Tuesday, 3 January 2012

I Need Help

I was recently gifted this beautiful vintage tablecloth.


My Mum’s neighbour, Linda gave it to me. Linda’s Grandfather learnt to make lace while he was in a sanatorium with tuberculosis.


Linda believes that it is at least 70 years old.


Now this is where I get to the bit about needing help.


Sometime before Linda inherited the tablecloth it got stained. The neighbourhood brains trust decided it was an insect stain. They were unable to remove it.


I got out my copy of the Queen of Clean book and used her recommended method for stain removal for linen, to no avail. By the way, this book is brilliant, especially if Green Cleaning is important to you. Obviously, any suggestions have to be gentle, the lace will not survive any scrubbing.I can’t use the tablecloth the way it is. If I can’t get the stain out I will end up dyeing it and I really would rather not. So please offer any and all suggestions. The neighbourhood would be most grateful.


Helen said...

I know part of the answer but I'll have to wrack my mind for the other half.

Once you've treated the stain, spread the tablecloth out on the lawn (on a sheet or similar if you are worried about grass stains) and let the sun bleach it for a day. It's much better to spread it out on the lawn as it gets maximum sunnage.

Thinking hard, borax is something that comes to mind.

I wouldn't necessarily say it is an insect stain just that the parts of the lace have reacted differently to the stain than other parts. The common stain is gravy.

I would have a read of these sites.

Good luck!!! It's a gorgeous piece

Linda Lilly Cottage said...

What is an insect stain? It looks a little rusty to me from those photos...have you tried lemon juice and salt made ito a paste, rubbed in and left overnight and then rinsed out next day and left to dry in sun?
The other one I know of is borax made into a paste and rubbed in..same sort of deal...good luck...I have a tablecloth I teastained and it is soooo bad it is now going to cut into pieces it is beyond help I feel.
Kiss Noises Linda

Trish Goodfield said...

Thanks girls. I have tried the lemon/salt/sun trick with no luck. Apparently insects stains go orange over time. The stain is more orange than rust coloured.

I will visit the site you suggest Helen. Thanks for the link.

Hilary Joan said...

I will be interested to learn if you can solve this problem as I have 2 lovely cloths, one from my mother and the other from mother-in-law. Both are nearly 100 years old and have similar staining. I wonder if some time the cloths were stored with un-noticed small food marks and over time the acids have had their effect on the fibres. I have tried the salt, lemon juice, borax, sun treatment without success.

Trish Goodfield said...

I think I am having a win. Don't get excited too soon but it is looking good.

Diannek said...

I have tried everything and find that a Napisan soak works best. I know that it isn't exactly lemon juice, borax but it does work.
Have tried it on some vintage table cloths and doilies and it works a treat.
Cheers and good luck