Days Gone By - stories from the past

SATURDAY SECRET: Proper cleaning of black lace was essential in the 1890s – here is how

Lace was very popular and used in many ways during the 1890s, including dresses. Here are some ways black lace was cleaned found in an 1890s book.


To Clean Black Lace No. 1

A teaspoonful of gum arabic dissolved in one teacupful of boiling water when cool, add half a teaspoonful of black ink; dip the lace and spread smoothly between the folds of a newspaper and press dry with book or the like. Lace shawls can be dressed over in this way, by pinning a sheet of the carpet and stretching the shawl upon that; or black lace can be cleaned the same as ribbon and silk. Take an old kid glove (black preferable), no matter how old, and boil it in a pint of water for a short time; then let it cool until the leather can be taken in the hand without burning; use the glove to sponge off the ribbon; if the ribbon is very dirty, dip it into water and draw through the fingers a few times before sponging. After cleaning, lay a piece of paper over the ribbon and iron; paper is better than cloth. The ribbon will look like new.

Mother of William Henry Jackson in lace jabot, seated ca. 1900 (Detroit Publishing Company)Mother of William Henry Jackson in lace jabot, seated ca. 1900 (Detroit Publishing Company)

To Clean Black Lace No. 2

Black laces of all kinds may be cleaned by alcohol. Throw them boldly into the liquid; churn them up and down till they foam; if very dusty, use the second dose of alcohol; squeeze them out, “spat” them, pull out the edges, lay them between brown paper, smooth and straight; leave under a heavy weight till dry, do not iron.

Discover many more household tips and recipes from the past in VINEGAR OF THE FOUR THIEVES: Recipes & curious tips from the past.  Now in paperback, makes a great gift!

Vinegar of the Four Thieves: Recipes & Curious Tips from the Past (Paperback)


By (author):  Donna R Causey
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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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