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Cleaning Doilys?

Flax | Posted in General Discussion on

Can anyone properly instruct me on the best way to clean a hand crochet doily?

Replies

  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    I put mine in a lingerie bag, wash in cold water, and machine dry til damp. Then block them flat until dry, or press and starch. If they are very old, delicate or fragile, I will handwash, and roll in a towel to absorb the water. Then block to dry. Hope you find this helpful. Cathy

  2. woodruff | | #2

    If they're white and have some stains, a soak in Oxy-Clean will often clean them up nicely. If they're quite fragile, handwashing would be prudent, along with rolling in a towel and then laying flat to dry.

  3. Tatsy | | #3

    In the '50s, ladies used to wash them by hand and then dip them into a sugar/water solution that left them stiffer than starch and sparkling white. I always wondered about ants, but apparently that was not a problem. By the way, if the doilies are very lacy, it's a good idea to pin them out on a towel to dry like a sweater. You can also iron them with or without starch, with or without a pressing cloth.

  4. sewchris703 | | #4

    I wash mine in a lingerie bag in the washing machine on delicate. Dip in liquid starch and block to dry. If I don't care about how stiff they are, I'll use spray starch and iron them dry. Chris

  5. Ocrafty1 | | #5

    I learned how to crochet fine doilies from my aunt over 40 yrs. ago, and have been making them ever since.  I wash them in warm water, using Oxyclean if they are fairly dirty/dingy. Rinse at least twice, this gets all the gunk out of them which will break down the fibers.  Roll in a towel to get most of the moisture out and air dry.  I spray starch/iron them when they are completely dry. Use straight pins into the ironing board cover to hold dainty edges in place as you iron...Start in the center and work your way out to the edges.

     The sugar starch they used yrs. ago is not a good idea...not so much to prevent damage from ants...but from mice!  I had a beautiful ruffled doily that took over 40 hrs. to make...just to give the mice a Christmas treat! Aileen's makes a nice fabric stiffner...its basically diluted white craft glue...that will work well for frilly doilies.  If you do use a stiffner, be sure to wash it out and re-do them every 4-6 months.  The dust that collects on them will also damage the fibers.

    Hope this helps!

    Deb

    1. User avater
      Flax | | #6

      Thank you all for your help, These are the questions I would ask my grandmother if she were still alive. She taught me to sew when I was really little. I miss her. In other words, not meaning to offend anyone, Thanks for being surrogate grandmas. :)

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