The napkins were shrunk

Recent query

After Christmas dinner the white antique placemats and napkins were mistakenly put into the dryer and they reduced to about 2/3 the original size. Are these ruined or might you know of a way I can re-size them? They are white without any lace or other trims to interfere with the sizing…just a single narrow row of open stitch trim around the border.

Reply:

I have two ideas but they may or may not work to your satisfaction. This is what I would try in the order that I would do them.

1.

This first idea you have probably tried… re-wet them and stretch them as you iron with the very hottest iron possible. Or, send out to a commercial laundry where they can iron them on a mangle roller iron.

2.

Treat each item as a piece of watercolor paper in the way watercolorists do to stretch and retain shape. You must first purchase the kind of board they use. (I do not remember the word but it was something from the hardware store that we bought when I took a watercolor class in college. Now, they sell watercolor boards but you need something strong, absorbent, lightweight clean and cheap! that will not lose its shape.)

Dampen the items and gently stretch it to a larger size on the board, pinning each corner and along the sides to hold it in place. As it dries, it gets stretched.

3.
not all things can be brought back to what they once were. If you can’t bear to see them in this condition, recycle them into dust cloths.

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