Bates Family Heirlooms: Long-Term Care Tips January 14, 2021 13:48

Here at Bates, we truly believe in making quality products that can last for generations!  We often receive phone calls, emails, and reviews from people who have owned a Bates bedspread for many, many years and continue to enjoy it (side-note: if you are the proud owner of an antique Bates bedspread and would like to know how old it is, check out our blogpost "How Old is My Bates Bedspread? How to Estimate the Age of a Bates Bedspread").  Even though our products are built to last, proper care can go a long way in helping keep your bedspread, blanket, or throw in tip-top shape.  Read on to learn our recommendations for caring for your beloved Bates long-term.

1| Basic Care

Washing Machine

A little goes a long way - even just doing the basics will help ensure that your bedspread or blanket has a long life!  Brush up on our general care tips (for Bates items new and old) here.  We also provide suggestions for tackling stain removal, and list some storage tips.  Luckily, our 100% cotton products make washing and drying at home easy!

2| Above & Beyond: How to Stop Shedding, Pilling, Lint & Fuzz

Cotton is a durable fiber, but it does naturally pill a little bit with washing.  Extra fuzz from shedding cotton fibers is most common with blankets, since the yarns are chunkier and more loosely spun.  We've put together an extensive guide for reducing pilling and lint on cotton blankets and bedspreads, which we'd encourage any Bates owner to read.  It's important to note that any pilling should reduce with each successive wash/dry cycle, too.  While drying, we recommend emptying the dryer lint trap several times to allow maximum removal of the excess fibers each cycle.

3| Performing Repairs 

In our current "throwaway" consumer culture, it can be tempting to toss something out as soon as it's a little worn.  We are strong proponents of encouraging people to care for their Bates products so that they'll be around for a long time - and sometimes that means taking on a repair project or two!  

HOLES: If you have an antique Bates bedspread still in use, you may have a hole or two you'd like to fix.  For some detailed instructions on mending holes, check out our blogpost "How to Fix a Woven Bedspread or Blanket".  These tips may be especially useful if you have a Matelassé bedspread, coverlet, or throw that needs attention. 

PULLS: Terry bedspreads and some looser-weave blankets have weave structures that make snagging more likely.  If you get a noticeable snag or pull, you can get it back into place yourself fairly easily.  To do this, grab the material several inches on either side of the pull (in the direction of the pulled thread) and give some firm tugs.  Then, using tweezers, slowly work the pulled loop back into the fabric.  We've made a video describing this process using terry fabric, but the same process applies to a blanket pull.

Caring for and repairing your things not only helps reduce the amount of waste going into landfills (the EPA estimates that landfills received 11.3 million tons of MSW [municipal solid waste] textiles in 2018), but many feel that it's beneficial psychologically, too.

We love this graphic, "Top 10 Reasons to Mend" from Visible Mending. "Visible Mending" is a popular trend in clothing, so why not bring it into the realm of home textiles?

In conclusion, our Bates products are built to last, but to truly become a family heirloom they'll need a little help to look and perform their best!  We hope this guide to caring for (and possibly repairing) your bedspread or blanket will help you in your mission to keep it in your home for(almost)ever.