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Thread: Old Stains? Cross stitched Quilt Care?

  1. #1
    helenrhoades's Avatar
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    I just bought an antique quilt from a lady that is simply gorgeous. It is both quilted and cross stitched, and VERY reasonably priced considering the work that went into it. I did notice a rust (?) stain on it and promptly took it to the dry cleaners. They could not promise they would be able to get it out, but at least they will give it the once over since I wasn't sure if it had ever been cleaned. My question is how does one keep cross stitched quilts clean and how do you guys get out older stains? Thanks!


  2. #2
    Senior Member BDor's Avatar
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    I don't know how to get the stains out but I sure wish someone would
    tell us. I have a cross stiched quilt that a dear neighbor gave me before
    she passed away and it too had some stains and I have never been able to get them out.

  3. #3
    helenrhoades's Avatar
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    So far I've heard that there is indeed a product out there, but the lady couldn't remember what....I'm off to do more research...

    Ok, apparently there are professional fabric restoration people. I took my quilt to a local dry cleaners that specializes in wedding gowns. For the most part the quilt was in excellent condition, but apparently could still suffer some damage by dry cleaning it.

    Personally, I had not gotten emotionally attached to my new quilt yet, so I took mine in. BDor, I am guessing it is up to you if you want to take it to a professional to see if they can help you out, or like many of the websites I've seen say, accept those stains as character marks and cherish it as is! Unless one of the fine ladies on here has some secret cleaning weapon! :P

  4. #4
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I too had rust looking stains on an old quilt , I tried a product called "Grandma's Stain Remover" and it got it almost entirely out, if you know where to look you can see it but if you're not looking for it you'd never notice it. I've only seen it at fabric stores, not places like WalMart.

  5. #5
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    Whink This is supposed to remove rust from fabric :D

  6. #6
    Super Member Harmony's Avatar
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    I did some research on this for a friend's quilt. The "rust" stains are apparently old bug bodies or something, and they're very hard to get out. Do a search on "quilt stains" and you'll find lots of suggestions.

  7. #7
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I don't know how to remove the stains, I just wanted to say what a beautiful quilt you have there! It really is gorgeous, I'm guessing that the entire design is cross stitched? Beautiful!

  8. #8
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Rust stains need acid-based removal, and can eat through the cotton. Most old stains can be taken out with prolonged soaking - days, not hours. A combination of enzyme cleaner and gentle detergent usually works. For antique quilts, I put in laundry basket or milk crate in bathtub, never directly in a washer. Pulling a wet quilt up and out can do some serious damage.

    Cross stitch is usually done in cotton or silk thread. On a bed quilt, animal claws can get tangled easily and rip out stitches and fabric.

  9. #9
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I don't have any help as to how to get the stain out, but it's a gorgeous quilt.
    To keep it clean? DON'T LET ANYONE TOUCH IT!!

  10. #10
    helenrhoades's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks guys! I appreciate the help on this! Hopefully these will post right, but you can see the detail!



  11. #11
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
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    wow!

  12. #12
    helenrhoades's Avatar
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    Thanks Henry! Here is a pic of the stain. it is a LOT lighter than it was:


  13. #13
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Oh Helen, that is beautiful! If I was you, I would be so proud and happy to own this quilt! I don't know what to do about the stain, but sounds like you have gotten several really good suggestions. I sure hope something works for you, that quilt is just too pretty to have any stains on it.

    Did you know the lady (s?) that made this? Is from any of your family?

  14. #14
    helenrhoades's Avatar
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    Hey thanks Sandpat! I AM so proud of this quilt, just to own it! I've never seen anything quite like it before, well, not like this design. I did not know the lady who made this, I found it on the local craigslist. But let me tell you, it is one of the best treasures I've been fortunate to stumble across.

  15. #15
    reva's Avatar
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    I understand lemon juice is supposed to take out alot of stains... a friend of mine tried a solution of water/lemon juice on quilt blocks from the 40's - it worked!!

  16. #16
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Helen, you are certainly right about that treasure part. You must be living right to have such good luck as to stumble upon that :lol:

  17. #17
    Super Member ruthie's Avatar
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    Helen,
    What a beautiful quilt. I use OxyClean on organic based stains. Then rinse. You can spot clean and rinse and not get the rest of the quilt wet. Lay flat to dry. It works wonderfully on rust stains on cloth. And it's just oxygen so it's pretty gentle. Just keep it wet with the oxyclean till the stain is gone.

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