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Can You Wash a Collage Quilt?

The million dollar question everyone wants to know: Can you wash a collage quilt?  The answer is YES... with some caveats you should be aware of. 

Collage quilts are generally only used as wall hangings, so usually there isn't a reason to wash them.  However, if you're wanting a really texturized quilt, I would recommend washing to get that frayed, dimensional look.  Collage quilts are made with all raw edges, so washing will cause those edges to fray a bit.  If you do not want your edges to fray, DO NOT wash your collage quilt!

If you're planning on using a collage quilt on a bed, you'll want to be able to wash it.  Just keep in mind that washing = fraying.

We washed two different collage quilts, one made using permanent fabric glue and the other made with Lite Steam a Seam 2 (SAS).  The quilt made with glue frayed slightly more than the quilt using SAS, you can see the pictures below.

BEFORE (with glue)

BEFORE (with glue)

AFTER (with glue)

AFTER (with glue)

AFTER (with glue)

AFTER (with glue)

The quilt made with SAS frayed slightly less than the quilt made with glue, see the pictures below.  One thing to remember when using SAS is to press with a steamy iron once you're finished with your quilt to ensure all of the pieces are held firmly down.  Regardless of which adhesion method you used, make sure your quilting is dense (1/4" to 1/2" between stitches) to ensure no pieces come off during washing.

BEFORE (with SAS)

BEFORE (with SAS)

AFTER (with SAS)

AFTER (with SAS)

AFTER (with SAS)

Watch our tutorial for washing a quilt here:

Comments (2 Responses)

21 August, 2020

Sheryl Clark

I’m going to wash mine before giving as a gift. It was made purposefully for a blanket throw. It is steam a seam 2 constructed. I steam ironed the heck out of it several times. Before quilting, it’s pretty stiff. Did you find that it softened up with washing. I don’t mind the fraying, I think it’s part of the character of this technique.

21 July, 2020

Deborah Kean

I can see very minimal damage, but have no desire to wash mine as they are strictly for wall hanging. Why anyone would want to go to all the trouble of making a collage quilt for a bed, is beyond me, but there are always someone out these with very different ideas. There is way too much tedious work in a collage to me to then throw it in a crib or on a bed…just my view. Your tutorials are well done!

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