Quilt Repair, Conservation Vs. Restoration

Tips About Hiring A Quilt Restoration Service

You are able to hire a quilt restoration service, which will also restore crazy quilts, but the wait time is typically over six months. Before making any hires, make sure you have a timeline.

Time and materials are taken into account when determining fees. For instance, the cost of re-embroidery will be significantly higher than that of general restoration. In most cases, the price of materials is determined by their cost.

When sending a quilt away for evaluation or restoration, we suggest placing it in a box and securing all of the box’s edges with packing tape. The plastic bag should only be used for the duration of the shipping process. Send the quilt off on a Monday so that it doesn’t have to sit in a storage facility over the weekend.

If the quilt is worth less than $500, we suggest shipping it via UPS, which will ensure that it is paid for at the amount you specify; otherwise, we suggest shipping it via FedEx (their maximum insurance on art and antiques).

You need to make a request that vintage fabrics or other period-appropriate fabrics (in the case of silks) be used. If the quilter suggests using new or reproduction fabric in your quilt, they should let you know in advance and respect your decision if you want to keep the whole thing in period fabrics if you choose to keep it that way.

Repair The Quilt Yourself

If you have experience with sewing, you might want to think about enrolling in a restoration class so that you can learn to do the work on your own.

Should I Restore My Quilt?

It depends. First things first, you’ll need to consider the quilt’s history as well as its potential in the years to come.

If the quilt is a family heirloom and the intention is to display it, but there are holes that will tear more if displayed, then the answer is likely to be that restoration is a good idea.

If the damage to the quilt is significant, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to recoup the costs of restoring it if you intend to resell it. It is better to sell a quilt “as is” and let the new owner decide how much of it she wants to have restored rather than trying to restore it yourself before selling it.

Conservation vs. Restoration

The objectives of conservation and restoration are distinct, but intertwined with one another. The purpose of conservation is to maintain the integrity of the object for use by people in the future. In general, this refers to keeping an object at the same level of damage it already has while also stabilizing it to prevent the damage from getting any worse. The quilt will not necessarily be returned to its initial condition; however, the objective of the restoration process is to return it to an aesthetic and physical integrity that is comparable to how it appeared at an earlier point in its history.

For instance, if a dog has chewed a hole in a quilt, a conservator might add a stabilizing back to the quilt and applique a crepeline patch over the hole, whereas a restorer would replace the backing, batting, and front fabrics that have been lost, and requilt the piece. Another example would be if a person had a quilt that was damaged by a fire. A restorer would choose fabric that had the same level of wear as the rest of the quilt they were working on.

The most appropriate course of action for each individual quilt must be determined on an individual basis.

Vintage vs Reproduction Fabrics

The owner of the quilt, in consultation with the person responsible for its restoration, should make the decision regarding whether or not to use reproduction fabrics or vintage fabrics. Reproduction fabrics are much less expensive than similar antique fabrics. There are many that are accurate in terms of color and surface design, but there are also many that are inaccurate in terms of coloring; therefore, careful selections need to be made.

Examining the tensile strength of antique fabrics is recommended. Steer clear of fabrics that display any signs of dry rot or weakness.

In the world of antiques, a quilt that has been carefully restored using original fabrics will almost always be accepted, whereas a quilt that has been repaired using reproduction fabrics might not be.

How does restoration affect the value of a quilt?

When done correctly, restoration can decrease the historic value of a piece while simultaneously increasing its marketability and practicality. The sentimental value of a family quilt may be diminished if its fabrics are replaced, but refashioning a severely damaged quilt into a small wall-hanging may enable a member of the family to take pleasure in the sight of a piece of a much-loved quilt on a daily basis.

Each quilt, just like everything else involved in the restoration process, needs to be evaluated on an individual basis.

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