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Stains in Antiques

antiqueHi, I have a very old (pre-WW II) beige, intricately embroidered, 120 inch tablecloth that is badly stained with wine and food stains. It is unusable as it is, but I was wondering if I could have it successfully dyed by a cleaning outfit. I believe the material is cotton and embroidered with linen-type threads. Since the cloth is very old, I am not really sure what the material is. The following questions exist in my mind: 1. Would it come out splotchy? 2. Would the dye color rinse out over time? 3. How expensive would the dyeing process be? 4. Would it be worth it? Any information you can give me would help.

blockquote>Hi Miki,
well, I don’t know the answers to any of your questions for sure.
1. yes, you’re right, splotchy is possible.
2. If you use the reactive dyes, the new color will be colorfast.
3. For professional dye houses that will do one piece, you can consult with www.fabricdyeing.com
4. I can’t answer the “would it be worth it” question, because it depends on what makes it worth it to you. All dyeing is an experiment. However, cotton and linen dye beautifully and might be quite interesting in a new color.
The first step I would take is to soak the cloth in a bucket with HOT water and a lot of detergent and OxiClean®. This will take out any wine stains or food stains that have a possibility of budging. You are correct, I think, however, that any wine stains that remain will take the dye darker and therefore still be visible.
read my article on Fabric Dyeing 101 before you do anything!! Have fun and happy holidays,
Jennifer

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