Vintage clothes and tapestries are awesome to own but can be a pain to clean, learn how to clean crocheted cotton before buying it. Many vintage items are made of crocheted cotton, including shirts, ponchos, scarves, jackets, sweaters, table cloths and doilies. Crochet became very popular in the '60s and '70s as granny squares made a big comeback. Crochet has become popular again, so an increase in vintage crochet showing up everywhere is a likely result.
You will need:
- mild detergent like Dreft or Woolite
- large basin, sink, or bathtub to wash the fabric in
- Take the vintage crochet material and place it in a bathtub, large basin, or sink with either lukewarm or cool water depending on colorfastness. A non-colorfast crocheted item will need to be washed in cold water to keep the color from fading. If you can find out what kind of material your crochet is made of, it will be helpful.
- Place some mild detergent in a gallon jug or basin and mix it with water until completely diluted. Two popular and easy to get mild detergents you can use are Woolite and Dreft. If the material is brown or yellow, you can also add a 1/4 cup of white vinegar into the gallon of water. Pour the gallon of water with the detergent in it into the lukewarm wash water.
- Use your hands to gently squeeze the fabric to get the subs through. Do not be rough or wring the fabric in any way. Vintage crocheted cotton becomes very stretchy and fragile when it is wet and can lose its shape easily. You do not want your vintage crochet to stretch out. This is why it is recommended to hand wash instead of using the wash machine.
- Use the shower head, if using the bathtub, to rinse the detergent from the vintage crocheted cotton. Rinse until the water runs clear and there are no more soap bubbles. Do not wring the fabric to remove excess water. Be very careful when pulling the fabric out of the tub or basin, it can and will stretch.
- Put the wet fabric into a towel and gently squeeze it. Use several towels if necessary until the item is not dripping anymore. Then lay the fabric flat on a towel or two and use the pins to pin it in place. Find a warm place to lay the vintage crocheted cotton to dry. Do not place it in the sun to dry, as the color can fade.