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Need help   General Discussion

Started Mar-15 by Ami_Quilts (sewingupasto); 579 views.

Yesterday DH and I were out and about and went thrifting (very unusual for DH). We are kinda back in New Mexico till the world starts turning again (his work kinda shut down their office and everyone is working from home. We kinda moved out of the house and were in need of living room furniture so we in search of seating and two lamps for our bedroom. Well we went to about 6 thrift stores and scored a sofa and loveseat set in good condition and very clean both for $70 (they were having a 50% off sale and I also bargained). So back to the reason for my post. I was trying to stay focused on why we were looking but in one store I went to the sewing, craft area and found a little table runner. We have all seen them the coarse cream fabric with hand embroidered cotton floss flowers and a crochet lace border around them. This one is about 30" long and 15" wide and was in great shape. I have seen many quilters put them on a larger piece of fabric and do some beautiful quilting on them. It was $3 I have seen them for way more so I snagged it really fast. Well when I opened it up it is in beautiful condition but does have a few of those brown places that old vintage fabrics have. I will still use as is but was wondering if anyone has a great way to either fade or get rid of those places without harming the colored cotton embroidery.


From: judyinohio


My grandmother (a woman born in 1888) used to rub lemon juice diluted in water on the spots and then draped the tablecloth (or whatever) over a chair or bush in the sunshine.

That was her idea of a "natural" bleach that would not hurt fabrics.

You might try OxyClean.  I have also heard of people soaking them in a solution of water, buttermilk and lemon juice overnight and then washing with regular detergent.  

If the colors are right, you might try tea-staining or coffee-staining.  

JulietDeltaOscar (fixin2quilt) said:

you might try tea-staining or coffee-staining.

That is a wonderful idea. I may do that if all else fails. Years ago I had some "ugly" fabrics that were prints on white background and they looked dated. I coffee stained them and they ended up with a great light taupe and I loved them! I am still gonna try to get the stains out first though.


From: bornblesse2


Ami, when I was able to talk to the quilt appraisal lady about some old linens, her suggestion was to make a paste of Biz and water and put it on the spots.  Soak it a long while before delicately washing.   She said sometime the Biz soak needs to happen a couple of times.

or, just soak the whole thing in the Biz water.   This helps with the yellowing/brown spots.

Suze (casuzenn)

From: Suze (casuzenn)


there is a product called RetroClean that will take brown spots out....and it does not hurt the embroidery...

bornblesse2 said:

paste of Biz and water and put it on the spots.  Soak it a

Thanks sounds like a good option.

Can you still get Biz in the stores?  I haven't seen it for years.  

A couple of other products I have heard about for cleaning quilts (and I presume other textiles) are Orvus (liquid or paste) and Grandma's Secret.  Both can be found on Amazon.