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Forum > Vintage Sewing > Care of antique lace ( Moderated by JEF)

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Care of antique lace
PollyBee9
PollyBee9  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/28/14 10:29 AM

If this would be better placed in another topic, please move as appropriate.

I recently was gifted a large bag of antique lace that was found in an attic. The pieces are quite discolored but the main problem is they have the nastiest musty smell. At this point it is totally unusable. My question is, what is the best way to remove the odor and how can I clean them and try to salvage as much as I can. I would rather not dry clean them as I don't like the idea of the chemicals used. I don't want to ruin it but I would love to be able to use it. I would appreciate any assistance.

Margarette
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Date: 2/28/14 12:25 PM

I own vintage lace, European. I fill up a large sink and add a TBSP or so of mild liquid detergent and let it soak. Squeeze suds through lace. Repeat as needed (you will be amazed at the dirt) Rinse until water runs clear.
I was hesitant to wash mine also, but overcame it and the results are fantastic. Good luck.
Will be selling some of mine if anyone interested.

Elona
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In reply to PollyBee9 <<
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Date: 2/28/14 2:51 PM

I have soaked my antique laces and antique fabric overnight in a solution of OxyClean. They came out stainless, white, and perfect!

PollyBee9
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Date: 2/28/14 10:10 PM

Thank you ladies. I would have never thought of oxyclean. I have some woolite. What have I got to lose?

Patti B
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Date: 3/1/14 9:09 AM

Oxyclean or Biz can work magic on dis colored textiles. Mary Ellen also now has a Best Wash product that is supposed to work in this situation too.

------
Patti

R-r-r-ripping my way to fitting success

ASiverson
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Date: 3/1/14 10:04 AM

Martha Pullen, who collects antique clothing, says to always soak it in OxyClean, or some such product, in a plastic bucket or tub. And she means soak it in a LOT of water for a fairly long time, days if necessary, But check on it. And go to her site to see. www Marthapullen dot com.

------
Annette

Andsewforth
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Date: 3/1/14 10:49 AM

Martha Pullen recommends soaking in Biz as described by Annette
Janet



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Date: 3/29/14 9:06 PM

I inherited a very large stash of very old lace, much over 80 years old. My mother in law told me to use bleach and I did but luckily only on a few pieces. They no longer exist. DO NOT EVER BLEACH ANTIQUE LACE. Here's what I have learned to do with much success and the laces have held up beautifully.

Soak the laces in a 5 gallon bucket of hot water into which you have dissoveld 1 cup of Biz. You can find Biz at Walmart. It is an enzyme product and works differently from Oxyclean. Soak your lace overnight. If the water is filthy the next day, empty the bucket and start fresh again. With old yellow lace it can take a week or more of soaking but Biz will get it out. Then if possible, on a sunny no wind day, lay the pieces out on the lawn to dry in the sun. Many may be to fragil to pin on the line . If you are concerned, you cup put them between two sheets out on the lawn and hold them down with rocks. The goal is to dry flat and in the sun.

Before you store your new laces you can iron them if needed. Use a press cloth and NO STARCH. Cooties love to eat starch. Hope this all helps. I will leave you with a pic of some 80 year old lace from a priest's alb that I made into a Christening gown.


This was very very yellow when I got it.
-- Edited on 3/29/14 9:08 PM --

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