Limit the amount of direct sunlight as well as artificial light your quilt receives. Over time, light can damage fabric. Whether you use your quilt as a bed covering or a wall hanging, take steps to ensure the lighting in the room is consistently low.
Clean your quilt. Hold a square foot piece of nylon screening over the surface of the quilt, turn the vacuum on low and gently run the vacuum’s nozzle across the screen. This step will require time and patience, especially if you are cleaning a large quilt, but it will remove the majority of surface dust and dirt.
Wash your quilt by hand in a bathtub with a mild detergent recommended for quilts only when absolutely necessary. Wet fabric is more vulnerable to stretching and other damage than dry fabric. Pat excess water with white towels and allow the quilt to dry flat or in a quilt sling.
Prevent paper or wood products from touching your quilt while it is in storage. Lay your quilt out between two pieces of unbleached, dye-free muslin or two white cotton sheets. Fold the quilt in thirds. Roll the quilt around an acid-free cardboard tube and place the quilt in storage.
Store your quilt in an acid-free container in a dark and dry room. The temperature of the room should be between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and between 45 and 55 percent humidity, according to the Michigan State University Museum.
Air out your quilt at least once every three to six months to prevent creasing and discourage infestation by pests. Refold the quilt in a different pattern than you used before to prevent permanent creases from developing.