Feeling pleased with my own cleverness

When I un-picked all of the miles of lace from the edges of Gavi's wedding dress
I realized that some of the lace, especially the bits that had been on the bottom hem of the dress had gotten a bit greyish and dingy. It really needed to be clean before I attached the lace to the silk double Georgette. The bit of schmutz might not matter at the back of the hem of a dress but it would be noticeable on a tallit.

I can't calculate all of the books of early 20th century helpful home hints I have read since I was in grade school. I am a person of odd passions. I had a period of time when I was little when I had a crush on dump trucks. But I have been reading collections of home hints probably since I was seven or eight ( not long after my dump truck love).

Many of these hints are not exactly useful in my every day life, although I do know how to construct a fireless cooker if the need ever arises.  As I looked at my big spool of shmnutzy lace  I realized that washing miles of loose lace would just create a giant spaghetti-like mess of hard to control lace that was liable to rip during the stress of washing. I remembered one book had mentioned that a good way to clean a long length of lace trim was to wind it onto a coated metal frame and washed in a solution of  water and grated laundry soap and then allowed to dry and then pressed on a "heavy Turkish towel". 

In the 1920's such devices were probably easily available in your local dry-goods store.Since we no longer live in an age where dry goods stores exist, I knew I had to figure something else out. 

Long ago I had purchased some lace on plastic reels. I know for sure that those reels have long since been tossed in the recycling bin. I did have some lace trim that was wound onto cardboard, but the cardboard was useless for washing purposes. I visited the dollar store to see if anything there might work. I came up dry.

This morning I began searching my kitchen to see if anything might fit the bill. I found exactly the right tool on my kitchen windowsill. My dishwasher came with entirely too many silverware containers. This unused one would be perfect for the job.

I began to wind the lace around the silverware container.

I used the lid to hold the ends of the lace firmly.
I filled a bucket with hot water and added Oxy-clean and added my improvised reel and reeled lace to the bucket.

I let the lace soak for a few minutes and then 
Pulled it out and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed the lace.

I wrapped the lace bundle in two Turkish towels
to absorb most of the moisture
and set the bundle to dry on a window sill.

The washed lace is much whiter. Tomorrow I will press the lace.


  1. Brilliant!
    One of the gowns I worked on last year had that eyelash edge to the lace. The bride didn't like it, so I had to trim it off. Actually the most satisfying part of all the things I had to do to that gown!


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