Friday, July 9, 2010

A new Challenge

I started by cleaning the tablecloth first.  After research and good advice I decided it would be fine to soak the tablecloth in the washer.  The washer has all the bells and whistles we think we will never use.  Soak, delicate, small load option etc.   I used oxiclean, warm water and let it soak overnight.  
After the drain cycle, I refilled the washer with warm water and used Ivory snow to wash it.  I was so happy to see it survived and was fine, so I took it outside so it could dry flat on the lawn.
That is when I had a shock of all shocks!!  Some of the motif's were pure white!!!  Just a few of them, some of the white was scattered and just in spots.  My mind was racing with what could have caused this, so it was a panic call to Betty.  Betty has rescued me more times then I can count.
She thought soaking it in clorox2 might work.   So I soaked it again, this time a few more random white spots appeared, not full motifs, but maybe just the bars on one motif.
Now, I can see I have a problem and ton's of questions.  Do I soak it yet again?   Did Grandma run out of thread and use some from a different dye lot?   Did she tea dye the other thread? then  when washed the dye came out?   Has this tablecloth ever been used? 
Probably the biggest question is, do I tea dye it now?  Do I do just the spots of white or the whole tablecloth?   The next question is:  How do I tea dye?  I have only read about it, I have never dyed anything using that method.

When I first spotted this, I was hoping that maybe a rectangle of white was around the center of the tablecloth.  That idea was soon banished from my thoughts.

You can see where the white thread is scattered, not done in any pattern.  Which to me suggests she might have used tea dye on some thread she had.

The above theory was shot down when I spotted this!  Just a few area's are white a couple of spokes and the inner circle.

So, what is next?  I have no clue as to what to try next.  I don't think this tablecloth was ever used. My goal is to save it and use it.  I just love Julia's idea of putting it over a colored tablecloth.  Just think of how you could change the look of the table by doing that, you could use a color for each season.
The only thing I know for sure right now, is, I am going to save this tablecloth and it will never see the dark inside of a closet ever again.


  1. I would start with a soak of oxyclean to see if that did it. Then if not tea dye.
    Here is a great tutorial on it
    Let us know how it comes out

  2. I've dyed a lot of stuff and personally I would get an ecru or beige dye and redye the whole thing. I think that could be the easiest way and it should all match after that. I've dyed a lot of things that were splotchy and once re-dyed looked perfect...Bunny

  3. Thank you Bunny. I did not know they made ecru dye. I have never dyed anything but know I can count on you for help.