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Thread: Can these stains be removed?

  1. #1
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    Can these stains be removed?

    I have this beautiful hand sewn quilt top that I found in my mom's things when I was packing up her house. There are stains on it that I don't know how to remove. I used one product, Spoto spot and stain remover, and ended up with a hole where the stain had been! I don't know the age of the quilt but I am guessing 50 plus years. A woman I talked to that was shopping for material like I was said that old quilts can get mildewed. Any ideas? Name:  DSC_0894_2016.jpg
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    Enjoying life to the fullest is learning to quilt and riding my motorcycle.

  2. #2
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I used Retro Clean on several tops from my great grandma. One had stains that look very much like what you have. They came out beautifully. I love the stuff and will use it again.

    This is a link to their website. I ordered mine online from Amazon, but now I've seen it in quilt shops.

    http://retroclean.com/retroclean/

  3. #3
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    I have used Vintage Soak on old quilts, and it works out beautifully. http://vintagetextilesoak.com/ Make sure you launder the item first with a non phosphate laundry detergent in the bathtub or a big tub (Not the washer), then use this stuff.

  4. #4
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Because this top has red fabric in it, I ***really, really, really*** strongly recommend that you quilt and bind it before washing. Trying to take the stains out of the top before quilting is extremely risky. The reds could bleed on you (especially because Retro Clean and Vintage Soak require long soaking periods) and the different fabrics might well shrink in different amounts and create distortion in the quilt top that will not iron out. Also, seams are likely to fray.

    Once a reasonable amount of quilting is done, variations in fabric shrinkage are not a problem because shrinkage becomes controlled by the batting.

    After quilting and binding, I would do the first wash of this quilt in Synthrapol in a large machine that uses a *lot* of water. If you read up on Synthrapol, you will find that I am recommending this in order to get rid of any bleeding dyes so they do not stain the other fabrics in the top. You need a machine that uses a lot of water to ensure that any bleeds are sufficiently diluted.

    Once the quilt no longer bleeds with Synthrapol, I would use Retro Clean (Vintage Soak is probably a very similar product) to take the stains out.

    In other words, taking the stains out is the last step in the process.

    Edit: I want to emphasize that when you use the machine with Synthrapol, you *never* allow the quilt to be machine agitated. You stop the machine and hand agitate, then move to spin cycle.

  5. #5
    Senior Member quilter2theend's Avatar
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    Just read this in a quilt tip book; I use one gallon water and one quart buttermilk, one tablespoon vinegar. Soak quilt in the solution and then wash it gently. Let me know if you use it. I'd be curious to see if it worked.

  6. #6
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    Mildew doesn't look like those stains in my opinion. Since you already have a hole to patch, I think I would look for a red fabric to match and add some flower appliqués over the stains, quilt it and use it for display only. Those reds look like they might be bleeders so anything applied close to the red is likely to cause a bleed. Washing it may not be a good idea.

  7. #7
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    The stains almost look like coffee too me??? I agree with others as to finishing the quilt (if that is your intention vs just having the top displayed?) before doing a thorough wash. You might have success with small stains with just some mild dish soap/water (dawn comes to mind) and a clean cloth and wipe/gently rub those spots only with the soap/water and see what happens. The dawn at least won't do any further damage to either the stain or the fabric.

  8. #8
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    The stains look like blood to me. You could try an enzyme spray cleaner - like pet urine odor spray.

  9. #9
    Senior Member WTxRed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilter2theend View Post
    Just read this in a quilt tip book; I use one gallon water and one quart buttermilk, one tablespoon vinegar. Soak quilt in the solution and then wash it gently. Let me know if you use it. I'd be curious to see if it worked.

    2nd time in 2 days I've heard this -- my mom was telling me this very recipe yesterday afternoon. This would be my vote...depending of course on a sample test on the red...

  10. #10
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    Google "Quilt Restoration" You will find articles from experts on this.

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