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mend tablecloth?

Josefly | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Help!

What’s the best way to mend a hole in a tablecloth? I really like this cloth, and would like to save and use it, even if a patch is visible. ( In fact, I like it so much I used it, hole and all, this weekend for a bridal shower. I covered the hole with a napkin.) The hole appeared after I treated it with Biz and Oxy in my washing machine. Most of the stains came out, but either I didn’t see the hole before I treated it, or the hole and tear developed during washing. It’s about an inch square (peculiar?) with about 2 inches of tear extending from it. I hope it’s clear enough in the attached photo.

I will appreciate any suggestions on the least noticeable, most durable way of mending this. This is one of several stained tablecloths I “rescued” from my mil’s house, and I’ve slowly been trying to make them usable again. I thought I was being careful, not using chlorine bleach, so I’m not sure if the fabric was already weakened or if I weakened it with the products I used.

Replies

  1. Josefly | | #1

    Oops. I posted before I remembered to attach the photos. I'll try again.

    1. Pattiann42 | | #3

      Lovely table cloth.  I would take the cloth and a napkin to a reputable dry cleaner and ask if they do invisible mending or if they could recommend someone who does this type of repair.

      Several years ago I requested a dry cleaner send a pair of trousers out for this type of repair and when I got them back, I could not find where the mend was.

      It is not an inexpensive process.

      Best wishes and good luck.

      1. Josefly | | #5

        You know, I recently took a pair of nice wool pants to have a slit in the fabric rewoven. The man was highly recommended to me, but the job looked terrible when finished, and it was quite expensive. So I don't think I'll try that option again. On this tablecloth, I think I'll patch the cloth, instead. I don't mind that the repair won't be invisible, as long as it's well done - I think I'll enjoy the character of the cloth, and its history with my sweet mil, even so. But I do want to protect it from further damage. I was so surprised to find the hole - the cloth is old but appeared to be in sturdy shape, so I didn't think twice about using the washing machine.

    2. sewelegant | | #6

      Isn't it a shame?  I love these old beautiful handworked cloths and have several that I have picked up at antique shops and yard sales, but have none that were made by a relative so I think you have a treasure.  I think if it were mine I would find a piece of white cloth that matched as close as possible and just make a neat patch like we used to do on the knees of worn out jeans and such before all the new fandangled easy patches came along.  But I think I would do it by hand.  First baste your new piece of white fabric to the back of the cloth behind the hole then sew around the hole... decide if you want it to be a square, rectangle or circle, with small running stitches.  (I would choose a rectangle and include all the damaged area) Then you cut from the center to the edge of the stitch line and turn it under so it looks neat and slip stitch to the new patch fabric.   After you are through stitching, trim the excess fabric away so it is neat.  With this method I would think you would have the most luck hiding the fix.  I think I would use an embroidery hoop to hold everything taut while I was doing all this stitching.

      I am sure you will receive a few ideas from our embroidery experts, but I have not gotten into that area as it would surely consume all my spending money very rapidly. 

      1. Josefly | | #8

        Thank you for these detailed suggestions. I think I follow you but want to be sure. I first baste a new fabric patch behind the torn area, then use running stitches in a circle or rectangle around the tear, then cut away the torn area of the tablecloth near the stitched circle/rectangle, and fold that cut edge under and slip stitch to the patch? (The part I'm not sure about is cutting from the center to the stitching line and turning under - you do mean to cut the torn cloth, yes?, not the patch. Somehow on first reading I thought you might mean to cut the patch and turn it, as one would when making a bound buttonhole, then sewing the edges down to still another piece of fabric.)Assuming I've followed you correctly so far, to finish the outside edges of the new patch, would you also turn them under and slip stitch to the tablecloth?

  2. jjgg | | #2

    I think any way you mend this it will be visible. Is it linen? do you have fabric to match it? I would probably start with a zigzag over the rip. You probably could do a patch re-weaving if you know how or pay someone to do it for you, but it would still show because the fabric would be doubled over the area of the hole, but with re-weaving you won't have a line of stitching around it.

    The easiest way would be to just sew a patch on - do it by hand and it will be finer.

    It's a lovely table cloth, I'm sorry you have this problem with it.

    1. Josefly | | #4

      Thank you. I appreciate the commiseration, also. I was heartbroken when I saw the damage. Would you cut the edges and fold them under somehow when attaching the patch, to prevent more fraying in future washing?No, it's not linen, just cotton, and was probably not a very expensive cloth. But somehow I really like it, and like using the cloths that my mil used so frequently. It's also a great size for my smallish square table.

      Edited 2/18/2008 1:24 pm ET by Josefly

      1. jjgg | | #7

        Try just trimming the frayed edges and doing a hand buttonhole stitch over the edge to keep it from fraying more. If you do it all by hand it will be a much finer repair, less bulky.

        1. Josefly | | #9

          Yes, I can picture what you're saying. I've also questioned sewelegant about how to finish the outside edges of the patch. Seems those would have to be stitched down to the cloth, too, doesn't it? So it doesn't flap around when washing, causing more damage? I think hand-washing is going to be in order for this cloth, anyway.

        2. scrubble4 | | #11

          Josefly:  What a beautiful table cloth.  Major RATS!  I was going to send essentially the same info as jjgg sent, "Try just trimming the frayed edges and doing a hand buttonhole stitch over the edge to keep it from fraying more. If you do it all by hand it will be a much finer repair, less bulky."

          It will always be a bit vulnerable, but it will be patched.  I love tablecloths, and so I really commiserate with you.  My friends think I am nuts because of the ironing involved, but they all, also comment on how beautiful the table looks.  Let us know how it turns out.  Scrubble4

          1. Josefly | | #13

            Thanks. I love tablecloths, too, but came to that love pretty much after my kids were grown and I have time to iron and not as many accidents with spills, etc. This cotton one, in particular, irons up so beautifully and crisply, just with spraying and steam ironing.Is the lace on this one what is called filet crochet? It almost looks woven.

          2. sewelegant | | #17

            As to what kind of lace tablecloth you have, I am not an expert just a tremendously big fan of all beautiful handwork and my first thought was "hardanger" or "pulled thread work".  Was this cloth made in China?  Can you imagine the hours that went into this?

          3. Josefly | | #18

            It does resemble pulled-thread work, but it's not hardanger fabric. When I look closely, though, it appears the lace work is stitched with a fine satinstitch, by machine, to the cotton fabric. I really can't say for sure, though. Sadly, my mother-in-law doesn't remember much about where or when she acquired these things, either. She has traveled all over the world, though, and usually brought tablecloths home with her from wherever she went. Some look handmade, and others machinemade. I don't think this one is hand-made, but I can't tell. The lace is unfamiliar to me. I have another slightly smaller one of the same type but with a different over-all design. Thank you for going over the instructions with me a second time. I follow it now. I'll let you know how it turns out, and post a photo. Edited 2/19/2008 2:51 am ET by Josefly

            Edited 2/19/2008 3:19 am ET by Josefly

          4. sewelegant | | #24

            One way you could tell if it is handmade is to see if the stitching follows a thread, I don't think a machine could do that.  Also the stitch would probably be buttonhole not satin if it were handmade.  There have been many hand made cloths to come out of the Orient where labor has been cheap and they did not always use the finer fabrics to sew on.

  3. starzoe | | #10

    A patch will look like a patch. How about this: buy (or filet crochet) a doily a good, generous size to take up a proportion of the centre of the tablecloth. Place it right in the centre, zigzag around it with your machine several times and then cut out all around the inside of the zigzag. It will as though it belongs there.

    If you crochet you could even mimic the pattern of the lace part of the cloth.

    1. Josefly | | #12

      Hmm. I've been sort of daydreaming of a solution like that myself, wondering if I should sacrifice one of the napkins and use the lace trim to fill the hole. The hole, however, isn't in the center of the cloth, or anywhere near the center. The photo I took is only of one corner of the tablecloth; the whole cloth is almost 60 inches square, so the hole sits right at the edge of my table, when I put the cloth on catty-cornered. I think I could probably do a better job of a cloth patch than trying to use lace and make it look neat.A couple of extra photos show the larger cloth, and the pattern where the hole is. Don't you think the lace would look peculiar in that spot?

      1. starzoe | | #14

        Yes, I can see now where it is - my solution won't work there, for sure. So what about an applique from one of the napkins, not lace but a simple flower shape hand appliqued, maybe with some initials embroidered in the centre, all in white. You could use your grandmother's initials and so have a reminder to the next recipient of the tablecloth.

        1. Josefly | | #19

          I like that idea! Since the patch will show anyway, why not put her initials on it as a memento? Thank you.

      2. jjgg | | #15

        Seeing the larger picture of the location of the hole, If you can bring your self to sacrifice a napkin, and strategically place some lace over the hole, and match it at the other end of the table cloth, it might look better.Please post a picture of your final repair, I'd love to see how it comes out.

        1. Josefly | | #20

          I'm getting some great ideas for this, and I really appreciate them. I think I could justify sacrificing a napkin or two for the tablecloth - the napkins are quite small, like the old fashioned luncheon napkins, not much bigger than a cocktail napkin, but with enough lace on one corner to cover the damaged area of the cloth. The lace on the napkins looks a little different from the lace in the tablecloth, but even so, I could probably use two pieces, as you suggest, and make the design symmetrical, at least, applying the second piece on the other end of the cloth. I'll lay the lace out and think about that. Or I could use the embroidered initials on a patch in two areas, making it look deliberate. Not too sure of my hand-embroidery skills, though, and definitely have no machine-embroidery ability.

          Edited 2/19/2008 3:21 am ET by Josefly

          1. Stillsewing | | #21

            What a fantastic cloth. I'm not much of a seamstress but I would hesitate to tackle such a beautiful table cloth with any sort of patch. The fabric looks quite frail and as you pointed out in the beginning of this tread it seems to have been damaged just from washing. If you apply any type of heavy patch (by that I mean fabric of its own weight or even slightly heavier) it may further damage it. I would be inclined to seek out invisible mending locally or if that is not possible mend it by hand yourself as already suggested by an earlier contributor and add some sheer lace to cover that if necessary. Good luck with the outcome!

          2. Josefly | | #22

            I think I will check out some professional service. The fabric doesn't really seem fragile to me, which is why I put it in the washing machine without a second thought. But since that hole and tear appeared, I guess it's less sturdy than I thought. I keep thinking the cloth was put away maybe unwashed, or perhaps it had been washed and bleach had been used on that spot...dunno, but I want to be careful from here on. You may be right that anything sturdy enough to be embroidered with a monogram would be too heavy for the fabric. Thank you for your suggestions.

      3. sewelegant | | #16

        Hi Josefly, it bothers me that the tear goes so close to the lace.  My idea for patching might not work so well.  Have you ever used the darning stitch on these newer machines?  I have a 1630 Bernina that has a nice one and it is 15 years old so the new machines could even be better. I have used this stitch to patch holes in clothing.  If you used lightweight thread I'll bet it would blend in.   You would first have to baste a piece of fabric to the back to stablize the area to be darned.  I would use as light a wt. as possible.  You could even use wash away stablizer or heat away and then you would not have that extra fabric wt.  If you do not have this on your machine you might consider taking your cloth to a sewing dealer and seeing if they could help you with it.  I would practice first, but it is so easy to do really, these new machines are wonderful and there could be someone at the shop who would just love to help.

        To answer your question about the patch I described, I'll do it again and maybe it will be more clear:  When I would do this on a pair of jeans with a big hole in the knee, I would mark a neat square around my tear then sew around this square so it would not get bigger, then cut the material from the hole into each corner (just like making bound buttonholes, I suppose or at least very similar) and tucking it under so the edge looks neat.  Next, apply the backing material by basting it in place then you can sew the turned under edge to the backing.  Press everything and then turn the cloth over and trim the sewn edge just like you would any seam, beveling the layers to reduce bulk.  With the clothing I was using machine stitching so everything was sturdy enough for machine washing and I think you would use a delicate cycle to wash the cloth and not for very long, right?  But these old cloths can't stand much rubbing.

        edit:  I just went back and read what I had written the first time and realize I said it wrong.  You would not apply the backing until you had the cloth prepared like I describe above.

        Edited 2/19/2008 1:02 am by sewelegant

      4. Teaf5 | | #27

        Sometimes the best patches are ones that echo a design motif in the overall pattern. I think you could make a diamond shaped patch to fill that general area and align it with the diamond shape in the lace just above it. If you make the patch the same size as the motif above it, the tear would be under the lower left corner of the diamond shape. If you interfaced behind the lost area, it would probably just disappear.If the overall pattern has the same design at the other end or at all four corners, you could put the same shape patch in the same locations there to make them seem symmetrical and deliberate.Such a lovely piece; definitely worth saving! Another option would be to cut down the cloth so that you could use the undamaged, smaller one as a topper.

        1. Josefly | | #33

          Yes, the tablecloth is symmetrical, so I could put a patch on the other end I think, and make it look as if it belongs. It probably looks more fragile or delicate than it is. The non-lace part, at least, the part where the tear is, is a nice weight cotton, heavier than batiste, lighter than what we used to call broadcloth. (It irons beautifully!) The napkins which I found with the tablecloth look a little less white, and the lace on them is not quite the same as that in the tablecloth, so I'm not sure I can use them, after all. Maybe I will wash them a couple of times to see if it brings them closer to the same color.Thank you for your suggestion. I will definitely look at the diamond-shape patch idea. The more I think about it the more I like the idea of embroidering my mil's initials...

  4. stitchagain | | #23

    It is just a bit surprising that there are not more expert darners out there.  It seems to me that the way darning is done is you don't cut any threads.  That the original weave camoflages the repair. 

    If the corner is not too "front and center"  I would put a same fabric patch on the backside using wonderunder catching the loose threads.

     

  5. joanfitzu | | #25

    If it were my tablecloth I would use the mending stitch on my machine and fill in the hole with the stitching. I really like my mending stitch it has worked on everthing I've needed done. It won't be perfect again but it won't get worse. Our grandmothers and mothers used to mend holes but they had to do it by hand.
    I would be concerned about what caused the hole, some of these chemicals we have available are not good for our items. I would spot wash and soak any spots by hand first then wash in the machine on gentle. A lot of spots come out if they are hung in the sun.
    If the chemical hurts your hands, it probably will hurt your fabric.

    1. Josefly | | #26

      I have an old machine, from 1966, and though there are darning instructions, I've never been successful using them. Perhaps I can find someone here in Atlanta who does know how to do that; I'm hoping so. If not, I'll probably try a "reverse applique" kind of patch. It is so disappointing - I thought I was being careful using only Biz and Oxy on the fabric. But, live and learn. I have several other tablecloths from the same source that I'm going to try to clean up and make usable. One or two of them already have holes and I'm going to have to come up with solutions for those, also. For the badly stained ones, I may wait until the weather is sunnier and nicer, and try to take advantage of the power of the sun. I'm thinking that some of these cloths were put away without cleaning, and now the stains are very bad. As I said, I don't mind using a patched tablecloth - they're too beautiful to throw away or keep stuffed into a drawer somewhere. Some of the napkins I may use to make something else.Thank you for your comments and helpful suggestions.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #28

        Check out Bo-Nash Bonding Agent Kit.  I bought some at the Denver Creative Festival but haven't used it yet.  I heard about it from Quilting Arts Magazine )http://www.quiltingartsmag.com).  I plan to use it for fiber art.

        You put a piece of like fabric under the tear, "paint on" the bonding powder with a small paintbrush, use the fiberglass pressing sheet that comes in the Kit.  It claims to hold better than stitching.  Who knows? 

        If you go this route, be sure to practice on something that isn't as special as your tablecloth!  Mary

        1. jjgg | | #29

          I saw this stuff demo'd at the Houston Quilt Festival, and got rooked in and bought it. It's not nearly as easy to use as they make it seem (read snake oil salesman). The little beads go flying everywhere, and if you don't get it right up tot he edges of the patch there are gaps. Maybe I need to watch the demo again, but mostly it sits on the shelf, I've tried it twice with poor results.does anyone else have it and know how to use it?

          1. MaryinColorado | | #30

            Do you live in a humid climate?  This is a powder, so are the beads you experienced because of humidity or using the steam instead of a dry iron perhaps? 

            Thanks for warning me, I've heard alot of people rave about how wonderful it is.  Mary

          2. jjgg | | #32

            Hi Mary,
            Yes, I do live in a humid area- Houston, TX. It doesn't get much more humid than here!But, I just went to check the stuff, it's not "beads" but it's not a "powder". It's like a very coarse powder or fine granulated salt sort of stuff, but you sprinkle it on the fabric and it goes everywhere.I would like to learn to use it better.

      2. mygaley | | #38

        I thought Sewelegant's response was right on the money. If changing the texture of the cloth is a concern, use a softer thread, and back your work with a piece of tulle and then trim off any extra. If the piece of tulle winds up as a relatively large void, that is the perfect place to embroider initials. Don't worry about your embroidery skills; if it's handcrafted, it's not perfect. God bless you Galey

        1. Josefly | | #40

          Thank you for your comments. Please see my questions addressed to sewelegant above. I feel so completely at sea with darning. The tulle would be bridging the gap, and my weaving would be through it as well?

  6. MaryinColorado | | #31

    How about Misty Fuse by Esterita Austin?  She sells it on her website and lots of other places have it too.  Supposedly doesn't leave a glue residue like other fusibles. 

    It seems that a patch will be so heavy.  Do you know anyone with an embroidery machine?  Maybe a cutwork embroidery design would look as if it "belonged" if the design fit the era.  I'd use water soluble stablilizer for this rather than a cutaway or tearaway.  Mary

    1. Josefly | | #34

      Hi, Mary. I haven't heard of the products you've suggested, but will research them over the weekend. I'm worried about using anything that will make the fabric stiff or change the texture, and have no faith in my ability to machine-darn the damaged area. Before I let anyone else touch it I would have to see something else they've done, so I'm going to have to network a little to locate a professional repair source. I don't know anyone with an embroidery machine, and know so little about them myself. So I'm leaning toward a hand-embroidered monogram on a patch of similar-weight cotton fabric - something I think I can do myself satisfactorily.(I'm going to go to the sewing expo here in March, so maybe I'll get a look at embroidery machines and find out what they can do. I'm almost afraid to get interested...)Thanks for your suggestions.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #36

        I hope you find the perfect solution for your heirloom.  Another possibility would be to line it with something like batiste, using white Misty Fuse between the torn area and the fabric only.  That would give support to a little piece of lace or applique to actually cover the tear itself. 

        I'm interested to see what your final decision is on this.  Mary

      2. sewelegant | | #37

        Dear Josefly, have you given any thought to hand darning the area?  I do not know if they sell darning cotton anymore, but it is a soft cotton thread and if you have a Value Craft store near you that is where I would look.  If not there, how about a yarn shop?  Maybe the best thing would be embroidery floss?  You can control that with as many threads as you like.

        With this method you would not have to do anything to the hole that would mar it further.  First place the area in an embroidery hoop to keep it taut.  Go around the area to be darned with a small running stitch (by hand).  Next take long stitches across the hole area as though you were preparing a loom for weaving, which is what you are doing.  After you have the stitches going one way, turn the work and make stitches across the other way, weaving them as you go.  If you are good at hand sewing you should be able to make this a very neat repair.  If you run out of thread at any point, just weave the end into your work without making a knot and start a new thread by weaving it into the existing work and continuing where you left off.  My thought is you would end up with the hole covered with white so it would not glare out at you every time you looked at it and yet you would have a repair that would not destroy the cloth further if it didn't work out.

        Another thought:  I would make my first work area in a square, addressing the "hole" and then darn over the "tail" separately.  Or maybe vice versa, doing the tail first and then doing the darn area as a square.  I'm not sure you would have to do that running stitch either as it just adds padding and when we were darning socks this way we wanted padding.

         

         

         

        Edited 2/23/2008 12:15 pm by sewelegant

        1. Josefly | | #39

          I'm embarrassed to say I've never done any darning. So while you've very kindly detailed how to do it, I still have questions. It sounds like you do running stitches across the damaged area, from the running stitch perimeter first applied. You are stitching parallel to the threads in the original woven cloth? Then the stitching threads span the open hole or tear and continue on the other side of the tear? Then you stitch across the area in a perpendicular direction, weaving through the threads spanning the open area? Do I literally weave my embroidery floss through the existing fabric before and after I cross the damaged area? Then what do I do with the frayed thread ends sticking out along the edges of the hole - trim them first to a sharp clean edge, or leave them, or trim them after finishing the weaving? How far away from the edges of the tear should I start stitching? How long should the running stitches be as I approach the void?I'm going to practice this on something else, as suggested. I am just completely inexperienced with this type of repair. I appreciate your bearing with me.Edited to add: Since I wrote this I've had a chance to check out some on-line info about darning and patching, and found the pictures very helpful. Thanks so much for your help - with what I've learned online together with your description I think I now have enough to go on, to make an attempt, anyway.

          Edited 2/23/2008 9:37 pm ET by Josefly

          1. starzoe | | #41

            Go to Google and type in the word darning. A hundred sites come up and one near the top of the page has a great instruction for darning.I am not surprised that hardly anyone knows how to darn. Somehow it seems that there is a thought that darning means "poor" when it really means "thrifty". I once had a room mate in the 1950s who did not have a clue how to sew on a button, had never ironed in her life, sent even her lingerie to the laundry. I also met a woman who had never, in her whole life, done her own hair! Unbelievable, she wasn't super rich either, the best she could do was comb it.

          2. Josefly | | #42

            Thanks. I did as you suggested, and found a great site that shows how to darn as well as patch. Still don't know which I will do, but the visuals make me a little more confident. Will probably experiment with both. Thanks to everybody who's made suggestions, for bearing with my complete ignorance and probably inane questions. I think I've gotten answers, and once I get this finished I'll let everyone know how it worked out.I got a chuckle, starzoe, about your description of people who don't have some basic skills. I certainly feel like one of them right now. And my mil, whose tablecloths I'm trying to get cleaned and fixed up, is one of those people who can't do her own hair or even her own nails, and almost always had a maid to do the cleaning, laundry, and cooking. A brilliant, capable woman in so many ways, I've always admired her.

          3. starzoe | | #43

            Let's hope that your MIL taught her son to be more resourceful!

          4. MaryinColorado | | #46

            My mother and my mother in law both have allways had thier hair professionally done.  Of course, it helped that my sister always had a nack with hair and then her daughter became a hairdresser so Mom got great "deals" most of her life.  When times were tight, my MIL went to the beauty school in her area.  There's alot to be said for a "great haircut", nowadays, it's hard to find one that really is an expert. 

            But, Mother does absolutely beautiful handwork and I remember her darning whatever was necessary, including socks.  She had something that looked like a lightbulb that she put the socks on to keep the stretch right. 

            Believe it or not, both ladies are extremely thrifty. 

          5. Palady | | #47

            Some folks used burnt light bulbs, though there were specific darning knobs, AKA darning eggs, available in my growing years, circa 1940's to 1960's.  To my knowledge, every sewing basket had one.  Sometimes 2 or 3 in different colors.

            Some seemed to made of various shades of wood, ranging from dark to light.  Others were what I would call porcelain.   The latter came in colors.  White, black, deep red, cobalt blue.   

            The shapes varied from oval to more roundish, though each style had a handle.

            Antique shops or like second hand sales would be the places to possibly find them now.  One could expect to pay at least $10.00 or more depending on condition for the wooden ones.  Double + for porcelains if these were w/o cracks or dings.

            The tool was a delight as a toy for children.  Boys especially would use them as weapons of sorts in "duels."  Hence the damage happening.

            I'd guess there's a web site with photos someplace in cyberspace.  I fell short in finding it.

            Me

             

             

          6. Katina | | #48

            Thanks for that info. I collect darners and they're fascinating; all kinds of shapes and materials. I've managed to post a picture of a few different types from different countries. Some have handles which unscrew and store needles. The tiny ones in the picture are glove darners; the big one was used by a tailor. Darners were often sold as souvenirs in various countries.

            Katina

          7. jatman | | #49

            Katina,

            Thank you for posting that picture.  I've seen things similar to this at various places and didn't know what they were.  I'll look closer next time and probably buy them!  Thank you for enlightening me!

            JT

             

          8. Katina | | #50

            Oh yes, they're great fun, and mostly inexpensive. The scratches and needleholes on many of them show that they were much used. The one on the far left, with the floral painting, is Russian. The picture doesn't show it well - it's a mushroom with a curved, hollow stalk on which it stands. This unscrews and is perfect for storing the long, large-headed knitter's pins I use when sewing up knitted pieces.

            Enjoy the hunt, but careful, it's addictive!

            Katina

          9. Palady | | #51

            Wonderful of you to post the photo of your collection.  Admirable to be sure because of the variety.  Some of the shapes were new to me.  The glove ones in particular.  And I doubt I've ever seen one that the handle detaches for needle storage. 

            Your efort has spurred some interest and realization.  A positive to be sure.

            How and when did you come to begin your collection?  How do you display them?

            Me

             

          10. Katina | | #54

            Thank you, Me. I hate to confess that they're just kept in drawers and boxes, and that I have rather a lot of them - well over 200 in fact. I don't know how best to display them. My friends and family have given me several. They joke about how easy it is to give me gifts: "The old girl loves darners, darn 'er!" I've collected them from various fleamarkets and antique shops. The small lilac one in the picture was given to me by a very dear friend who's well into her 90s and bedridden, when I travelled to visit her a few months ago. She was waiting with it under her pillow and told me it had always been in her family home, that it had belonged to her grandmother who had used it frequently. We both got quite tearful as she explained that she hadn't wanted to give it to me earlier in all the years I've known her, that it held dear memories for her, but that the time had come. She was fearful of not seeing me again, of my not getting it when she's gone. Very moving, interesting story.

            Darners come in a huge variety of shapes and materials. I included two in the picture which have sterling silver handles - did you notice? Wealthy families would order their cutlery and have various other household items, such as darners, stilettoes and the like made to match. Fascinating really, as we now tend to associate darning with those in more difficult circumstances, and forget it was an essential part of household management. Anyway, sorry to waffle on - I didn't mean to write an essay on this!

            Katina

             

          11. Josefly | | #55

            That's a very interesting story. The darning eggs are so beautiful - I think I would put them on the wall in a shadow-box, or boxes, or on the coffee table in a glass-topped collections case, such as the cases that are available at exposures.com. Or a coffee table with a built-in glass-topped display case, or on a shelf under a glass coffee table, provided there aren't youngsters in your house who might damage them. They could also be displayed on top of a plate-rail molding, lying on their sides or standing up, if you could stand to dust them - I hate to dust!Threads could do an article on hand-darning and machine-darning, for those ignoramuses like me who want to restore and use damaged antique linens, and use a photo of your eggs on the cover!

          12. Katina | | #56

            Thanks for the suggestions, and you're right, I'd hate to have to dust them. The glass-topped table's a good idea - I'm going to look into it (no pun intended!)

            Katina

             

          13. Katina | | #57

            Hello again

            Do you have an address for the Exposures.com you mention, please? I came up with a photograph site.

            Thanks

            Katina

          14. Josefly | | #69

            Oops, I'm sorry I gave you the wrong name to use, and also without checking the site myself to see if they still offer the same kinds of display cases. It should have beenhttp://www.exposuresonline.com.This site is also associated with photography - photo albums, photo storage, frames, and other ways of displaying photos. Their present catalog doesn't show the shadow boxes or table-top glass-covered boxes I used to see, but there is a small wall-hung curio cabinet on page 44 of the current catalog you might want to look at.It has been some time since I ordered from these folks, but I have always been pleased with the quality of their products. Since you are not in the US, you may have better sources, but the curio cabinet is at least an idea.

            Edited 2/27/2008 4:35 pm ET by Josefly

          15. Katina | | #70

            Thanks very much for your help. I've got some ideas now, and yes, I should do something about displaying them.

            Katina

          16. Palady | | #67

            MO, your decision to keep them under wraps is the better in a way.  Less likely they'd need "dsuting' as you mentioned.  Drawers would seem the better than boxes.    Boxes can get misplaced or, heaven forbid, tossed inadvertently. 

            Were you to go the route of a glass top display, you might choose to change the selection from time to time.  From the picture, the all are truly beautiful.  And indeed, I did notice the silver handled.   Some of the others also had me drooling. 

            To my memory they were just kept in sewing baskets with a melange of other sewing stuff. 

            The how of your acquiring the small lilac one deserves archiving.  I'd say that for all you have.  Do you remember the first you acquired? 

            A PC entry as to how, or when, you acquired specific ones would add a great deal to your collection at some point.  A task at this point to be sure.  Yet it might be worth the time.

            All you've shared made for a most interesting read.  Hardly a waffling on.

            My wonder is if the Threads editorial staff monitors the message board? 

            The post as to the magazine doing a series on darning has much merit.  Again, MO.  I gfit my daughter with Threads subx and get to read her issues when I visit.  Having my own is a lesser choice because I'm already awash in magazines et al doing with needle arts.

            Looking froward to possibly seeing your entire collection in an upcoming Threads issue.

            Me

             

          17. Katina | | #68

            Thanks again, Me, for your comments and suggestions. Yes, I do remember how it all started. I'll post about it tomorrow - getting late over here now. I do appreciate your interest.

            Katina

          18. Josefly | | #52

            Those are beautiful. I think if I had such lovely tools I would have learned how to darn!

          19. Katina | | #53

            Thank you!

          20. rodezzy | | #58

            Thanks for the picture and the stories.  I was touched by the story of your friend that gave you her darner.  I have never darned anything in my life, and don't know how and have never seen anyone darn anything.  And this world is truly a disposable one.  But if I knew, I would have tried to do it.  But for the life of me I don't know anything that needed darning outside of socks.  Is that the primary thing that people darned?

            I have repaired sewn items, mostly years ago when my son was young, and occassionally here and there for him.

            Edited 2/27/2008 11:17 am ET by rodezzy

          21. Katina | | #59

            Hi Rodezzy

            No, not only socks. Knitwear was darned, and beautifully too; sheets, tablecloths and the like. In fact, I have somewhere my textbook for the year we did what was called "Domestic Science" and there are darning instructions in there. How we hated those classes!

            Katina

          22. rodezzy | | #60

            I took and loved "Home Economics" for three years in high school.  Never taught us darning.  Isn't that something.  That was in the 60's. 

          23. Katina | | #61

            It was compulsory for us at age 12. Also, how it's taught is crucial, don't you think?

            Katina

          24. rodezzy | | #62

            I guess, I never judged my classes, I just took them and did the best I could.  I loved school and did the best I could in all of my classes.  Even in math, and I did hate math.  Still do.

          25. Katina | | #63

            The teachers must have loved you!

          26. rodezzy | | #64

            They did.  I was pretty popular in high school.  I even ran for Miss Three Rivers and won Second Runner up. 

          27. Katina | | #65

            Well, you're popular here too!

          28. rodezzy | | #66

            Thanks, you're the best!!!  And I love these Threads, I have learned so much from everyone talking here.  I've learned things I never even dreamed of.

          29. MaryinColorado | | #71

            So very lovely!  Thank You for sharing the photo.  I enjoyed your heartfelt story of your friend and her lovely lavender darner.  Mary

          30. Katina | | #72

            Greetings and thank you.

            Katina

          31. MaryinColorado | | #73

            It's a lovely collection.  You could put a large bowl out on the coffee table with a few in it and change them from time to time.  Mary

          32. Katina | | #74

            That's a really grand idea - many thanks. I can do that right away!

            Katina

          33. MaryinColorado | | #75

            You're welcome!  I got the idea from my mother, it's like having a no calorie eye candy dish out instead of a candy dish.  She puts a lovely heirloom doily or embroidered cloth in the dish to protect the items from scratching.  They are great conversation pieces too! 

          34. Katina | | #76

            Yes, indeed, they would certainly start a conversation. It has happened a number of times that when a dealer sees me examining a darner, he/she will comment: "That's a baby rattle..."

            Thanks!

            Katina

          35. MaryinColorado | | #77

            ha ha, thanks for the giggles! 

          36. Palady | | #78

            A bit off topic.

            Smiled when I read it being said  to Katina ...>> he/she will comment: "That's a baby rattle..." <<.

            While browsing a second hand sale shop, I came upon an industrial spool of soutache that was labeled "orange string" marked $5.00.   After finding a purchase, I spoke with the clerk about this.

            I explained what it really was.  She sked how I knew and the how of it being used.  As I continued, she jotted the all down.

            Curiosity took me back to the shop some weeks later.   I noticed the spool was now marked as soutache.  It was also now priced at $12.00.

            I made certain I mentioned this to my daughter.  My mother had access to industrial sewing supplies.  I had passed along to my daughter more than a few industrial rolls of it in many colors.  Wanted to give her an idea in case she decided ti dispose of any. 

            We both agreed this was hardly likely.  My grandaugthers have "found" it and their Mom finds it slipping out from her sewing room for any number of their  projects.  Finger weaving among the many.

            :-) 's

             

             

          37. dollmarm | | #80

            What a neat and interesting collection - thanks for the photo We have traveled and I have seen some that looked similar, but didn't know what they were!  :~) tera

          38. Katina | | #81

            I'm glad you enjoyed them.

            Katina

          39. dollmarm | | #83

            You welcome- I agree with dispalaying them - they are a conversation piece.  I have wood eggs in one hand carved bowl we got in India, paper mache' eggs in a large  hand-carved duck made in India and then we got a set of Alphabet eggs in another woodcarved bowl and everyone who sees them commits on these.  We have added to the wood ones when ever we see them.  :~)

            Show them off they are really neat! :~) 

          40. Katina | | #87

            The wood carving of India is beautiful - you'll enjoy those pieces forever. I have several carved and inlaid boxes from India which might be good to display darners in. Did you purchase any interesting textiles while you were there?

            Katina

          41. dollmarm | | #88

            OH wow did I !!!!!!!!!!!!  I lived in NewDelhi for almost 3years and we had a house near one of the best shopping areas.  At the corner was a police station and the other a Taxi Station.  Well being the little white American lady - there would be a fight over which taxi driver would take out me shopping for we American were good tippers- when we called for one.  I knew what the thread is called and I thought it was no big deal - they have these different - different - names and it was so confussing.  I was telling this very big/large taxi driver about one and showed him a cotton crochet thread I was looking for and no one seemed to know. Well he smiled and said I show U  - he took me into this little cubby hole of a shop and the owner had this floor to ceiling like cabinet w/these  little drawers that when he pulled them out they went on forever and he had all these colors-name brand companies of all these threads.  I have way too much but brought back much for family member - threads, yarn, fabric and so so much.  The best deals were the floss and Aida cloth.  I brought back handweaved tablecloths, napkins, rugs, blankets, bags, totes and any cotton wear - There was group of people that had had Leprosy but never allowed to live back into the normal community so they made wares and raised Chickens.  We always had fresh cleaned&gutted chicken delivered every wk at my door.  I never had better food.  Now because the Cow is sacred there was Buffalo - great and no fat.  They would bring fresh cut meats to your home and cut the meat exactly as you wanted it for no extra charge and you would tell them about how you wanted the next week or they would come every 2 weeks if you wanted.  I have several of the outfits and I wear a Sari that I wear at Christmas.  We have handmade shawls of all so many different colors and brought back many for all the women in the family.  We also bought lots of wood crafted gifts for family.   I have a 3 different set of hand-carved Elephants that I have displayed on a tiered table in the corner and everytime I see a wood one I add to it.  MY daughter gave me several of the different one that Tyco put out that sit at the foot of the Corner shelf/table.  I also have 3 hand-carved lamps and A Screen that is of the GrapeVine.  That one is not display yet.  Until we finish remodeling - not sure where I want it display.  I am part American Indian so I have several of the Indian dolls w/ my American Indian stuff.  I have these really neat wall hanging on my back glass sliding door that that looks like the colors match the American Indian colors and some designs.  my husbands sec. saw I liked it and bought it for me for a gift.  I was very blessed with that Taxi diver - he was always available and looked after me like I was his mom.  He was a great body guard. We lived in India when Rahiv Gandhi was assassinated & we had to have around the clock guards, so he stayed close and I was felt safe and he was a perfect GOD- sent for me and my kids.  He took me places and showed me things and areas that I would have never found and helped me get good deals and was always safe and would tell if I was to go.  Many of times I would not go unless I knew he would take me.  Too it didn't hurt that I did give him better tips but I knew he was grateful and careful with us all.  SO sorrie to yak on so but yes I did enjoy the shopping - I did get sick alot there but it is such a back place to be.  There they  just do not understand the health hazards as we do here.  I was so glad when it was our time to leave too.  My hubby said our freight could only hold so much, not  - teheeehehehehe  The wares were neat, some fabrics have gold threading and they are were not high - here u can not afford them.  MY Christmas Sari has gold in the thread.  They display their wealth in clothing and jewels.  WOW their jewels were pretty and some way over the top.  Well take care my friend, enjoyed sharing with you, :~) tera

          42. Katina | | #89

            Oh how fabulously exciting to read! You obviously really immersed yourself in the whole experience. Thanks so much for sharing this with us all. I wonder if Threads could set up a column where exotic fabrics/threads/yarns/sewing items belonging to readers could be shown?

            Katina

          43. dollmarm | | #90

            Well I had not intended to do that there, I was just a wife and mom and we decided to home teach our children,  and  travel with my husband as he did with the job there and when I found several crafty areas I told other and then word got around and that Taxi man was the greatest of helps and before I knew it I was leading shopping trips or someone would come in from the states and ask if I would take the wife and or pick them something up for their wife and others and we added cards to the files for where to go and whom to trust and we would ck' with the many different Embassy's and get their advice and off we go.  I really did enjoy several of the shop owners and many due to the first sale of the day gave me great deal.  After a while of bringing so many different ones and or buying for others I always got many great deals.   This was a life time experience that was great and yet the most trying for it is not a woman's world and the health issues were extremely ruff and tuff in areas.  I experienced some of the worst illness at times and it would take a while to get back on my feet but I did have great help.  MY husband traveled too much and each time he would come - we have to have a dinner with all from the office so we stayed busy.  He would get atleast a day or so to just be at home with us and the kids loved it.  My son who is autistic has flaming red hair and he would grab his white beach hat(like Gilligan) put on his head.  If not or they see his hair is read they would touch it and bother him and he hated it.  We would wet it down and on we go and no would see.  Our daughter has dark hair and darker skin than his and everyone wanted to know where we got her and she was ours!  :~) IT was definitely an interesting time in our life.  WE all hold a host of memories, good and bad, but glad we went and experienced it and glad to be out.  I think everyone everywhere should go visit a 'third-world country' where you do not have those rights we freely have & see  what  how thankful we should be.  The different smells of each place is another story. (very interesting) Just coming back in to grocery shop was hard.  They do not have the variety as we and it took me months to go down every isle in the store and shop.  It was totally overwhelming to see how much we have in just the different kinds of one product and how many co. make it.   We are  far more blessed than we know.   The craftsmanship in those countries are superb and their conditions are nothing like ours.  :~)

          44. Josefly | | #91

            I, too, have enjoyed reading your tales of experiences around the world. What great details you offer! How nice that you have such memories. I second Katina's idea... it would be lovely to see textiles people have gathered from their travels.

          45. dollmarm | | #92

            Thanks to U too, U all know how to lift an ol'gals spirits !  I used to write monthly letters back home detailing our adventures.  While teaching the kids I had them keep a journal of our times and places and we went on many of the USO tours as part of their history and then tried to learn the wares of the area.  Some we do well and other the local teachers would laugh but thankful we tried and at times finish it for us and WOW! In fact I took a Indian Cooking course 3 times for I loved the lady and each week what she taught us to fix - she would have each one of us making something in her tiny little place, plus the benefit we would get to eat the foods.  I held many of dinner and wk' with the cook on the foods and had many local and different country foods served - that was nice and esp, for them to clean and I could enjoy my guest - oh to have that would cost a mint - but the memories are nice. Thanks I am now a mom at home- hubby still travels some and I care for our son and we still shop and work on too many crafts at a time but it keeps life interesting.  Have been told to write, but - can't find that battery pack I need charge for when the body needs sleep! Take care and thanks for the kind words also Have a great Easter,  :~)

          46. MaryinColorado | | #93

            Thank you for sharing your unique cultural experience, I really enjoyed reading it and imagining what it was like and the wonderful things you brought back with you.  Mary

          47. dollmarm | | #94

            Thank you -  I have enjoyed sharing - at times it feels it was another person I talk of - for it has been so long ago.  Plus we as moms get so busy with just our housewk', hubby, the kids and etc... it is nice to go back and reminisce about the days.  Too I have stayed mommy to our autistic son whom will never leave our home.  I do not have the friend load I had - most of the women my age are empty nesters and they are back at work and or out enjoying a different life; so it has been great sharing and anytime I can share what we experienced-  it is nice.  Thanks again,  :~)

          48. MaryinColorado | | #95

            Yes, I know what you mean.  I wish I'd been better about keeping in touch with people when I "retired" from the hospital.   They've scattered with the winds now.  Many have moved to warm climates, one even to an Alaskan wilderness with her new hubby.  What an adventure that is!

            I really hope they find out what causes Autism soon.  I also hope they will provide more help for people and thier families who need it.  I pray for many advancements in medicine.  My son had a friend who died of Aides when he was only 12 years old.  That family went through so much trajedy with the stigma.  When a new school was built, it was named for him, that meant so much. 

            I'm so glad that you have sewing and your family.  Isn't it wonderful to have so many sewing friends here at Gatherings?  It is a Godsend to many of us to have others to share our love of sewing here!  Take care of yourself, Mary

          49. dollmarm | | #96

            I can not tell what this WHOLE  ENTIRE  group of people in gathering has meant to me.  I am home alot and so so so miss my gone friends and have many friend around the world. Some have blogs that I ck' wk'ly to see how they are and what is going on with their lives.   I have 2 friends that live on an Island and their pictures are grand and as I see I can remember being there and keep up with them and their kids as they are having kids.  I have too have several friends that we have lost touch and would love to know how they are.  Some just do not stay in touch.  There is so much to learn with so many condtions and some say one and some another.  Yes it tuff many times with what all the families go through esp the siblings.  My daughter has had it tuff at times with so much care going to him.   Our son is not the worst, so extra help is not available unless we pay for it.  He does receive SSI to help out,  but that wouldn't even begin to pay for what is needed in a days care.  SO I am thankful that I can be at home and not have to work.  Several years ago I worked pt-time overnight at Walmart and loved it.  Then 9/11 happened and my husband was traveling more and my boss allowed him to come in with me and he had a blast.. Several would help out with him - he is tall and would throw those big balls in the toy section into those large tall holders after the lady had them blown up and then he would watch movies in the Electonic dept and we would sleep all day and go in that night.  IT was a play ground for him  - for not as many people shopped at night.   That was fun for him while it lasted.  He started develping some other complications so I had to stop working and totally devote all my extra time and it has taken years to get his digestive system wk'ing correctly and still at times it malfunctions and there is not rhyme or reason - it just does.  We still people that knew us from that Walmart.  My son is redhead and they see him and say, 'hey I rememeber you - his red hair caught my eye."Working on Crafts has really helped with us bothe and then having you all to yak with has been so so great !  Take care, and continued joy in your craft/sewing projects to us all,  ;~) 

          50. sewelegant | | #44

            I am going to answer your questions in blue;  I googled the darning sites and thought one seemed to describe what I meant quite well.  http://www.ehow.com/how_648_darn-sock.html Forget the light bulb! use an embroidery hoop.  The bulb was used istead because you could not get a hoop inside a sock.

            I still have questions. It sounds like you do running stitches across the damaged area, from the running stitch perimeter first applied. YES, and 1/2 inch sounds good to me You are stitching parallel to the threads in the original woven cloth? YES Then the stitching threads span the open hole or tear and continue on the other side of the tear? YES Then you stitch across the area in a perpendicular direction, weaving through the threads spanning the open area? YES Do I literally weave my embroidery floss through the existing fabric before and after I cross the damaged area? YES Then what do I do with the frayed thread ends sticking out along the edges of the hole You will be stitching over these ends when you come back in the other direction making the weaving stitches over the hole. - trim them first to a sharp clean edge, or leave them, or trim them after finishing the weaving? How far away from the edges of the tear should I start stitching? The 1/2 inch mentioned in the site sounds good to me and I would make my running stitches as small as I could do comfortably.  How long should the running stitches be as I approach the void?  keep them the same size

            I copied this from that web site I noted above, my input is in blue

            Step 1:Find thread or yarn that matches the sock in color and texture; you can use embroidery floss (a type of thread) to repair a crew sock, while wool yarn is appropriate for a wool sock. Choose a darning needle as well. Use an embroidery needle as it has a larger hole but is not so big as a darning needle

            Step 2:Place a lightbulb in the sock and position the hole over the lightbulb. Your needle will glide smoothly over the bulb's surface, making your stitching go faster. That lightbulb is to keep the area taut.

            Step 3:Thread the darning needle with the yarn or thread and leave the end unknotted. The darning process should create a tight weave that makes knots unnecessary.  That's right, you do not want knots!  I never make a knot in my embroidery either because that is how I learned, but it makes all the difference in how neat your work looks.  Weaving the thread into the existing work is easy and effective.  When you first start, just make that first running stitch without a knot;  it will be covered with subsequent stitches and be secure.  If you want to remove the darning you have done because you do not like it, it's a lot easier if you do not have to deal with knots.

            Step 4:Start your work on either side of the hole. Take several small vertical running stitches in the intact fabric of the sock, about 1/2 inch to the left or right of the hole. Turn the sock upside down and make another row of stitches next to the first. This sounds good to me

            Step 5:Increase the number of running stitches you make as you come closer to the hole. When you reach the point at which the hole begins, your stitching line should extend from 1/2 inch above the hole to 1/2 inch below it.   I do not understand this, I would make all my running stitches as small as I could and not worry about the size.  It might matter in a sock where you get abrasive use, but not here.

            Step 6:Continue making vertical running stitches. When your stitching reaches the hole, take your thread or yarn over the hole and into the fabric on the other side, forming what resembles a vertical bridge over the hole. Stitching should extend 1/2 inch beyond the hole at both the top and bottom edges. Is this where you are wondering about the loose thread ends around the hole?  I think, if they are not too dangly or long, they will be caught up in the darning and not make a significant impact. 

            Step 7:Cut the thread end once you have covered the hole with vertical threads and extended the stitching 1/2 inch past it so that both sides of the hole look identical.

            Step 8:Thread your darning needle and begin your work 1/2 inch from either side of the hole at either the top or bottom. Take the threaded needle and weave it under and over the vertical threads that cover the hole (as well as the vertical threads that lie within 1/2 inch of the hole). I understand this to mean you will take small running stitches that will cross the previous running stitches in the fabric surrounding the hole and this will support the darning stitches over the hole and everything will be woven or look woven.  Do you understand?  You don't have to be precise, just be as neat as you can and you will probably be satisfied with the results.

            Step 9:Turn the sock upside down once you reach the opposite end of the hole, and weave another yarn strand next to the first. Continue stitching back and forth until you've completely filled the hole. Trim excess thread.

          51. Josefly | | #45

            Hi, sewelegant, and thank you once again. You have been incredibly patient and thorough in your description for me, and I appreciate it. I'm actually looking forward to trying this, first on a scrap of cotton I have on hand. It sounds like a tedious and meticulous task, but the damaged area is not so very large, so it doesn't seem overwhelming.I'll let you know how it goes.Ed. to add: Also I appreciate your needle and thread suggestions. I have embroidery floss - I'm thinking of using one strand only - and embroidery needles.

            Edited 2/24/2008 8:12 pm ET by Josefly

  7. Katina | | #35

    Have you noticed how the experts on antiques shows react when a piece of furniture has been repaired, or has had gouges and scratches refinished? They talk about the 'honesty' of the item; that the damage reflects its history, and should not have been worked on. It's unlikely that this hole can be invisibly repaired, and as you're not sure how strong the area around the hole is, maybe you should just neaten the edges carefully by hand, and then leave it. It might provide an interesting topic of conversation. I hope you don't recoil in horror at this suggestion!

    From a book on the conservation of textiles, I learnt about the importance of the water used in laundry. Seems that some water supplies (depending on your area) contain minerals that can lead to marks and discolouration over time, as well as a possible weakening of the fabric. The author strongly recommended that all final rinsing be done in distilled water.

    Katina

  8. dollmarm | | #79

    So sorrie to see that  - I have a favorite one my mother-in-law gave me that has been in the family for some time. 
    The tears are never in the best locations - U have got some really neat ideas. 
    I like the applique and embroidery that you could place right where the two points come up near but do not meet and then do it other places on the cloth like it was there all along.  - a new conversation piece.

    I used Shout and Oxy-powder to make a paste to take a stain out of my hubby shirt and left it on too long and it ate a hole in it.  Got the stain out, but.......  I am now told to keep checking it every 30 minutes and continue to add the shout to keep the paste soft and it better lift the stain before you wash. 

    I will now go back and look at mine and see best how to fix mine where it doesn't look fixed. 

    Yours is a very nice one too. 
    I have a white linen with roses and it has a slight pink stain and I put a dish and something over on the table that is not move so it will not show.
    We enjoy our cloth and it is a shame they tear and or take a stain that is so so hard to come out with taking some fibers with it. 
    I also heard recently that the Oxy-powder is not as strong as it was when it first came out for too many were having the same problems with it eating through the fabric. 
    Good luck with this adventure, let us know what you decide and show us pictures when you have the finished project. 
    Thanks for writing this in - I am sure I am not the only one to benefit from your question. :~) tera

    1. Josefly | | #82

      Thanks, Tera, for your comments. I still haven't done the repair - still tied up with other projects, but I'm looking forward to getting back to that tablecloth.I guess I soaked the cloth too long, thinking that Oxy and Biz ( I used both separately, I think) were gentle enough, unlike chlorine bleach.I'm glad I'm not the only one who uses damaged tablecloths - they are just to pretty not to.Joan

      1. dollmarm | | #84

        OH, I totally agree w/ keep using those cloth's !!!  :~) I have always been a SHout person.  My mother-in-law says I should have bought stock in that company years ago.  There was a great one that we could only get in Germany and I loved it -tried to get it here and no way, can't rememeber the name now.  But I heard somewhere that the mixture (making a paste) w/ the Shout sprayed on the stain first - totally saturating the area and surrounding the  stain - them lay a layer of  the oxy-powder totally covering the Shout, then totally saturating  w/ SHout over the powder.  Leave for about 30 minutes and going back every30 minutes and spraying more shout to keep it wet and ck' Once U see it is lifting then your soak in really hot water if the fabric is  White or a very light color Use luke warm to cold water for darker fabrics and just keep going back and checking to see if the stain has been lifted.   It has worked everytime since and I no longer have a hole.  Even after you wash in cold adn the stain is still even slightly there repeat the process before you dry.  I have had every stain come out.  Once you dry it is harder.  I am stain nut !! I love to see what I can get out !! I have bought things at 2nd hand store for very little that are stained  to take then home and clean - if I can not use what I bought I give it away in a goody bag to someone who can.  I am with you too, on the projects but it keeps us interesting.  I do not like working on the same thing all the time.  I like variety of the different crafts I do.  WE are blessed you know,  to be able to do so.  :~)

        1. Josefly | | #85

          Amen to that.

          1. dollmarm | | #86

            :~) Have a great Easter

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