Friday, September 21, 2007

Momentary lapse?

Hmmm, apparently yesterday was Thursday. LOL I sorta spaced on tablecloth Thursday. It's a good thing I am up for tablecloths any day of the week. I love, love, love this brown cloth. I hope you will click on the pictures to enlarge them so you can really appreciate the delicate yellow designs on it.

For me this cloth is a shining example of how my tablecloth love has evolved. I am not sure I would have even noticed, much less bought, this cloth a few years ago. I am not sure it would have been "vintage" enough, if that makes any sense. I think I prefered the more classic ones then, red and blue or pink and white. Oh, but she will be beautiful on a harvest table, won't she?
This is also a recent discovery, with lilacs. Lilacs remind me of my grandmother. It has a bit of a pesky hole about the size of a dime right in the center green field, but, I am not deterred by a pesky little hole. I will patch it if I find the time, otherwise I will use it as is.
This cloth was an Ebay purchase a few months ago. I very rarely buy them on Ebay, and this cloth is pretty representative of why. It was relatively cheap (I think $4 or so plus shipping) and I couldn't resist the fat little birds, but the seller was totally clueless about the HUGE problem this cloth actually has.
If you look closely here you can see some yellowing which is actually a fugitive dye problem. See those faint scallops and the polka dots? Additionally the entire center should have been whatever color the figutive dye was.

I noticed this when I held it up to the sunlight to check for stains. What I first thought was a lot of staining started to appear in a very regular circular pattern. Had the seller known what he/she was doing, she would have noticed that half the dye is missing from the cloth!

I think that figutive dyes are not a particularly rare problem, and it generally happens with green, brown, black or blue dyes that date to Pre-World War II. Obviously the cloth is still useable, but by the time I have shelled out $10 for a tablecloth, I would have preferred it to be in better condition. And really that is why I never buy on Ebay, everyone has a different idea of what top dollar is, and a different idea of holes, stains, etc. I never trust anyone who says that the stains "will come out with oxiclean," because chances are she has already tried that so she could make more money on the cloth.

Speaking of stains, someone was asking what I do about the stains and such. I do have some info in FAQ section, which is linked to in the sidebar over there, but, in general, I do not have any sort of top secret method. I wash every cloth differently and use a different amount of aggression on getting it clean based on it's importance to me. If I really, really love it, I go easy on it. They tend to get holes if you wash them too much or too agressively. (Particularly the Christmas ones. Goodness do they shred easily.) I will try and get some more specifics down for you all next week. (On Thursday this time! LOL)


  1. OH! I wish you could have been at the yard sale I went to this morning. LOADS of table cloths! I have no idea what you like (because I unfortunately am not into table cloths and don't pay close attention to your pics). I felt like there was such a treasure trove in front of me, but I had no idea what to look for! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  2. Should I go back and look for something for you? I think they were $12 each. But they may have been 1/2 off.

  3. Love 'em, as usual.

    I forgot Thursday, too! I'd planned to join in on the tablecloth fun. Sigh. Maybe I'll remember next Thursday. Maybe I should write it down. What a novel idea! Write it down. I'll have to try that.

  4. Your tablecloth collection is truely dreamy! I've had really good luck with getting old stains out with an emzyme cleaner. I found it at my vacume and sewing machine store but he suggested it's sometime know as a pet stain remover. I got yellowed baby drool out of a 40 year old dress. I was impressed. Give it a requires long soaks.

  5. Anonymous7:36 PM

    I like the little birds as well :) I had no idea that you had the FAQ section - very cool!

  6. What great treasures! The lilac one is especially pretty.

  7. You are a fountain of tablecloth knowledge! I love them, too, but am not a serious collector. Those fat little birds are adorable...will you cut them up and use them for other stuff?

  8. They are all so pretty. I truly appreciate all of your helpful hints in both purchasing and cleaning vintage items.

    BTW, the stain in the apron I found at the flea market did not come out with an Oxiclean soak.

  9. Oh man, that brown one is perfect for fall!

  10. Some very pretty tablecloths!

  11. Not that I could ever pick a favorite but that brown one is high on my list from your collection! :) It makes me really want a harvest table cloth for my bohemoth table, LOL.


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