washer using the same settings I would use for a finished quilt. Be prepared for a smaller quilt when you pull it out of the dryer! It's made of cotton fibers held together by a scrim. In case you want thin quilts, use thinner batting materials like cotton. Cotton is the thinnest batting material. Quilts quilted with cotton thread are more susceptible to damage from spin cycles and from handling the wet quilt. Another benefit is that washing removes the embedded fold in the fabric so everything will be uniform and lie flat. It's more 'delicate' than a needlepunched batt. If you want to have warmer and loftier quilts, choose thick batting materials. Merely soaking this batting in water would result in disintegrating wads of cotton. I personally like the antique look for my quilts. How to Wash Quilt Fabric. thickness. This particular batting requires quilting stitches just a quarter to half an inch apart. Someone who wants to preshrink cotton batting (typically because they want a very flat look to the quilt) would need to use a cotton batting that is bonded, needlepunched, and/or needlepunched through scrim. How to Wash a Vintage Quilt–Two Methods Prepping Your Quilt. Modern cotton batts shrink anywhere from 1 to 3%, which is just right for me. Cotton … I always prewash my wadding/batting, I use an 80/20 cotton/poly mix batting and prewash on any machine wash cycle that I am going to wash the finished article in. After washing, your fabric will be fresh and clean; some quilting fabrics come with a chemical smell when they are new. Before you wash your quilt, pre-treat any stains with a commercial stain remover or an oxygen-based bleach and water soak. Oxygen bleach is safe to use on cotton fabrics but do not use for silk or wool quilts. 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