Monday, June 6, 2016

Linen Rescue One

I washed the vintage linens I rescued this weekend and then put them in to soak with a washerful of Oxiclean.  I just let the washer fill on the soak cycle, turned it off, and then went in several times to let it agitate for a few seconds.  Then, around noon today, I put them through another wash cycle, but with no detergent or oxygen bleach.

If you decide to try something like this, it's important that they air dry, not dry in the dryer.
If they air dry and need to go back into an oxygen bleach solution, they can do that.  If they go into the dryer, the stains will set forever.

I'm thinking I may need to re-soak the pillow sham and the dresser scarf once I determine whether I can live with the very slight discoloration.  I think I would like to quilt both of them. It would be nice if a vintage quilted dresser scarf would motivate me to keep the top of the dresser clear.

The linens that are off-white or almost eggshell color fascinate me.  I wonder why the women of the mid-1950s to 60s decided to leave white and go to off white with that beige/gray embroidery.  I need to talk to some of them before we lose them.  One of the beige embroidered napkins looks like it had already met bleach some time in the past.  The rose-woven damask napkins are so old that their corners and hemstitching were done by hand.  They do make my heart sing!

Our little town's internet service got "backed up" as in "traffic jam" yesterday.  Some customers got re-routed; some of us just were disconnected.  I think we're back on now, but it was a throw back to old times for nearly 24 hours!  Twenty years ago all this internet connectivity was pretty much just a dream.  We've come a long way since then.  Twenty years ago I hadn't yet had the opportunity to crawl in ceilings and pull wire through a school building.  Now we are wireless.  Very nice progress!

Happy quiltmaking,


Missy Shay said...

I love old linens, I've been collecting handkerchiefs.

Quilting Babcia said...

I need to soak some of the vintage Polish linens a friend gave me a couple weeks ago. Wondering if the oxyclean will bleach out the embroidery colors. These linens are all embroidered with bright clear colors that I wouldn't want to lose. I blogged about them a couple weeks ago - I too love vintage linens!

Cheryl Warren said...

Isn't oxiclean amazing? I love old linens too.

Unknown said...

Dora, have you tried Retro Clean? I have had amazing results on old linens that Oxyclean would not completely clean. I put clean baby clothes away 30 years ago, and they had spots when I took them out for the new granddaughter. I put them in a small cooler, mixed Retro Clean with hot water by the package directions, and left them to soak for 2 days, closed up in the cooler to keep it warm as long as possible. They were so clean! I found a small package at my local quilt store, then ordered a bigger bag from Amazon when I used it all. Julie E in FL

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