F I'm So Vintage: grandma left me her linens, now what?
Monday, July 11, 2011

grandma left me her linens, now what?

antique and vintage linens are both beautiful and useful. i love to look at the wonderful embroidery work and crochet that has been put into many of these pieces. but, let's face it , more often than not, they have stains or yellowing and we are not quite sure what to do with them. that is when many people decide to get rid of them and i scoop them up. so i thought i would pass along some of my ways of cleaning them so you can not only keep them in the family, but use and enjoy them as well. 

one of my favorite tricks is good old fashioned Biz laundry booster.

  i recently purchased a boxful of linens at an antique auction, at an amazing price. no one else bid on them because there were a lot of stains. i pulled out all of the stained and yellowed pieces and used my Biz trick.

fill a tub with warm water, add some good old fashioned Biz laundry booster and soak. i usually soak overnight, but sometimes it can take up to three days. check two or three times a day and if some of the items are stain free, go ahead and remove those. after 24 hours my items were almost all stain free with no more yellowing.  I only found a couple of spots. so exciting since some of those spots may have been there for 100 years. 

I have not had any color running, but if you have colorful pieces you may want to check them to see if they are color fast. take a clean white cotton rag and dampen it with warm water. gently rub the rag over the different colors to see if  any of the color comes off on the rag. if it does, stop cleaning. these pieces cannot be soaked.

if you have white pieces with stubborn stains, you can try squeezing fresh lemon juice on the stains and putting them out in the sun. 

well, now that these wonderful linens have cleaned up so nicely, i will start putting some of them in ImSoVintage while others will be made into pretty pillows and pincushions like these.

you can find more pillows here

have a lovely monday and enjoy those sweet gifts from grandma.



  1. I love the look of the pillows with the doilies on them! Thanks for the great tips.

  2. What a great idea and was beautiful pillows.

  3. Thanks for the tips, I also have some linens that need sprucing up. Now I'll try your secrets!

  4. Have you tried a laundry "color catcher?"
    I think I might add one to the load just as a precautionary measure.

    What a great deal you got at the auction. Those people afraid of a little work lost out.

  5. Thanks for the tips! I love it! I just bought a stash of vintage hankies. I think they will become a window treatment in the near future!

    Now Following!

    ~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

  6. I love the pillow idea! I usually do the lemon juice in the sun trick and it has worked for me. I once turned some beautiful lace edged pillow cases into kitchen curtains! Every one loved them and had no idea how age yellowed they had been when I found them!


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