Monday, June 29, 2009

Apologies for Long Silence

The Scottish Home is back! So much has been going on in terms of work and family life for me, over the past few weeks, that blogging has been the very last thing on my mind. My propensity for writing lists spiralled out of control, and involved the creation of a Mega List, but at last I seem to be getting on top of things, before they comprehensively get on top of me! Meanwhile, over the past few weeks, I have acquired - from various sources, including the South of France, as well as here in Scotland - a great deal of truly wonderful old linen. Some of it is whitework, and some of it is gorgeous colourful embroidery. Some of these little tablecloths in Irish Linen and bright colours are so beautifully embroidered that they could almost be framed up. Yet they are hard wearing and forgiving. You can use them and wash them and they still look lovely - although bear in mind that direct sunlight will certainly fade these spectacular colours.
Some of the linen had been well cared for, some of it was quite new, but had obviously been stored away in an attic or similar for sixty or seventy years and was consequently discoloured, while some of it was in a dreadful state, with mould spots etc. When you get a piece of old linen that is so discoloured, it becomes a case of 'kill or cure' - I soaked a huge old damask for about a week in a solution of Vanish and water, changing the water occasionally, then washing it twice and hanging it outside to dry. To my surprise, even the mould spots have disappeared, leaving only a few faint marks. This is not, of course, to be tried on anything precious or delicate, and you should ALWAYS consult an expert, when in doubt. But when a piece of inexpensive table or bedlinen is so defaced that the alternative is to make it into a dustsheet, then you might as well experiment with modern stain removers, sunshine, or - in winter - frost! You might be pleasantly surprised.