Cherished items that can sometimes be very fragile are worth investing a little time in, although some faults will remain and form a part of that items history no matter what you try and do.
When washing linens hand washing is always advisable. Some items may require soaking overnight if the they have lots of staining and this may need to be done several times before they are removed. If you feel the need to use bleach or stain removers, always go easy with the content as this may damage the fibres of the fabric or remove the colour from your embroidery work. Long soaks can sometimes work just as well without the need to use any chemicals.
Some older embroidery colours will run so wash in cold water if you are unsure and only soak for a short period the first time, until you are sure if they are in fact colourfast. Line dried is always best as the dryer will make your linens appear slightly fluffy. Removing all those creases after a wash can be made easier if you dampen with a spray of water prior to ironing or just take from the line whilst the cloth is still a little damp and iron straight away. If Ironing lace cloths, be careful not to catch the front of your iron as this is the most common cause of damage, my tip is to iron with a sideways motion rather than pointy end moving forward.
When storing it's best not to starch as this can sometimes discolour after a period of time. Use acid free paper or air tight bags and ensure items are CLEAN before being put away for long lengths of time. You can also purchase plastic cloths from your local hardware store to put over that special tablecloth before the family sits to dine. This will ensure your tablecloth will stay in pristine condition and allow you to enjoy its decorative purpose.
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