|Soaking, washing and ironing|
Preparing old linens for use is a bit of a process, depending on how they have been stored and cared for.
I have a friend that is frequently given various quantities of vintage items, as she has a knack of being at the right place at the right time, and can't say no. I am so grateful for all of the inventory that she has given to me, adding to what I have been able to pick up on my own.
Very often, the items are stained, or have become extremely discolored with age;marring an otherwise lovely piece. As a result, I have to put them through a soaking and washing process before I know what I will be able to use. Many have some damage due their age, but I am able to utilize the lace trim or embroidered area that I have my eye on.
If there is a nice piece that I decide I won't be able to use, I put it up for sale in my store. I have come by many nice tea towels that might be made into a pillow cases, but sometimes I don't have the heart to cut them up, so to the shop they go.
There are quite a few combinations of recipes that can be used for soaking the stains from linen. Oxy-Clean brand, sea salt, white vinegar, Borax, lemon juice to name a few.
I usually treat about fifty or sixty items at a time. It can take from a couple of hours to a couple of days or weeks depending on the severity of the aging or type of stain. There have been times when I have said to myself, "good luck with that one" and been rewarded with something that looks like the day it was made. Love it when that happens!
I will post some comparison photos soon, so you can see the process. Looking at
this picture from a past summer makes me long for the spring. We have another eighteen inches of snow on the way!