Sunday, May 29, 2011

Why use 100% Cotton Fabrics?

When you read instructions for making a quilt or making blocks for a swap, almost every single time the instructions say, "Use good quality 100% cotton fabrics."  We have seen that written so many times that we just tend to gloss over it.   Most of the places where we shop only carry 100% cotton fabrics, but other places have fabrics that are blends or are made totally of something other than cotton. 

This beautiful Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt has been on my bed for several years.  I don't know the name of the maker, but she was the mother of one of our neighbors when I was growing up.  My Mom went with our neighbor up to Michigan to visit the neighbor's Mother, and my Mom fell in love with this quilt....so the lady told Mom to take it home with her and enjoy it.  She did that until she passed away in 1995, and now I have the quilt.  I would guess that this quilt is at least 50 years old.  Think of the amount of time that it took to hand pieced all of these hexagons.  It is also beautifully hand quilted.

I don't know if you can see in the above photo, but take a look at the close up of the block below.  The brown fabric in the first round of this block was made from something other than 100% cotton.  I'm not sure what the fabric is....maybe polyester or a blend.  You can see the beautiful hand quilting on this quilt. 

There are two other places where this same fabric was used on this quilt.  There is a half block at the top and bottom of the quilt, too.  I plan to try and applique' some other fabric over these worn places and hand quilt to make it look like the rest of the quilt.

A bed sheet was used as the backing for the quilt which was fairly common around this time.  The sheet is still in fine shape.

For the most part, this quilt is still in fine shape, but you can see the reason why there is always that little sentence...Use 100% cotton fabrics...in quilt instructions.  So no matter how much you may love a fabric, always be sure to check the fiber content on the fabric before you buy it and use it in your quilts.

I hope you are doing a little stitching this weekend!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit! 

17 comments:

Barb said...

What a lovely quilt. It is a shame that the brown has vanished away. The quilt my grandmother did for me had spots like that as well...I am just guessing they used whatever was on hand.

Annemariesquilt said...

Thank your sharing your experience with me. I always use 100 % cotton but it a good lesson for me to see why ;-)

Linda said...

What a treasure!! It's such a beautiful quilt and neat story!

Maria said...

What a treasure. I am sure you will be able to repair it.

Yvette said...

Great lesson for all of us. What a shame that this had to happen to this wonderful quilt.

Pokey said...

Aw, so sad. Are you able to mend it?
It sure is worth the trouble.

blauraute said...

Dear LuAnn,
what a wonderful quilt. It's a good lesson for all to use only 100 % cotton. I hope you can repair that gorgeous quilt.
Have a nice and cozy week.
Roswitha

Claire said...

I'm surprised that the fabric, whatever it's content, has already deteriorated in such a relatively short time. I can see that happening fromthe 1800s, not because of the fabric content cuz it was all cotton, but because of the fabric dyes. Maybe it was a dye problem on your quilt and not a fabric content problem. Just wondering.

floridatjej said...

Thank you for sharing, a good reason to buy good quality fabrics when spending so much time and effort on our quilts.

Editfolt said...

great job. I will try

The Civil War Quilter said...

Lovely old quilt and good reminder!

Lori said...

That is such a sweet quilt with fond memories. I have been known to give a few of my quilts away to visitors too. I can only hope they have enjoyed mine as much as your mother enjoyed hers.

It is a good reminder about 100% cotton too.

Jeanne said...

What a treasure you have in that quilt! I wonder if the dyes in that fabric made it disintegrate?

Dawn said...

I think the maker would feel honored you have the quilt and care about it - a blog post about it would blow her mind!

Karen said...

A beautiful quilt LuAnn and I am sure you will have it looking as good as new.

Kathryn D. Duke said...

this is wonderful example LuAnn...
I restore/repair quilts since I retired from teaching. And yes, certain fibers will disintegrate, however, so do all cotton ones, sometimes...I have repaired many quilts that were dyed with a process that caused "critters" to eat on the fabric or sunlight etc just ate it away...of course these are quilts much older than yours...

Thanks for sharing and I look forward to seeing your blog!!
Blessings,
Kathy

Lucy said...

you say you don't know how old the quilt it, I don't know if this would help you date it or not, but I received a set of sheets, like the one on the back, as a wedding present back in 1978. So it definately could be over 33 years old.

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