How to Wash Old Quilts
Useful stuff from 75 years of Yankee: March 1975
A very old quilt must be given kind treatment if it is to be washed. When a quilt is heavy with water, the filler swells, and old, rotted threads will give way. Therefore, it is necessary to minimize the strain.
One solution is to make two sheets the size of the quilt by seaming together inexpensive nylon net. Place the quilt between the net pieces and baste together. The net will provide extra strength during the washing process, which you’ll want to do in a bathtub to cut down on handling.