The Crazy Suburban Mom: Vintage Linens, it's a sickness I tell you...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Vintage Linens, it's a sickness I tell you...

Colorado Lady does Vintage Thingies Thursday every week and I love it.

It's so much fun to go and see what everyone posts and to share my things. Estate sales, thrifting... all that stuff can get to be sort of an obsession and the nice thing about VTT is you can hop around the Internet and see all the things that you promised yourself you WILL NOT BUY. No I will not collect one more thing, no I won't cross my heart. I will not buy it, I won't hide it in the trunk of my car or stash it in my closet... I won't even buy it just to sell it which I have even though I promised myself and my family I would not and apparently....

I lied.
I've looked around on many Vintage Thingies Thursdays and saw the vintage linens that you had and pumped my fist skyward and said, Oh no, not one more thing and than bought these anyway.


And it was dumb.


Because they are not perfect so no one (else) wants them...


And I don't know how to get the stains out... But look at that embroidery!
On second thought. Don't look. I don't want you to be afflicted like me.


Is that tatting? I think that's tatting... No don't look...
It needs repair and like there is a neighborhood tatter in
suburban NJ in the 21st century? Nine cell phone stores, yes.
But no local tatter...


But just look at the work on that...Um, well I'm not sure what that flowered thing is. A card table topper maybe? Entirely impractical even if I played cards (which I don't) because I would never let a bunch of people sit around that beautiful flowered card table topper while sipping Pink Squirrels and dipping into a cheese ball dribbling cheese shrapnel across it.

I'm beginning to think owning this stuff might be a bit of a curse you know? Once you own it, it owns you back!


Happy Cottage Quilter 2/11/10, 8:07 AM  

I love vintage linens. And yours are so lovely!


Vonlipi 2/11/10, 8:18 AM  

Gorgeous! I get caught like that too! Sometimes I buy a tablecloth and there's no stains on it and I come home and presto stains on it!

SuKnitWitty 2/11/10, 10:08 AM  

OMG...get rid of that old stuff right away! You're's a curse...but you are not so far in that you can't reverse....the stains that is. Yep, somewhere close to the Cell Phone Stores, you might find a 'Quilt Shop' that carries a 'Vintage Wash' that will remove or at least lighten those stains and brighten the whole piece. How do I know? I'm a Vintage LinenAHolic and Vintage Quilt top Quilter...come by and see my VTT Vintage Quilts....Sue

Cherie 2/11/10, 10:09 AM  

Oh I have table linens with stains on them also that I will NOT LET GO! I have heard that placing them into the sun removes the stains. I will try next summer and see what happens. Still, great finds.

Postcardy 2/11/10, 10:28 AM  

Funny post. I manage to stay away from most things I don't need--except for postcards.

ladyjanewriter 2/11/10, 10:44 AM  

Soak 'em in Oxyclean? It doesn't seem to fade colors...

Plus,I think that the unstained bits can always be re-used as appliques, collars, or patchwork quilty squares.

ladyjanewriter 2/11/10, 10:46 AM  

Oh, or, OR...tea-stain them. That's why the concept of tea-staining was invented, anyway!
:-D You may need to search around the internet to find a method that works best.

concretenprimroses 2/11/10, 11:14 AM  

Those are wonderful! I'm at work but when I get home I'll look at the name of a special cleaning substance I have for vintage thingies and post its name. It really works! I had lost it but just found it when cleaning out the bathroom cupboard. There are still a few people who tat around. I suggest asking at your senior center. Sometimes knitters or crocheters know how too, so if there's a local group you could inquire.

♥nova-san 2/11/10, 11:46 AM  

I love vintage stuff. Even the stains. It gives it such character.

Oh, and I had to laugh at the fist pumping thing.... soooo jerseyyyy! J/K! :-)

Ulla 2/11/10, 11:47 AM  

How sweet! Yes that is tatting, I just started to learn it today, from a book and DVD. Good luck with washing the stains out.

P. 2/11/10, 11:48 AM  

I loved seeing these, and your writing is great! This week, I just found, on our lovely Colorado Lady's site, how to clean vintage linens. I'm going to try her recipe.

Maureen 2/11/10, 11:52 AM could repurpose them! Dare ya!

The Crazy Suburban Mom 2/11/10, 12:13 PM  

Too funny everyone! And I will look up colorado ladys recipe, look for vintage wash and try oxyclean - which I actually have! And I know that we are all afflicted! And as to you Maureen - HA! you think I will cut these up! OMG - That makes me shake in my boots which Im actually wearing cause I just had to dig my van out.

LV 2/11/10, 12:40 PM  

Those are wonderful vintage linens. I love all linens as well. I use mine all the time.

thasnifty 2/11/10, 1:12 PM  

Those are wonderful linens. I love the stains and signs of use too. If they come out, great, if they don't great. :) I too am afflicted, but this is a new affliction for me. :) I still have room for many more linens.

-brightest blessings-

Jen 2/11/10, 2:34 PM  

I have boxes of old linens, mostly stained, but I can't get rid of them because one of my now dead relatives embroidered them (and I don't know which one). I should probably give them to you since you'd appreciate them more than I do.

At least you don't collect Barbie hair like my daughter does.

eilandkind/islandchild 2/11/10, 2:58 PM  

I love your linen! I also buy things with stains, that nobody else wants, it gives it character.

Mrs. P. 2/11/10, 4:33 PM  

I am a rescuer of vintage linens, is a bit of an illness :)

Your pieces are beautiful and yes, I believe that piece to be tatted :)


Grace @ Ruby Moon Designs 2/11/10, 4:34 PM  

I don't mind stains on vintage linens...they let you know that they were used and loved!

Blessings, Grace

Shabby Cottage Collectibles 2/11/10, 5:02 PM  

I'm like you can't pass up beautiful vintage linens! No one makes pretties like that anymore. Yes the thing to use is oxiclean it does get most stains out. Warm hugs, Esther

Miri 2/11/10, 5:14 PM  

Lovely vintage linens...and yes, it is addictive! But just wait until you want to know how they made it and start doing it yourself-seriously addictive!

Lin 2/11/10, 6:21 PM  

Oooooh, I get it. I love old quilts and such, but I can walk away without buying them. I can admire and move on. It's my talent. :)

Coloradolady 2/11/10, 6:35 PM  

Oh, sweetie...look in the archives of my blog under recipes (I believe) I have the recipe for getting these clean...they will be as good as new....promise!!!

Love your treasures....and I had to Laugh out loud...I just hauled in a TON of stuff from my trunk today, to wash and son just asked what the heck??? I told him to forget he saw a thing!!!

Happy VTT!!

Bea 2/11/10, 7:08 PM  

I have the same curse. I love old linens. Stained or not, they usually have to come home with me...

Manang Kim 2/11/10, 7:20 PM  

Looking at your collection, a thought came to my mind, how many young ladies knew how to sew and embroidered like this one. I remember when I was in elementary one of our subject is Home Economics that is when I knew how to sew.
I just love your pieces thanks for sharing!

VTT~ Old horns

Serendipity Handmade 2/11/10, 8:20 PM  

Tracy, I've got the same sickness. I just bought some last week...posted about it on VTT but nobody stopped by!

Toronto Yardsaler 2/11/10, 9:48 PM  

You've got a fever that can only be cured by more cowbell.
Nice linens 'n things.

concretenprimroses 2/12/10, 10:49 AM  

Hi there!
The stuff for vintage linens that I mentioned yesterday is called "Retro Clean". I'm pretty sure I got it on line.
I used it to clean very old vintage lace curtains and they came out perfect! They were so old I had been afraid to even put them in water. (Then dd's kitties ripped them to shreds when she moved back home for a year, but that is another story, sigh.)
Good luck. Somehow I missed coloradolady's recipe, I'll have to check it out.

Gina 2/12/10, 11:31 AM  

I've used Oxyclean successfully as someone else has mentioned. I'm sure there are tatters in NJ. There are several in NY. email me privately and I'll see if I can find one for you. ginab6 at yahoo dot com

Babes Mami 2/13/10, 1:24 AM  

I use Grandma's Secret Spot Remover for all of my stains so maybe that, unless you enjoy the charming stains. Tatters...that's hard, I know one in Greenville, SC because she teaches a class. It's an amazing art, difficult, time consuming, but beautiful!

Sweet Bee Cottage 2/15/10, 10:10 PM  

Boy do you I hear you! It's a sickness but I don't want to recover! Yours are cute and fun!

Vintage Linens 2/26/10, 10:07 AM  

Oh no, dear... It's not just you... Vintage Linens are my passion. Christine @

Warm Hugs Design 6/30/10, 2:39 AM  

It's not just you - I too love vintage linens. In fact, I'm addicted to them! Upcycle them too in my etsy shop at and there is a way to refresh them and get the stains out. Do a google search - Biz and Oxiclean sock works wonders...

Warm hugs,

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