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Topic: Help! Brown age spots in vintage hankies  (Read 453 times)
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bookstorebabe
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« on: July 08, 2011 09:36:19 AM »

I have a stash of vintage handkerchiefs-some still in the store boxes! Many with delicate embroidery. But a lot of them are spotted brown with age. Is there a good way to remove or lessen the discoloration?
I thought soaking in mild soap and color safe bleach, or using lemon juice, or the old standby of hanging them outside and letting the night dew fall on them and the next day's sun dry them-that's supposed to be a good way to whiten things. But before I start experimenting, I thought I'd ask if anyone has any recommendations.
I figure if worst comes to worst and nothing works, I could try tea staining them, but I'd really prefer to remove the spots as much as I can first, even then.
I'd be very grateful for any help. Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2011 09:42:00 AM »

I collect 19th century whitework and I swear by Oxiclean! A museum curator told me about it, so I trust it.   It hasn't damaged anything yet.  Just add a little to some water (enough to make it sort of foamy) and then soak them overnight. 
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011 09:59:00 AM »

Oh, thank you so much! I'll go out and buy some. That's a big help! My stuff isn't that old-50's to 60's, perhaps? I remember having similar things when I was a little girl. I was given a big stack of them, and most of them aren't in great shape. There's a victorian steampunk gallery near me, and I thought of embroidering some of them with dainty cogs and gears and trying to sell them, to help pay bills. Although I may keep a few for display.
Thanks again!
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