1880-1900 Linen, Hemp, Cotton Textile Cleaning

Finding a huge lot of old unused and well used textiles was probably my score of the year. These poor things had been in some European abandoned attic for a hundred years. Talk about dirty! They are tough though. A hundred years of roof leaks, rodent piss, and who know what else hasn’t done much to this wonderful stuff besides make it ugly and smelly. It is still intact, still sturdy and usable. I am trying different cleaning tactics and have abandoned the washing machine with agitator for the coarser hand woven items.

Several soakings in sodium mono carbonate for two to four days is really getting the years of crap off the textiles. I plan to follow up with a final wash with some actual laundry soap to ensure the animal leavings are completely gone.

These fabrics are destined for pillows, table runners and art projects. Maybe I’ll make an apron using leather harness straps too. I have a design in mind reminiscent of an old blacksmiths apron.

Grain sacks and antique toweling first soaking in cleaning solution.Antique grain sacks and linen flax and hemp textiles submerged for cleaning

Cheapest quilting and sewing tool I own! Pencils!

Did you know regular old yellow number two school pencils are 1/4 inch in diameter? I always have them laying around to mark things.

What a quickie tool to grab to measure a seam allowance!

Did you know you can tape two yellow pencils together and then the center of their leads will be 1/4 inch apart?

What a quickie way to draw a line 1/4 inch away from another line!

What a quickie way to draw two lines 1/4 inch apart!