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Using antique trims

MargaretAnn | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I have inherited some tatting and crochet pieces that were never applied to anything.  Some seem to be meant for pillowcases and sheets.  I son’t think it would be a good idea to use them as insertion because the thread is old and the picots might break.  I thought of tacking them on top of a ribbon, and sewing that on.  Does anyone have experience with using antique work?  Any ideas on what to do with small bits (meant as trials, I think)?

Thanks.  Margaret-Ann


  1. stitchmd | | #1

    I will pass along the suggestion made to me about such items. Mount and frame them either singly or in groups. I wouldn't put them on anything intended for regular use, wear and tear and laundering.

  2. CTI | | #2

    My experience is that they fall apart fast, so I second Pasdenom's advice to frame. In fact, make them frames within frames or decorative bits within an interior framing design.

    I'm betting there is someone here who knows how to treat these fabrics so they don't continue to age to the point of falling apart.

    1. rjf | | #3

      I seem to remember reading that if cotton is washed frequently, it lasts longer for some reason but with one of my favorite shirts, a Dan River plaid,  the fabric lasted forever but the thread gave up.  Weird!    rjf

      1. CTI | | #4

        Interesting, I recall something to that effect, too. I haven't had the thread problems, except for buttons--they seem to like to unravel, so I try to reinforce them right away.

    2. stitchmd | | #5

      To protect fabric from deterioration you have to wash it and then keep it away from light and physical damage and dirt. Rinse it multiple times in distilled water, dry on a screen (non-metal, like a sweater dryer) then store it flat in acid free materials protected from dust, light, touching, etc.

      If you want to mount it try to do it without using any stitching as the thread can gradually cut through the piece. To frame you can use an acid free backing and have the frame glass right against it to keep it in position. It's good to use non-reactive framing materials, or to coat the inside of the frame with acrylic varnish to prevent acids from wood or rust or whatever from affecting the piece. If you want to mount it on fabric use one that won't do anything damaging. Polyester is good as it just doesn't break down into components.

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