Laundry is Rocket Science? I think not! The 1st three steps…

Because of the number of emails that I get on this subject through my antique linens website, I know that laundering and caring for antique and vintage linens and textiles consumes many of us. Because I did not have time to answer each and every question, I added a “tips on laundering antique linens” page to my site. ( But, daily, my mind is on the ever-growing list things that I have learned through more than a decade’s worth of washing things to sell.

First off, when did we get so scared of laundry!? From ancient times (or today, in ancient places) when rocks and the riverside were the method… to laundresses, hiring space on a laundry barge on the Seine River in Paris in the 19th and early 20th century, to the invention of soap flakes, scrub boards, laundry powders, chlorine bleach and modern laundry detergents, surfactants, softeners and scents, laundry was a yearly, monthly, weekly or daily chore. As more chemical products are invented along with washing machines and dryers, I wonder if we feel more removed from our washing than in days gone by?

Courage, my friends! Laundering and storing vintage Christening dresses, antique linen sheets, lace collars and cuffs and anything else is not rocket science! So, gather your heirlooms and your inner strength (I know it’s there!) and follow along as I help demystify the process for you!

In some ways, it’s easier than ever before because we have a wide range of products at our fingertips. In some ways, it’s harder because we have become limited by our washers and dryers and can’t get outside of those boxes. Let’s go!

RULE #1. Use what you have
a. common sense.
b. whatever resources you have at your house. (if you don’t have a bathtub in which to soak linens, substitute whatever you do have, a bucket, a sink, a plastic storage container, look around.)

RULE #2. Breathe.
a. Don’t begin anything when you are rushed. Especially if it is your first try.

RULE #3. Do not do anything to jeopardize your piece.
a. If you are truly worried, first soak in vinegar water and rinse it in plain water to remove chemical residues from prior washings that might interact with whatever you are about to try.

more to come…


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