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Dust allergies and heirloom quilts

Hi,

I was just recently diagnosed with a dust mite allergy and am in the process of trying to make my house cleaner and dust-free. I have ordered encasements for my mattress, new pillows, etc. The thing that I am uncertain how to handle is a handmade quilt that my grandmother made for me. I love it and it is very dear and important to me. It would be really hard on it to be washed every week. I could try to figure out a way to hang it up as a piece of artwork in the living room but I think that would put it in the same category as drapes or curtains (though at least it wouldn't be in the bedroom). How have others dealt with this situation?

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Comments 8

  • Marie E Natzke

    You could frame it behind glass? Or take it out of your bedroom and that way you wouldn't need to wash it every week. Your bedroom should be made your safe haven. Do you have a guest room you could put the quilt in? 

  • LK

    Hi Dragon!  

    I have severe asthma and am allergic to dust mites, as well.

    I have several handmade quilts and afghans made by my great grandmother and great aunts.  I have the same dilemma on what to do with them.  I have mainly kept mine stored in a chest.  I agree that weekly or even every other week washing would be very hard on them.  You are right in that a wall hanging would create the same difficulties as drapes.  

    Is it a large quilt?  If it is very small, perhaps you could frame it.  

    Sorry I don't have any other suggestions!  Still trying to figure this question out for myself.  

    Please let us know if you find a good way to display it!

  • Melissa G

    Hi Dragon! Welcome to AAFA! 

    That is a hard one. I agree with Marie, could you keep it in another room or like Lisa suggested in a chest?

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, Dragon … that is a tough one! 

    One thing that might be a possibility is dry cleaning. says this:

    Dry cleaning kills all dust mites and is also good for removing dust mites from living in fabrics.

    A couple of questions on that — would the dry cleaning chemicals trigger you? (They do some folks, but not others) And would the material be suitable for dry cleaning?

    I like the idea of using it in another room or framing the quilt behind glass or Plexi-glass. I've seen that done, and it is beautiful. It may be expensive. I'd definitely ask the person doing the work to make sure the glass would protect from UV rays so that the fabric doesn't fade.

  • tlb2002

    Hi, Dragon!

    I love heirloom quilts! That's awesome that you have one your grandmother made.

    If you have room in your freezer (depending on the size of the quilt) or access to a chest freezer, you could freeze it for 24 hours periodically to kill the dust mites. 

    If you want to store it, you can buy quilt/blanket bags that might help keep some of the dust mites out. 

    Good luck!

  • tlb2002

    I just found . It suggests carefully vacuuming with cheesecloth over the brush if it's not torn or frayed. If you have a vacuum with attachments that doesn't release dust back into the air (see ), then vacuuming might help. This wouldn't be as effective as washing, but it may help if you move the quilt to another room. Hope that helps!

  • Melissa G
    tlb2002 posted:

    Hi, Dragon!

    I love heirloom quilts! That's awesome that you have one your grandmother made.

    If you have room in your freezer (depending on the size of the quilt) or access to a chest freezer, you could freeze it for 24 hours periodically to kill the dust mites. 

    If you want to store it, you can buy quilt/blanket bags that might help keep some of the dust mites out. 

    Good luck!

    Oohh, great info! Thanks!