Posts Tagged ‘vintage textiles’

if at first

May 31, 2008

If you drain your soaking container and some of the laundry still has has stains or discoloration, repeat the soaking process with “restoration” or other “oxygenated cleaner.”

When the soaking is finished, drain, then refill with water and some clear white vinegar which pulls out soap residue. I use a good splash in my large Victorain clawfoot tub, probably about 4 – 6 ounces. Again, let it soak for 10-20 minutes and swish occasionally. Drain again.

Refill with water. If the water is quite cloudy, rinse another time and refill. Normally, I do not have to do this unless the items were extremely filthy. For 100 years of storage stains, one rinse is usually all I need.

1. soak with “restoration.”

(optional) 1b. re-soak with “restoration.”

2. rinse with water to which a little white vinegar has been added

3. rinse in clear water

(optional) 3b. rinse in clear water a second time.

4. drain away the water

5. drape items on a clothesline, from showerhead or against the side of the tub just until they are wet but not sopping wet.

6. let items drip until they are nearly dry but still a bit damp. you can leave them against the inside of the tub, hang them from something or lay them out on your grassy lawn. (if you hung them outdoors on a line, you have skipped this step.)

7. when dry to touch but a teensy bit damp, gather them, bring them to your ironing place and put them inside a plastic bag to keep them evenly moist.

8. get out your iron…. GO!

9. make sure your iron is clean. make sure it is hot. since I never ever ironed anything in my life until I developed a passion for antique linens, I bought a vintage ironrite rotary mangle iron and taught myself to iron. It arrived with its original booklet and the instructions are what I followed. Sorry, i can’t speak to using a hand iron. Found them frustrating; I don’t know how.

10. do not use steam. the cloth should be slightly damp and that will release steam.

11. choose pieces to iron that you are in the mood to iron. If you are in the mood to tackle a sheet or tablecloth, do not iron tiny things like handkerchiefs! save them for a “small day!

12. heat and pressure are the two things that you will exert on the items. tug corners and designs gently into place with your fingers.

13. use starch if you like but only when you will be using the item in the near future. otherwise, the starch may attract moths or mice that eat it and the fibers that happen to get in the way. I do not starch anything. the intense pressure and heat from my mangle iron provides a crisp finish.

13. fold when cool.


Crazy for Antique Linens

April 24, 2008

Ok, call me crazy, obsessed or addicted… and you would be right. I am wild over old things in general and antique linens/ textiles in particular. I am new to blogging but when I am laundering and ironing the linens in my collection and the linens I sell, constant patter runs through my brain as I think of things I’d love to tell anyone (everyone) about using splendid old things!

My interest in collecting antiques (living, breathing, sleeping antiques) rolled into the decision to become an antiques dealer. I figured “If I enjoy these beautiful old items so much, maybe someone else out there shares my interest, too.” And, Voilá! (not quite that instantaneous, but I am a pretty determined individual and whatever interests me, I jump into wholeheartedly!)

As my little hobby business took off, no one has been more surprised than I. Linens are stacked everywhere and they have taken invaded my life and my house! Customers become friends, other dealers become friends, the techies become friends, strangers become friends… and the web has linked us together in ways not fathomable just a mere few years ago.

Living amongst antiques gives me an appreciation for times gone by when everything one owned was made by someone’s hand. The idea of something being precious enough to hold onto, use, maybe repair and pass on is fascinating. Other ands have touched and enjoyed these things! After they pass through my hands, other hands will continue to enjoy them, too. It’s a nice thought.

my life is way too hectic to start blogging… hmmn, so is everyone else’s!