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Old 08-23-2019, 11:52 AM   #1
LovinBeingMommy
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Default Washing Heirloom Outfit

Baby girl needs to be baptized. By some small miracle, we found my grandfather's baptism gown when we were going through my old baby stuff (somehow ended up in my box). We really want to use it, but it's obviously aged. I don't want to risk damaging it, as it's special to both my mom and me. It's yellowed and creased from being folded for probably decades. It appears to be a lightweight cotton or similar. What can I do to gently wash it and hopefully remove at least some of the yellow? I can get a picture, if that would help to make suggestions.

I wasn't sure where was best to post this. If there's a spot it fits better/is more likely to get answers, I'm 100% ok with it being moved.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

You can try sunning it.

I bleached my grandmotherís wedding dress and the yellow came out perfectly. Donít tell my mom.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:08 PM   #3
charla
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

Would hand washing with OxiClean be gentle enough?
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

There is special wash for antique fabrics. I have seen it for antique quilts.

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Old 08-23-2019, 01:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

I would call an antique store and ask for some advice.


This seems to have some good information.
https://bloomersandfrocks.com/pages/...ntage-clothing

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Old 08-23-2019, 01:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

I took a baby gown to the museum recently for the same issue. What I was told was to put the gown in water with just a tiny bit of baby detergent and place in it the sun.

I've been super busy this summer, but I need to get this done soon.
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

I gave this a try yesterday. I bought a big aluminum lasagna pan and added water with a little liquid Dreft mixed well beforehand. I placed it on the roof of my car outside in the direct sun with the gown fully submerged (I had to put towels under one end to level it out so the gown was under water). It was there for about three hours.

It worked really well. BUT if the item is not already supposed to be white, you can damage the color. Mine was an off white/cream beforehand and now is white. The stains are gone and the decorative stitching is more pronounced. I'm very pleased with the result.

Just be very aware of the power of surface tension on any problem areas. This gown is paper thin and already had some hole, so I wasn't too concerned (well, that and I have no idea where this came from or whose it was) but it handled the process well.

If you try it, I'd just check on it every hour or so to make sure things are going well.
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Last edited by CelticJourney; 09-07-2019 at 04:19 AM.
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Old 09-07-2019, 08:07 AM   #8
knitlove
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

I am glad it worked for you.

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Old 09-07-2019, 11:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

I agree with the baby detergent. I used to use liquid Ivory Snow on whites sometimes and it was amazing. I think that product is now Dreft "stage 1" at most stores.
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Old Today, 01:06 PM   #10
LovinBeingMommy
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

Sorry for disappearing. The last few weeks have been kinda rough. However, I did get the gown clean and she wore it for her baptism. I need to take some pictures of just her in it before she outgrows it, but here's a family picture from the day of the baptism.

2019-09-08-baptisms-3
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Old Today, 01:15 PM   #11
SewingGreenMama
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

So beautiful. That is a stunning baptism gown.

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Old Today, 01:28 PM   #12
charla
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

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Old Today, 01:41 PM   #13
LovinBeingMommy
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

Quote:
Originally Posted by SewingGreenMama View Post
So beautiful. That is a stunning baptism gown.
I really love it. It's hand made. Probably by someone in his family. My mom says she doesn't remember his mom being at all good at sewing, so it might have been another relative. It's really well made, especially considering everything is stitched by hand.
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Old Today, 03:37 PM   #14
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

What a precious family picture.
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Old Today, 05:10 PM   #15
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Default Re: Washing Heirloom Outfit

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