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Topic: Caring for vintage silk and fabrics?? Handmade heirlooms in need of some help  (Read 444 times)
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Joined: 10-Apr-2009

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« on: August 27, 2010 08:03:15 AM »

My mother in law has some precious items handed down to her from her grandmother and mother.

One is a piece of embroidered fabric, looks like a heavyweight muslin - it's been folded for a long time and has some pretty serious creases.

The other is a silk handkercheif that her father got in Tokyo in WW2 in 1948, with a portrait of him handpainted on it.
As far as I know, it's never been washed. It too, has been stored folded for quite a while.

While showing me this stuff, I told her what little I knew about storing and caring for vintage fabrics. I noted the creases and said it's good to take that stuff out occasionally and refold a different way.

However, the creases are so severe, I told her it may be better to lay them out for a while to see if the creases ease up. I told her to make sure they weren't in sunlight and all that good stuff.

I'd really like to help her get the creases out of these items so they can be framed, that way they'll last a lot longer.

Any advice on getting the creases out of either item?

The embroidered muslin seems like it may be okay to hand wash with a very mild soap, although I'm not sure what kind. Then hand dried and gently pressed. Does that sound right?

I'm totally lost on the silk. For one, it's hand painted and I have no idea if the paint is water soluble. What a tragedy if she lost it. I'm not sure what heat would do to it, either. Not sure if ironing is a possibility, even at a low setting.

Thank you for taking the time to read.


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