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Forum > Vintage Sewing > Very old cotton batiste. ( Moderated by JEF)

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Very old cotton batiste.
how to get out the yellowing?
SouthernStitch
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SouthernStitch  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/26/11 9:13 PM

I have in my possession two christening gowns, one from the 1800s which is pretty darned yellowed out, and the other from 1910, which both of my children were christened in. It's not as bad as the older one. However, these were kept since then by men who knew nothing of how to keep them.
They actually seem to be in decent condition, but yellow. Should I soak them in Biz, or something else, or do nothing at all?
There is also a beautiful smocked silk jacket which is in remarkably good shape. I have no idea it's era, but it appears to be old, but not spotted at all! It's possible it was never worn.

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Bernina 780, and 530
Juki TL2010
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When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.

Elona
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In reply to SouthernStitch


Date: 12/27/11 12:33 PM

I have soaked vintage cotton batiste baby garments in OxiClean powder/solution overnight and for several days, with the result that all yellowing disappeared and the fabrics looked wonderful! After that, I hand laundered them as usual.

If your silk jacket is in great shape, I would suggest leaving that as it is, but of course protecting it for sunlight and dust with acid free paper or a cotton cover.

blue mooney
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blue mooney
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In reply to SouthernStitch


Date: 12/27/11 2:44 PM

For the cotton, Oxyclean. But if you want to try something really conservative first, try doing a gentle hand wash and then letting the gowns dry in bright sunlight. I've saved a white vintage shirt that way.

For the jacket, which sounds lovely, you can fold it in acid-free tissue and then store it in an acid-free box for good measure.

------
--Robyn
sewing blog: http://bluemooney.wordpress.com/
illustration blog: http://storybooky.wordpress.com/

The Dreamstress
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The Dreamstress
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Date: 12/27/11 7:00 PM

What lovely things to own! Especially with a family history.

Unless you need to use them right away, and there is no way you would use them in a yellow condition, please, please, please DON'T do anything to them! Any of the above suggestions are likely to make them look better in the short term, but damage them & shorten their life span in the long term.

To keep them from suffering any further damage store them in acid-free tissue paper, or acid-free unbleached cotton calico (muslin). Pad out the bodices, sleeves, and sides with a bit of rolled a-ftp to support the gathers and keep the creases from becoming brittle.

fourkid
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Date: 12/27/11 7:34 PM

The new Threads magazine has an article on this very topic - they suggest using Biz as a soak for several days, changing out the water daily.

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Blessings,
Patti
http://poured-out.blogspot.com/
http://homeschooling-imperfectly.blogspot.com/

Peggy L
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Date: 12/27/11 7:38 PM

Your local quilt store may have a special soak for vintage linens.

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www.thereisjoyadventures.blogspot.com

SouthernStitch
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Date: 12/27/11 7:45 PM

Thanks all! I thought I'd read about the Biz before. I think that for now I won't do anything, as was suggested. Then when it's about time, I'll do a Biz soak for days and if no good, switch to the oxyclean. I knew I'd get good advice here !

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Bernina 780, and 530
Juki TL2010
Babylock Evolution
Singer 403a

When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.

auntie bellums
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Date: 12/27/11 8:44 PM

I have a friend with an antique shop and on their vintage quilts they start washing with Orvis and if that doesn't work they move on to washing with Cascade. I've done both on quilts that are over 100 years old and they have faired really well. I have one that my great grandma made and it was quite dirty and yellow when found. I started with the Orvis and it still was stained so I moved on to the Cascade and sure enough, all the stains came out and no damage to fabric.

If you have a local museum that has a restoration department they might be able to tell you how they clean their items. Most of the time they are very helpful.

Good Luck.

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It's not your mamma's sewing.....It's your great grandmamma's

jmars
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Date: 12/27/11 10:24 PM

...do you mean Cascade that's used in dishwashers?

auntie bellums
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Date: 12/28/11 3:24 PM

Yep, the old style. I thought the same thing, but it cleaned the quilt beautifully. The Orvis took out the surface dirt and grime, but I was left with a quilt with oil spots. When I washed it with the Cascade they vanished.

What my friend had said was that the Cascade is specifically designed to break down grease and remove it from the surface and it does the same thing on fabric. Apparently it has something in it the captures the oil and dirt so it doesn't deposit back on the dishes and it does the same thing in the washing machine. The other thing that I noticed was that it left it smelling wonderfully fresh, not washed. I know that probably sounds wierd, but it just smelled clean, not like laundry detergent.

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It's not your mamma's sewing.....It's your great grandmamma's

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