Teddy Bears With Yellow Stains

Dear Jennifer,
I am so happy to find your web-site. I have a question about how to clean an all cotton quilt that is embellished with appliquéd teddy bears. It is a Christmas quilt with whites, bright reds, blues, and greens. The back of the quilt is white. This has yellowed in a few places. The appliquéd teddy bears are holding various little gifts and toys. They have button eyes, etc… This quilt is handmade, and is about ten years old. I am afraid if I get it wet the colors will run.
Do you have any suggestions, on how it could be cleaned?? Do you know if there is a place to send quilts to have them cleaned?? Thanks for your time and consideration. Nicole

Dear Nicole,
If the quilt is only about 10 years old, I would not be too concerned about the colors bleeding. Most modern fabric is colorfast, and most quilters wash fabrics before constructing. However, if you are really worried about it, you can wash it in Synthrapol, available from www.dharmatrading.com. This is a very concentrated detergent that dyers use in order to carry away excess dye without having it stick in the washer or on other fabric. It is particularly crucial for tie-dyers – imagine rinsing out excess dye, it seems likely that the whole garment would end up muddy if something like Synthrapol were not used.
As for restoring or treating quilts in general – I hate to advise you directly since quilts can be fragile, valuable, etc. If you do not have a quilt store or expert in your town, I suggest that you call the Quilt Store here in Austin: 512 453 1145. See what they say.
good luck,

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