Washing a rag quilt can be so daunting. If you've heard the horror stories, then you've heard that washing machines have been destroyed. Dryers have burned to the ground. Laundromats have banned all rag quilts.
(all the above are EXAGGERATIONS! and a bit silly)
But, in reality rag quilts shed. A lot!
But we have come up with a few simple steps to help with the shredded lint.
- Give your quilt a quick shake before throwing it in the wash.This will get rid of the fibers already falling off. I would make sure to shake it somewhere you don't care if you end up with flying fibers. Outside, in a garage, in the living room followed by a quick vacuum. Whatever works for you
- Throw it in the washer with other things. I like to wash with towels. I also like to do a rinse only to start with. Just to get the quilt wet. This also helps with clogging the drain pipe. You'll remove most of the fibers in the dryer.
- Throw it in the dryer with wool dryer balls and a couple towels. The balls and towels help to remove more of the lint and to catch it as well.
- Check your lint catcher OFTEN. In a 60 minute dry time I check 2-3 times. More if its a big quilt.
- Use a lint roller to clean up the quilt after washing and drying.
- Rewash quilt if you want to wash with detergent, followed by another dry time.
- After 2-3 wash/dry cycles your quilt shouldn't shed too much anymore.
I often am asked if the quilt will shed past the sewing and the blanket fall apart. I personally use this quilt daily, and have for almost 10 years. I love it. I even added minky to the back of the quilt so its perfect all winter in cold snowy Idaho. It is still going strong. No holes. No falling apart.
There may be types of fabric that will shred past the sewing, but I wouldn't recommend using it in the first place. It is most likely a very thin or loosely woven fabric to begin with. But in making rag quilts since 2009 professionally, I haven't had a quilt fall apart due to shredding past the seam