Everything Old is New Again
Restoring, Preserving and Re-using Antique and Vintage Textiles
I have had an interest in antique textiles for many years, especially lace or any hand-worked linen.

It probably began when I was about 13 and was assigned the task of making my sister's First Communion dress.  Being one of seven children in a financially challenged family, instead of going to the local fabric shop in search of material, my dad visited the thrift shop and for $ 1.00, came home with the most beautiful antique wedding dress. 

Of course, at the time I thought it anything but.  It had been stored for many years, smelled musty and anytime I tried to cut through the silk it just shredded away.
My Aunt Ruth c:1908
But not one to run from a challenge, I went to work removing anything usable, which in the end turned out to be only the lace and hook and eyes.  But I still needed fabric for under the lace, which wasn't too difficult.  Using a plain white taffeta dress I found at the same thrift shop, I made the dress first and then pieced the retrieved lace to the garment.  I thought it was OK, but still looked "old".

My sister, being only six, thought it was beautiful, and the "one of a kind" dress was a definite hit with the older ladies in attendance, though to most it was simply"used".
However, the more I looked at the lace on that dress, the more fascinated I became with the workmanship.  I had been sewing since I was small and was given my first sewing machine (an old treadle my dad picked up) when I was eight, but had never seen anything so nice. 

Then the  same year as the First Communion dress adventure, our family inherited a few personal effects from an old aunt, and we were all able to pick out something we liked.  I chose the photo album, and have never regretted my decision.  Not only was the celluloid cover beautiful, but the photos of my ancestors have been a source of comfort and inspiration for more than three decades.
And for most of those three decades, I have been collecting and dealing in linen and lace.  I've read everything I could get my hands on to assist in restoration and preservation and would like to share some of what I've learned.  Much of it was trial and error and I've ruined many a good piece, but hopefully others can learn from my mistakes.

The bulk of my own collection is linen and crochet, but I have recently begun researching lace more intensively so this site is a work in porogress.  If you have any questions or some information you would like to share, please email me or sign my guestbook.

The links below will take you to the appropriate pages, but remember, I'm adding new information all the time, so please bookmark.
Collecting Antique and Vintage Textiles
The History of Linen
Irish Linen
The Linen Closet
All About Needlework
Textile Gallery
Victorian Fashion
My Family Album
Uniquely Canadian in Victorian Times
Victorian Canada Home Page
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