Cynthia St. Charles Store

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Antique Lace

Garage Sale Treasure

Joe brought home a nice surprise for me recently. This entire box of antique lace was priced at only $5.

There was only one piece of modern lace mixed in. All the rest is the real deal.

Most of it is very badly stained. I am putting it away for now.

Cleaning all this up looks like a winter project to me. In the meantime, I am happy to take suggestions for the best way to remove the brown stains without harming the delicate lace.


Liz said...

Swoon. What a find. Look forward to seeing how you use it.

Mary-Kay said...

Lucky you! What a find and what a deal!!!! I'm sure there is some method on the net that you could try. I think if you rinse it in a lemon juice concoction and lay it out in the sun, that helps to remove stains but I don't know if that's for white material only or what. It can't hurt to try.

Debra said...

Maybe you can use it with the stains as part of the idea of your piece--or maybe you could overdye it. I would probably wait until I was really ready to use it before I tried to clean it and by then the stains would be so embedded I could never get them out. That's a great haul! Do you do any CQ?

Beena said...

I see some people do rust "dyeing" on lace pieces, and use them in art quilts. Or like Debra said, perhaps over dye it. Great find!

Approachable Art said...

SCORE!! Well done, Joe!

tiedyejudy said...

Kudos to Joe for thinking of you! I have a stash that has some real old pieces in it, and keep thinking I will use them some day... maybe we can have a 'winter antique lace' challenge! BTW, I have an antique cotton summer dress that I have used woolite to clean (hand washed of course), and that worked pretty well.

Patricia said...

I am not a "art" quilter---just beginning to dabble--but I might leave some of it as is. Sometimes in trying to remove, you destroy. It could possibly really "add" to a piece if left stained. But then it would also probably depend on WHAT the stain was. Just a thought! BTW-love you work. It is very inspiring.


Marybeth said...

Cynthia.. I have been having real good luck with Oxy-clean type products..letting the fibers soak for sometimes 2-3 days. I also have used Biz detergent for stains in antique quilts and tablecloths. I have friends who have used Calgon dishwashing soap. All these with little or no rubbing of fibres, just soaking and lots and lots of rinsing...Good luck..Marybeth

indigocarole said...

Cynthia, lovely lace find. When I made bobbin lace, it would get quite grubby. My teacher told me of a method of cleaning, that worked for linen and cotton threads. You seem to have a lot of yardage, so it may not work for you. Warm water in a screw topped jar, lid on, shake gently to dissolve the marks. Repeat as necessary.
For Ruskin lace, needle lace on linen, Elizabeth Prickett

told us to roll our pieces in a freshly washed towel, still damp, but not soaking wet, in a plastic bag, leave overnight and press while still damp. HTH


Anonymous said...

Cynthia, I cleaned some quilt blocks from the 30's that were very badly stained - they were muslin or poplin. I used a product called Heirloom Fabric Soak distributed by Quilt Strings, Richardson, TX 817-467-4905, The cotton fabric blocks came out absolutely beautiful. I also soaked some linen and wool crewel needlework with not as good results. The linen stains came out wonderfully, but the solution took the dye out of the wool fibers and it bled onto the linen. I've used the soak for other cotton & linen products with excellent results. Just don't use it on wool fibers. HTH. Carol Mitchell

Michigoose said...

Oxyclean or Biz are good to use, rinsing thoroughly and repeating if necessary.

I don't believe in the lemon soak because there are sugars in the lemon and of course they are acidic...neither are too good for the lace archivally...but then I'm a museum curator by profession.

One thing, when you do wash the lace, have piece of glass, or some other large non-porous piece, maybe a door mirror for longer pieces, and carefully spread the lace out on the glass panes or pans so that it isn't tangled and laying flat. This makes the pieces dry flat and you won't have to try to iron them or deal with twisty distortions.