HNW - Old/Antique needlework

Penny Ladnier penny.creative.outlets at
Thu Jul 1 06:20:00 PDT 1999

Hi Kat,

I would worry about using bleach.  I remember a discussion on h-costume a
few years back... the conclusion was that bleach never truly leaves a fiber.
Thus it breaks the fiber content down.  It makes sense because I used to
bleach my towels and have to buy new towels every two years.  I stopped
bleaching my towels and now I have had them three years and they are finally
starting to show some wear.

You might want to try some old fashioned methods like the sun.  I do recall
my mom using lemon juice to brighten.  I wonder if borax would do the job
with minimal damage.  In pre-Pampers days women used borax soap powder on
cloth diapers.  This seemed to do the best job for whiting diapers and was
not so harsh that it would hurt a baby's bottom.  Has anyone had experience
using borax?

I have been recently reading receipts in some of the antique magazines I'm
working with.  They offer suggestions for doing things that our
Grandmother's used.  If I run across another brightening agents, I'll let
you know.

A side note... on Dateline the other night, they had someone from Good
Housekeeping on testing modern carpet cleaners Vs the old fashioned methods
of cleaning stains.  The conclusion was that they both had the same results.

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