Follow these guidelines and you will both enjoy your linens and
they'll be beautiful enough to pass to your grandchildren as family
Laundering and Ironing
If in doubt, consult a professional before
attempting to launder antique items, as the textile should be carefully assessed
beforehand. If you need guidance on care for Chantilly Dreams pieces, just ask.
I lovingly hand wash, lay flat to air dry, and iron many of
the antique linens I acquire for sale, with the exception of the most fragile pieces. For most pieces I use only LeBlanc's Linen Wash, and for silks, their Silk Petals Silk & Lingerie Wash. Their line consists of very gentle,
non-detergent liquids made especially for vintage, antique and delicate
textiles. It is available here.
Why should you use this wash? Many
soaps and detergents contain harmful chemicals that can destroy fine fabrics,
causing them to yellow and fall apart. Le Blanc Linen Wash has been
tested to remove the following stains: lipstick, red wine, grease, honey,
perspiration, fruit juice, baby formula, syrup, pet stains, egg yolk, coffee,
tea, oil, dressing, blood, liquor, cola, food coloring, gravy, caramel, most
mustard, flower pollen, butter, most inks, jams and jellies, pencil
Linens new and antique are conserved
and restored using Linen Wash, the unique product designed especially to care
for all washable household linens. Linen Wash has a neutral pH balance making
it safe for cleaning vintage linens, and lace. Yet it is effective in removing
stains from red wine, lipstick, foxing or aging without the use of bleach,
caustics or phosphates.
Linen Wash is the original
registered, cold water cleanser as seen in House Beautiful, Victoria, and
Family Circle magazines. Since 1986, Le Blanc Linen Wash, Inc. has built an
outstanding reputation for producing the highest quality specialty cleansers
for the home textile industry. Le Blanc Linen Wash will safely and effectively
remove the most difficult stains from washable bed, bath and table linens as
well as antique linens, colored linens, lace, quilts, 100% cottons, synthetics
I believe that fine linens and lace are meant to be enjoyed, not stored away forever where no one can enjoy their beauty. You will find such items decorating every nook of my home. They lend a grace and beauty to a home, and were meant to be appreciated! So go ahead and enjoy your finery!
Storage of Fine Linens
Lace and linens should be stored in acid free, pH neutral tissue
paper when not in use. Wood and plastic, unless inert plastic, are quite acidic
and will yellow linens over time if they are in contact. This practice will
eventually degrade the fibers and can cause browning and tears. Itís best to
roll the lace or linen to prevent creasing.
If you must fold, then every couple of months, refold in a different
direction to prevent degrading of the fibers.
Alternatively, they can be hung over a hanger, lined with acid free tissue.
Ironing Antique Linens
Do not starch your linens. Starch eventually breaks
down and gradually turns linens yellow and then a nasty brownish color.
It causes the breakdown of delicate antique linen fabrics and all but ruins
fine organza or lightweight linen in just a few years. It is cellulose
based, and therefore attracts tiny bugs who like to eat the starch,
inadvertently munching on your precious heirlooms.