Bearding occurs when batting migrates through the fabric and onto the surface of a quilt, leaving a fuzzy white coating that resembles a soft beard. Synthetic fibres are more likely to beard than cotton or wool, so if you use synthetic batting, choose one that has been bonded, a process that helps keep a batting fibres intact. The best battings are of course cotton, wool or bamboo. Avoid using loosely woven fabrics in your quilt. High-quality, tightly woven fabric makes it harder for batting fibres to migrate. To remove bearding, rub a damp washcloth across the surface of the quilt or use a fabric shaver. Click Here for more info on our fabric shaver.
Vintage and antique quilts are all the rage right now. People love creating old classics. Many fabric companies produce different types of reproduction lines such as Vintage, 1930’s and my favourite Civil War. Just to name a few. Finding old treasures has also become a popular pastime. However if you start to search out and collect authentic vintage or antique quilts, many will need a little TLC. The main challenge with these aged gems are that they are usually in need of a little repair. How to go about replacing a piece of fabric from the quilt that is badly stained, damaged or torn. Using new fabric to replace damaged sections, (even reproduction fabrics), don’t tend to blend in with the original quilts tone and colours. This is due to the aging process from the fabrics. Well here is the simple solution. Select a new fabric that you feel will compliment the quilt you are repairing. Try to match the the scale, colour and print as best as you can.
Now here is the key. You will need to age the fabric. This will tone down the fabric and alter the colour somewhat as well. You can quickly “age” a new fabric to fit in by placing it in a sunny window for several days. The sun will fade the fabric and quickly give it an old look. Some important note here is the importance of keeping quilt and fabrics out of the sun if you don’t want them to to fade.
Sometimes a vinegar rinse or salt in the wash water woks…and sometimes it doesn’t. Even after repeated “treatments,” some fabrics continue to release excess dye. For a more reliable preventative, launder previously unwashed fabric in a fixative, such as Retayne, which lock the colour into the fabric.