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Right way to pack quilts

Now that summer is already making its presence felt, it’s time to pack away winter blankets and quilts. Here’s how to do it correctly!

india Updated: Feb 25, 2012 01:58 IST
Priyanka Monga

It will soon be time to pack away your blankets, quilts and woollen throws as spring is just around the corner. In order to keep your warm textiles in good condition for next winters, it’s important to store them properly. Textile expert Sarita Handa says, “Depending on its age, condition and fabric, each quilt or blanket requires its own special care. Keeping them as clean and dry as possible is the best way to preserve them.”

Things to keep in mind
Whether it is blankets, quilts or throws, before tucking them away ensure that they are not soiled, dirty and are moisture-free as dirt attracts bugs, and moisture gives way to mildew.
Refer to the washing instructions of the blanket. Fabrics such as silk, velvet and fur should be sent for dry cleaning, or wash the blanket at home — only if the instructions allow.
After dry cleaning or a wash, make sure that the blanket is not damp. Open up the blanket to air dry it well, so that no moisture content is left or sun dry it.

Blanket storage
1.To ensure that the blanket stays in good shape, simply roll the clean blanket like a sleeping bag and tie it with an old belt or phone cord.
2.If you can manage, then it’s best to store them in a cedar-lined closet or cedar chest. Pranab Mahajan from Maspar says, “Wrap the blanket tightly in a plastic sheet or in a light-weight fabric.”
3.To prevent moths and pests, you can add mothballs, or moth crystals, if you can tolerate their smell. “If you are
storing the blanket in lofts, etc, there are chances of contact with moisture, so put a small packet of silica gel in the lofts,” adds Mahajan.
4.Another simple way is to stack them in empty suitcases. But you will need to fold the blankets instead of rolling them while stacking them in suitcases.
5Use vacuum storage bags if you have limited storage space. Place the
blanket in the bag and use the suction of the vacuum hose to pull the air out through a special one-way valve. Once you remove the air and the bags are flat, you can store several bags stacked on top of each other.

Quilts
1.You can roll your quilt and pad cotton sheets or muslin fabric with the decorative side facing outwards. Avoid rolling the quilt too tightly as it can cause wrinkling. Except the silk quilts, you can cover the quilts with a plastic screen and then use a vacuum cleaner brush attachment to gently dust it.
2.Another option is to roll the quilt on a cardboard tube of around 3-4 inch in diameter. But the tube should be covered with cloth and the quilt should be rolled and covered with plain white fabric, muslin, cotton or a blend fabric.
3.You can store quilts in acid-free box. “In case, you opt for folding the quilt, line the folds with acid-free paper or clean muslin. Also, use fragrant sachets for nice fragrance to prevent them from being infested by pests,” adds Handa.

More tips
You should avoid storing your winter blankets and quilts in a basement or a garage as blankets are more likely to develop a moldy smell in such places. Never forget to add mothballs and lavender sachets to your storage container for a fresh scent.If your cedar closet has lost its cedar smell, try lightly sanding the surface to reactivate the scent.