I have an antique linen table cloth. There is a brownish fold line the length of the cloth and when I soaked it in Linen Wash over night the fold line still remained.
I also find that the blue embroidery transfer pattern shows through in places….I see this a lot in antique linens at shows. No one talks about how to deal with this problem.
How can I get rid of the brownish fold line and what can I do to get the blue transfer color from showing through?
My thoughts and the actions I would take in order to delve further into the problem:
1. Try laundering the cloth a second time, using a little laundry detergent or preferably, an oxygenated cleaner such as “restoration” or “oxyclean.”
2. If cloth is white, use a bleach pen along the dark line. Wet cloth first and monitor it continually.
3. You may have to accept that the line is permanent. It could be from antique mildew which most likely won’t come out. Or, it could be weaker and thinner from being folded and stored in the same way for long periods.
4. Just because it is vintage does not mean that it will last forever.
The stamped blue pattern is another matter.
Most linen people think the pattern stamp is not a flaw. I consider it to be a sign that an item saw little use and therefore little laundering. The patterns were the guides for the embroiderers. The ink would fade with repeated washing. However, if the item was not used / washed much during its early history, it may not be possible to now remove the stamped pattern. The inks have also aged over time and the chemical composition of the ink may have changed and it may have become more or less permanent.
You could try color remover or bleach but these chemicals may also affect the fabric.
It is preferable to soak something for a longer time period with a little tiny bit of bleach than for a short time in a heavy concentration of bleach.