Removing mystery stains from vintage crochet
by Linnea Lahlum
(Buffalo Grove IL)
closeup of one stain
I am considering buying a vintage ecru crochet tablecloth I found online. I am very interested in this particular piece because it matches some other pieces I have. I am planning to use it as a bed coverlet, not a tablecloth. I have not seen it in person. However, there are stains right in the middle, which would therefore be impossible to hide. I would like to know how to remove them. I know I have done a few small stained pieces I already own, and the stains were very hard to get out without using bleach then having to re-dye them with tea. Even then, there was a trace left. It would be a huge pain if I had to bleach something this big and then try to re-dye it. I would have to do the whole thing, as bleaching really could not be done selectively. For all I know these could be years old, and may be set. They are light to medium brown and could be coffee or tea. I am motivated to do it if it is possible, though.
I tested some small inexpensive pieces I have now, in Biz. I figure whatever stains might be on vintage crochet table linens, are probably much the same type. However, the stains on those did not budge even after soaking for 3 days in a concentrated solution. Next I will try Oxyclean. If I can’t come up with a system that works consistently, I had better pass, even though I WANT this one due to the matching pattern. (RESULT: 12 hours Oxyclean: 1 piece minor light stain, gone: 3 pieces with more serious darker stains similar to the one I want to buy, still there and unchanged.)
Thanks for your help!