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restoring old linens

Posted by cateyanne (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 24, 07 at 19:01

I apologize if this has been asked before, but I tried posting this question in search and no examples came up. I have some old linens, bedsheets, pillow cases, fancy pieces that have yellowed over the years. some that are mild may be due to age but others, like the pillow cases are very yellow and I suspect this is from chlorine bleach, though no one has admitted using it. I really would like to restore them to their original whiteness as they have a lot of my great grandmother's embroidery on them. Is there any way to reverse the horrible yellowing on old sheets etc.?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: restoring old linens

Why don't you go to the quilting forum and ask. They are lovely folk over there and are familiar with dealing in old cloth and preserving antique quilts. I'll be they'd know.

RE: restoring old linens

Yellowing is not from chlorine will just "eat" the fabric and whiten rather than yellow...unless the fabric is silk.
If you have really lovely antique linens you need to soak them in an anionic soap (Orvis...available from quilt shops) and distilled water...and make a support frame to rinse and dry them....but if you have merely "old linens" from say the 50's, soaking in a solution of oxy clean will go a long way toward restoring whiteness.
Linda C

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