Rosebud Cottage is a sweet gift shoppe designed around a fictional personality of "Rosebud", she loves home, family and her idea of true love. Flowers, birds, bunnies, dishes, new and vintage can be found in the shop's inventory with a touch of "whimsy" for good measure. Located at 28A East Main Street, Franklin, NC. 828.369.2429, Read Rosebud's stories here on our Blog.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Caring for Vintage Linen

I have been looking for all the best advice for taking care of some vintage linen. Vintage towels, napkins, & linen can usually be laundered in the washing machine using the gentle cycle, in mesh bags to keep linen from getting tangled or if they are fragile. Water temperature warm to hot. Test for colorfastness before washing any piece with color. Presoak for up to 8 hours before washing in a mild detergent-water solution can help remove stains. Be sure the detergent is dissolved before adding linen and stir several times during the presoak. Avoid detergents containing bleach or fabric softeners, any mild detergent will do. For crisp texture: (I remember my Mother doing this), remove linens from washing machine, lightly roll each one into a cylindrical shape, & insert the rolls into plastic bags. Then, place bags in the refrigerator until the fabrics are cold. Using a steam iron, no starch, press the chilled pieces on the back side of the fabric until dry.
Don’t store items that have been starched as it may cause yellowing, attract bugs and even cause fiber breakage. Don’t iron creases into linens, and fold them only after the fabric has cooled.
Never store linens in plastic bags or plastic bins as this may cause gases to be released onto your linens causing yellowing. (Citric acid – Lemon Juice – will usually will help take out the yellowing). Also, plastic traps moisture which can lead to mold and mildew. Try to fold linens a different way each time. The best way to store linens for long periods of time is to roll them around acid free paper and wrap in acid free paper.

Brenda advises:  I have had good luck soaking antique quilts in polident tablets. I put several tablets in my laundry sink and soak the quilt over night and then wash it in the machine on the gentle cycle. It removes that old yellow coloring.  I loooove old hand embroidered linens. I don't have any from family but it is one of my favorite things to shop for when I am out and about in the antique stores.
Ann advises:  Another technique is to use Casade Dishwashing Soap.  Soak overnight and wash on gentle cycle ..Lay on towels or sheets out in the sun...Voila!
These are merely suggestions with no guarantee. Good luck! Enjoy using your vintage linens.

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