There are several auctions that will end tomorrow on my boycetime auction board. When this group is finished, I'll be taking a short break due to health reasons. I hope you'll check back in a couple weeks and see what's been listed.
The Etsy shop will remain open, but please be patient as it make take a day or two extra to ship items.
I have to take a step sideways today to show off an artist craftsman extraordinaire that is not an antique. Lets just put this into the category of future vintage bags because... quite frankly.... this amazing purse will surely outlast my meager years on this planet!
Hubby bought me a very special Christmas present this year - a David Anderson hand crafted leather bag. Originally he picked a tote bag that was just a bit too massive for my size so David kindly let us exchange it. Lucky me because I got to add a special touch - the infinity knot, or Celtic knot, on a bag of my choice. I love visions that represent energy and this sign is surely a classic.
The bag arrived yesterday so Christmas came twice for me :) and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. I needed a pick-me-up yesterday and boy did I get one! If you have a heart-pull to finely crafted leather works (he does more than bags) be sure to visit this amazing craftsman's website: andersonleather.com
I call my laundry
process the "Me & G" laundry system: first part I do, last part Mother Nature takes
over on a warm sunny day! For any linens
(linen and cotton) and lace follow these steps and your lovely antique linens will come to life
again in shining beauty!
Many items are
best treated in a small bucket or tub first. I do use my front loader washer often
(gentle and hand wash cycles) depending on the item, but if they are at all delicate you'll want a lingerie
bag to protect your piece from pulling.
1. Soak your
item in cool, plain water for at least an hour - or two. Change the water often
as you see it get greyish and yucky. After last dump, rinse out and squeeze out
2. In warm water
bucket add a gentle detergent, soak - squeeze - soak your piece for a
couple hours more. I often use a small scoop of OxiClean and my favorite
laundry detergent. Whatever works best
for your normal laundry will be fine. Don't over-use the quantity of cleaner. It's better to use a small amount (pending the
size of your bucket/tub) and then repeat as necessary.
3. Time is your
friend in this process of cleaning. Old yellowing and old starches need time to
loosen and lift. Gentle squeezing by hand is enough to push the soaps/cleaners
in and out of the weave & threads.
4. After you've
reached a preferred point of whiteness with spots gone, start a rinse process.
See notes below about bleaching.
5. Rinse till
the cows come home! Just dump soapy
waters - squeeze - rinse in clean water. I do this MANY TIMES until I no longer see
soap residue in the water. Sometimes I'll do 5-6 rinses. For small pieces, hold
in your hands directly under the faucet and squeeze/rinse. The water needs to
be clear. Old soap residue in a fabric does more harm than dirt!
6. Here is where
the “G” part comes in: Sun it!If you
are fortunate to still have a backyard clothes line, let your linens dry in the
sun. No line? Just put a large white cloth on the ground (or patio) and
lay your item flat. (I actually prefer to lay mine directly on the grass when I
am doing a longer sunning.) Be sure to do both sides.
Here's a great secret for fine weight laces and small pieces: dry on a pane of glass. "Finger iron" as you lay it out. You will be amazed when it is dry and you "peel it" off. (I used to do this in my shop on the jewelry cases! When I came in the next day I had a stock pile ready to go :)
7. When ironing,
make sure the fabric has been dampened with a water spray. Iron fully and only use a
light spray starch at the very end -
as a finishing touch. The spray starch adds a wonderful finish which is also
protective. Scorched starch will yellow - watch your iron heat.
Notes about Machine
I do use my
washing machine often when doing antique linens. If you are lucky enough to have one of the
newer style front loader spin washers, you can do the soaking part by bucket
but then finish in your machine on a gentle or even a hand wash cycle. Make sure the load is balanced (add other
whites like pillowcases if necessary.) If you have lace on your item, still bag
it to prevent pull. If it is just straight fabric with cotton eyelet trims, you
don't need to bag it.
Even when doing a
full hand washing process, I use the spin cycle of my own machine to really
spin out the final soaps and water. Just "lay" your pieces around the
tub (top loaders). Just spin - no back and forth agitation.
Most old whites
are cotton and respond quickly to a bleach bath. If you decide you need an extra umph of
whitening use a very small amount (less than 1/4 C in your hand washing tub) in
hot water and just swish items for a few minutes. You should use a spoon or laundry stick - not your
hands. Chlorine works fast. Then dump the water and start rinsing. Again: rinse
till the cows come home and no odor is left
in your fabrics.
Severe Dark Spots
dark brown (almost black) spots occur on antique linens as a result of
oxidation over the years. These will NOT come out - be prepared to live with
it. If you have rust, spot treat with a rust remover before washing. It is a chemical reaction and works immediately. If not - it's not rust. Another great product to spot treat is
hydrogen peroxide.Spot treat and rinse
well before full washing.
If you have any
questions, please don't hesitate to email me. If you have antique items you are in question
about, send me a picture.
I've handled pieces of all shapes and sizes
over the years - it's really not a "mystery" and I just urge folks to
use good common sense. Remember, our
grandmothers had much less fancy equipment to use! Cotton and linen are sturdy fabrics and clean
well with appropriate care.Be aware of
the weave and needlework and just be gentle where needed.
And last but not
least: rinse till the cows come home.
I just added a new sales special section to this blog!
Time has come to get serious about the retirement thingie - so I am offering super special sales EXCLUSIVELY on the blog! I'll be doing wholesale lots from different vintage categories and even some newer items too. Be sure to check out the specials page (top tab). Once an item is gone, it will be deleted - so if you see it - grab it!