Quilt Cleaning

Zwerner Quilt Full View
Clean Red Quilt | This antique quilt was restored using certified organic Stain Solver.

“I would highly recommend Stain Solver to any quilter who has stained a quilt she has spent many, many hours making, or anyone who is restoring an old or antique quilt.”

Clean Red Quilt – No Room for Error

Dear Tim,

I don’t have a ‘before’ picture. To be honest, I never expected the pile of fabric pieces and squares I received, to ever be anything worthwhile. I did, however, attach some pictures of the surprising finished product. After soaking and washing, I had to match the red fabric to replace one square and several partial squares that had small pieces missing or damaged. The Stain Solver did not fade or make the color blotchy, I was able to match the red color so closely, that I cannot pick out the square that was replaced, unless I look at the stitching closely. – Diana Zwerner

Here’s the Story:

I have been a quilter for several years. Recently, a customer asked if I would restore and complete her antique quilt. I have never done anything like this, but I reluctantly agreed to try. I have to say, when I saw the quilt, I was so shocked, I nearly refused to take it on.

First it was red and white. Red is definitely not a color that was colorfast in 1914!! It was mostly in pieces with only a few squares assembled. But most of the problem was that it was very dirty and heavily spotted with blotches of tan and brown. Now What???!!!

I started with the internet. After a good bit of research, I learned that most of the stains were caused by bugs that had settled on and in the quilt and then deteriorated causing the brown & tan blotching. Most of the sites recommended a mild soap made to wash quilts, or one of the detergents made to hand wash wool or for baby clothes. None of these did anything to remove the stains.

I was at a dead end. As I thought about the problem, it dawned on me that the stains were organic in nature, so I wondered if that wonderful Stain Solver that had worked so well on other things might help. First I was worried that the red dye would run. I decided to soak a piece or two in white vinegar to set the color. After the pieces dried, I next soaked them in Stain Solver, the red did not bleed into the water. I was getting brave, so I tried a small piece of red without the vinegar soak, again no color bleed. Now the real test, I placed completed squares with both red and white into the Stain Solver solution and soaked about 4 – 5 hours. I honestly could not believe the result. I thought it might take some of the stains out and maybe lighten the worst ones, but all traces of any stains were completely gone. All the pieces were bright red and perfect white, and no color bleeding. See for yourself in the attached pictures.

Zwerner Quilt - Close up

Since this first experience, I have used Stain Solver on two other stained quilts, one antique and one about 10 years old. The old one was again red and white and stained badly with body oils, as it was used as a throw in a TV room for several years. Again, Stain Solver completely removed the stains on both quilts. I would highly recommend Stain Solver to any quilter who has stained a quilt she has spent many, many hours making, or anyone who is restoring an old or antique quilt.

Zwerner 1917 Quilt Label