Crocheted Bedspread

pink_warm_mama_1March 8, 2010

Have a white crocheted bedspread made, I believe, of cotton thread. It has been stored in a cupboard and now not only smells very musty but has pink splotches that must be mildew.

Can this spread be washed and, if so, what cleaner should be used on it. Or.....must it be dry cleaned? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. TIA

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I have a cotton crocheted bedspread that my Grandmother made over 50 years ago. I don't want to take a chance with a washing machine or a dry cleaner. I've only washed it a few times but I don't use it all the time. I put it in the bathtub and wash with a weak solution of mild detergent and warm water. Then I drain the water and squeeze out the excess water. Then I rinse again with fresh water, drain and squeeze until the soap is removed. Then I wrap it in beach towels and apply pressure - the towels help absorb more water. I do this several times until I think I've removed as much excess water as possible.

I only launder this bedspread in the summer. That way I can let it dry in the sun on my screened in porch. I push 2 picnic tables together, cover them with plastic and spread the bedspread on top.

It's not a simple task since the bedspread is fairly large and I don't want to risk breaking any of the threads or stretching it out of shape. I also need another set of hands to help with the squeezing.

I honestly don't know if this helps you but now you can see why I've only done this a few times.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 10:57PM
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Yes cotton can be washed...but be careful not to lift it and let the weight hang....always support it...
But spinning it out in your washer won't hurt it at all...if you can transport it to the washer with out pulling on it. Threads get weak when they are wet.
And rinse well.......but it will last longer if it's clean.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 11:40PM
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I would chance putting it in the washer in warm water, detergent and oxyclean.

You are going to have to spread it out and re-stretch it into shape to dry. I would go to Home Depot and buy a cheap blue plastic tarpaulin, lay it on the floor, and put the bedspread on there to dry.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 8:48AM
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I collect antique quilts, and I've tried just about every way of cleaning the fragile fabrics, and the myriad mysterious stains they acquire.

Your bedspread sounds a lot heartier (no, really.) You probably can do more with it than I'd dare do to a quilt.

I've tried a bunch of different things to use on quilts, and ways to wash them. In my experience, the bathtub method's a huge pain. I've used it a few times, but I prefer to use a washing machine sort of as a big soaking tub.

If the bedspread is cotton, you can fill the machine with warm water. I'd go from the least destructive means to a more aggressive approach - you may have to wash this several times in several different ways.

I'd use warm water and try Biz (you can find it in a good supermarket, or a store like Target.) Let the Biz agitate first, then add the bedspread, let it agitate on the lowest setting for a few minutes, then turn it off and let it soak overnight. Let the machine empty in the morning (do not agitate!), fill with rise water, use your hands to smoosh the bedspread around in the cold rinse water, let it soak, then empty the water out again. Refill again to the rinse setting, and this time, use some white vinegar in the rinse and let the bedspread go through the whole rinse setting.

When it starts to spin, let it. Just check it every 30 seconds or so. When the vast majority of the water is gone (which will be long before the spin setting is done,) carefully remove the bedspread, and set it out to dry (I've used very big and heavy quilts on a clothesline, half the quilt on each side, with no problems.)

Meanwhile check to see how the pink mildew fares. It may be gone (Biz is good for this sort of thing); it may not. By the way, I'd keep the oxyclean for a later trial. it can be very strong and somewhat destructive on some old fabrics.

There are several means of getting rid of the pink mildew stains, going all the way up to using tilex on it (no joke.) You can google "pink mildew" and see what appeals to you if the stains don't come out the first time. There are several commercial products for use on clothing that claim to remove pink mildew stains. I can't vouch for them.

All I can say is that something like this trial and error. What you've got working for you is that the type of bedspread you're talking about is usually very resilient and can withstand a lot - not that you want to take it to the limits! I can tell you that with all the quilts and antique linens I've washed, soaked and spun through the washer, I had one failure - one! - and that was hopeless anyway since the fabric suffered from dryrot as well as stains. And some of the quilts I've tackled have been dated as early as 1853.

If you want to do it the easy way, I've had excellent results with Vintage Textile Soak. It got out mystery stains nothing else would touch with absolutely no damage to the quilts. I'm including the maker's url, but if you google it or look on ebay, you can probably find it cheaper.

I hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vintage Textile Soak

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 3:16AM
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I have found that blue tarps from Home Depot will rub off blue onto things.

Best to get a cheap clear plastic drop cloth (used when painting) to cover the bed and then spread the bedspread over to dry.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 9:16PM
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I Crochet and I have some of my grandmothers crocheting. Old crochet thread does get weak after a long time. I second not putting it on a clothes line. A clothes line will stretch it out of shape and the weight may break threads. Lay it flat on clear plastic. Smooth it with your hands until it lays flat

I also second blairgirl's method of washing. If a thread happens to break Sew it together on the wrong side with a needle and matching thread after it's dry. Don't leave it or it may unravel

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 7:52PM
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Thank you so much for all your time, your comments and your suggestions, but I cannot tell a lie. I would have to do this bedspread by myself, and I became quite discouraged when I saw all the instructions. I finally contacted our cleaner here. They are going to inspect the bedspread, and then advise the course they feel I should take, either washing or dry cleaning, and they are aware of the question of stretching. If it must be dry cleaned, it would be only $16, and that sounds good to me compared to the work I could not handle alone. Thank you once again for all the trouble you took for my problem.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 5:21PM
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I crocheted a 100% cotton crochet thread banquet cloth a few years ago. I thought I could wash it in the machine as I do with the smaller table toppers I have crocheted. NOT. It has torn several times. That thread is much weaker than I thought.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 7:09PM
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Good heavens NOT let your cleaners dry clean that bedspread!
I have a loist of horrors that cleaners and provessionals have committed on antique linens a mile long.
do it your self....
Put it into your washer to soak...turn on the washer for 10 seconds and turn off.....repeat several times and spin out....fill and agitate with your hands to rinse....spin out and repeat....
Then spin dry....and lay on plastic on a bed or the floor to dry...
much better than allowing the cleaners to ruin it.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 7:31PM
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I would never do this in a top loader. Spend a $1.25 and use a front loader. There is no center fins to catch anything on, during the spin. I have ruinned a few things when I did not stop the spin and check that there was nothing caught in the agitator. Bring it hope to spread and air dry.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 12:13AM
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