I searched Google for advice on washing all the lace I got. I thought about all the different advise and then this is what I did:
I use 2 cleaning agents- Neutrogena soap (the orange bar) and Oxy-wash type non- chlorine bleach (there are lots of brands and they all seem to say “Oxy” in the name). I used a quart jar with a lid as my mini washing machine.
Step 1-washing: I put a very small amount of oxy-wash into the jar- maybe about 1 teaspoon. I ran hot water into the jar, over the bar of soap, so the water got some soap in it. I then put some of the lace into the jar, put the lid on and gave it all a good shake.
I let it sit for about half an hour and then scooped all the lace out of the jar and rinsed it. I examined each piece- some of it was all clean and nice, some still looked dingy or had spots. I put my jar of washing solution into the microwave and warmed it up again, and put all the rejects back into the jar to soak longer. I soaked the dirtiest pieces for a maximum of overnight. If they weren’t clean after that, I figured I could deal with it.
The clean pieces moved on to the next stage.
Step 2- drying: I collected glass jars (plastic didn’t work as well) and took off the paper labels. Take the lace and smooth it onto the glass. It will sort of stick if the lace is wet enough. The idea is that by flattening and smoothing it onto the glass, you can shape it and it will not need to be ironed. Here is one batch on glass-
next I wrapped a piece of old Tshirt around everything to keep it in place while it dried. Lots of rubber bands were used…
unwrap it when everything is dry…
Step 3-storing: I wasn’t sure what to do with all my lace once it was so clean and nice, so I asked people over on my favorite Yahoo group- Vintage Clothmaking. Someone said that she stored hers in plastic bags so she could handle it without getting it dirty. She puts similar types of lace (ie- tatting, tiny lace, etc) together. I thought that was a great idea- I have a box of ziplock bags that were too small for what I bought them for but are just perfect for the lace.
This is one of my favorite things in my haul- a collar with someones name inked onto it.