Cotton is the thinnest batting material. thickness. It's made of cotton fibers held together by a scrim. Polyester batting will not shrink, but cotton and other natural fiber products can shrink from 3-5 percent. If the quilt has any holes or pulled seams, you will want to repair or replace those before washing. Before you wash your quilt, pre-treat any stains with a commercial stain remover or an oxygen-based bleach and water soak. I personally like the antique look for my quilts. (Much like you've described your problem.) Bleeding dyes can stain sections of other fabrics during prewashing, but they're an even bigger problem when they transfer dyes onto patches in a finished quilt. Oxygen bleach is safe to use on cotton fabrics but do not use for silk or wool quilts. In case you want thin quilts, use thinner batting materials like cotton. Many quilters use cotton batting because it is lightweight and soft. A cotton batting such as Warm and Natural can be prewashed because it is needlepunched through scrim. Some cotton fabrics bleed, which means the dyes become loose in the wash. the problem is usually most noticeable in reds, purples, and other vivid colors. Wash a batting like this without enough quilting and the fibers will bunch up together when washed. If washing the quilt did not remove all of the stains, you can remove most spots by mixing a solution of oxygen-based bleach and cold water. If it is a quilt it is going to be washed on a 30/40 degree wool type was and that on my washing machine gives a 1000 spin. This particular batting requires quilting stitches just a quarter to half an inch apart. How to Wash a Vintage Quilt–Two Methods Prepping Your Quilt. How to Wash Quilt Fabric. Someone who wants to preshrink cotton batting (typically because they want a very flat look to the quilt) would need to use a cotton batting that is bonded, needlepunched, and/or needlepunched through scrim. Quilts quilted with cotton thread are more susceptible to damage from spin cycles and from handling the wet quilt. Treating Stains on a Vintage Quilt . If you want to have warmer and loftier quilts, choose thick batting materials. I just throw newly purchased fabric in the washer using the same settings I would use for a finished quilt. It's more 'delicate' than a needlepunched batt. To wash fabrics, combine like colors and machine wash with warm water. Merely soaking this batting in water would result in disintegrating wads of cotton. I always prewash my wadding/batting, I use an 80/20 cotton/poly mix batting and prewash on any machine wash cycle that I am going to wash the finished article in. I use 100% cotton batting and wash it by soaking it in hot water in the washer, spin drying, then tossing it in the dryer with a towel or two to keep it from balling up. Even with these battings, you never want to agitate. Follow the package's recommended directions (do not use oxygen bleach on silk or wool quilts) allowing plenty of time for the stain remover to work before moving on to washing the quilt. Modern cotton batts shrink anywhere from 1 to 3%, which is just right for me. The first thing you are going to do is inspect your vintage quilt. Be prepared for a smaller quilt when you pull it out of the dryer! After washing, your fabric will be fresh and clean; some quilting fabrics come with a chemical smell when they are new. If possible, place your quilt in the sun for a couple of hours. Cotton … It only has ⅛ inch (0.32 cm.) Another benefit is that washing removes the embedded fold in the fabric so everything will be uniform and lie flat. Antique quilts were made using cotton batting, which shrinks just enough in the wash to give a softly krinkled look.