Wednesday, 5 February 2014

One Man's Trash...

Yesterday I purchased a pile of vintage linen. And when I say a pile, I really do mean a pile. I mean a mound about a metre high. So guess what I did today? Yes, lots of laundry.

One of the items I purchased was a lucky dip, a sealed bag of "stained tablecloths". Many of the other items were also stained. Last night I put them into the bath to soak in the laundry soaker.

So today was a big wash day. Luckily the weather was perfect, so, out of the bath and into the washing machine for a gentle rinse, then onto the line.

And this is only the first batch.

Oh, and hand wash the pile that didn't need soaking and hang them to dry inside.

By this time it was nearly lunchtime and time to start ironing, doing some easy mending as I ironed. Then, onto the table to photograph each cloth. I also had quite a few vintage garments to iron, including two very tricky silk numbers. One beautiful gold silk blouse had some stubborn wrinkles. A quick internet search suggested steaming to iron silk, so I held the steaming iron an inch or so above the garment for a few seconds, then pressed. It worked beautifully. I wish I had known this years ago.

I also took advantage of the good weather to wash the baby shawl I knitted when I was expecting my first baby 30 years ago. Now my daughter is expecting her first baby in a few weeks so the shawl is going to her. It had to lie flat to dry, which was tricky, but I managed well.

The pantry supplies did a good job as weights to stop it blowing away.

A few of the cloths in the soaker still had marks, but I had a contingency plan. Stage two of linen restoration was going to be a soak in a solution of cold tea to dye the item ecru. Any items that still have stubborn marks will go to Stage Three - Dye the item black.

Well, they're charcoal grey, actually.

I am really pleased with the way the black/grey doilies turned out. Stage Two has been held over to another day.

After a few hours on the line in the sunshine, most of the items were looking good. A few had marks that had faded a lot, and I have decided not to tea soak them, although I do have a pile of doilies that will get that treatment another day. Only one cloth had to be put back on the line for a blast of 35C degree sunshine tomorrow. Out of the dozen or so cloths in the "stained" lucky dip bag,  I have put aside 3 for crafting purposes, they have bits of embroidery and lace that I hope to be able to use to make something special. The rest have come up beautifully.

The mending pile has reached daunting proportions. It has second priority behind the baby knitting at the moment. It is full of forgotten treasures that I will rediscover in a couple of months time. If you are looking for long pink vintage evening gloves, let me know, and I will put them to the top of the pile - they only need new buttons.

After all of this I was feeling a tad weary. Just to cook dinner, then spend two hours watering the garden!
And it's my day off! It's back to work tomorrow for a rest!! Saving vintage treasures from the trash is a lot of  hard work, but a labour of love.

No comments:

Post a Comment