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    Vintage quilt issue

    Was gifted a quilt in the 80’s that was made approximately in the 1940’s. The quilt has a fine red dust coming out of it. I want to save and restore the quilt. When I removed the binding to put on a new back I discovered that there is not a true batting but some type of mesh cotton fabric. Could this be causing the “rusty” particles? Is there a way to attach pics so I can show you what is happening?

    #2
    Re: Vintage quilt issue

    Your going to have to see if this is water soluble, take a very small sample & test it. Did the water turn red??
    You may have no other choice if you want to save the top, dismantle it completely, is the fabric top stable, no tears, stains etc. if there is, for me I'd just save the top to admire.
    When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted
    Eleanor Roosevelt

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      #3
      Re: Vintage quilt issue

      I was witness to a party who displayed a quilt for an appraiser. When the quilt was unfolded there was a dust similar to what you describe. The appraiser said the fabrics were from the 1800's and a lot of the fabrics then had some metal in them to add support and stiffness. The 'red' dust was actually rust. The quilt in question was deemed unsalvageable. I hope this isn't the case here.
      Sometimes, when there's a raging fire,
      it's best not to try to put it out with gasoline.

      "...pal carajo con la negatividad..."

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        #4
        Re: Vintage quilt issue

        Sandy is completely right, take it apart if you really want to save it.
        When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted
        Eleanor Roosevelt

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          #5
          Re: Vintage quilt issue

          Thanks so much. It does appear to be rust. I will do the water test. If I’m unable to salvage I will simply put it back in my display case and enjoy the top.

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            #6
            Re: Vintage quilt issue

            If the red dust is coming out of what they used for batting... take it apart and remove the insides. You can get another batting and try to put it back together or you can skip the batting and sandwich the top and a backing.... tie it with embroidery floss or quilt it carefully. It would be what is called a summer quilt... used in the summer for taking naps on the porch, not for warmth in the winter time.

            My advice is to not wash it before you get that fabric out and the new ideas done. I don't wash tops or tops being restored until they are back together. They are more likely to come apart, BUT... should you decide to wash your top.... don't put in a machine. Fill the bath tub and let it soak in a gentle bubble bath and some vinegar. Lay flat or line dry... no dryer. Then you can repair any seams that might have lifted or any raffling. Get some anti fraying. It works. I used it on a Confirmation dress that the whole front of the silk dress had raveled out. I was able to fix it good as new, not even the mom would find the repairs,,

            Good Luck!! I have some right now I need to get to working on from the 20's 30's and 40' my grandmother and greatgrandmother made. LOTS of work.

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              #7
              Re: Vintage quilt issue

              If you can get the top away from the batting and it's thin in some areas, you can also consider stabilizing it with some iron-on woven (like SF101). Test on a small patch of course before tackling the entire top, but I think if it reacts well and you can get the entire top stabilized with another layer of woven you might be able to quilt it to a new backing and batting?

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