Old 07-11-2011, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Enid, OK
Posts: 8,273

Originally Posted by Patti Mahoney
I'm a new quilter. I've seen on the QB and other quilting sites that there are people who have made quilts wayyyy back in the early 1900's and they are still in great shape and that, at auction, people are paying extreme prices for them, if they can be found. My question is: How do you keep a quilt in that great condition for soooo long? Do you not use them, or only use them as show. I've seen where quilts have been made for daily use on a persons bed and it didn't last but 10, maybe 15 years. I'm making an English Paper Piece Hexagon hand stitched quilt and I'd like it to last until I'm older and grayer, lol and then pass it onto my son or grandchildren. What can I do to preserve my treasure for a long time? Thanks so much......Patti
First off, the reason people might pay a HIGH price on a vintage quilt has nothing to do with it being in great shape...
It has more to do with the history of the quilt! What era it was made, what fabrics were used, what techinique even the person who made it can effect the value of the quilt. you must realize that quilts made prior to 1850 were usually made with fabrics imported from England, so they have significant historical value. Quilts made from 1850-1970 the fabrics were primarily made in the USA...after 1970, the fabrics came from US, Japan, Tiawan and Indonesia.
Since 2000 most fabrics come from CHina and other Asian areas.
SInce 2007 NO fabrics are made in the US.

So you see..that alone, in reference to textile history plays a role in the value of the quilt.
Now, up until 1900 nearly all quilts made were made completely by hand. Even up til 1970 you could still find that most rural area quilter's were doing it ALL by hand. Then quilting sort of died off...replaced with cheaper things like spreads, comforters, and industry made quilts.
Until the around 1990...then it started to show up again with more vigor and NEW ways to cutting, piecing, etc. This was also due in part to a serge in the general CRAFT industry. ALL crafts saw a great upserge when TV programs really came along with more DIY crafting shows!

SO many variable in determining the value of a quilt!

Also today we do tend launder things more than they did back then. The more you launder an item the quicker you kill it!

We also tend to use CHEMICALS in our quilts that were never around back the old days...spray basting, glues, even our dyes today are made with different chemicals...chemicals themselves will eat away the fabrics.

Heavily quilting will wear out fabric faster than fabric that has less quilting, as the more you quilt it, the more stress/holes you are putting into the fibers of the fabric. Breaking it down faster.
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