How to Salvage Old Sheer Drapes How to Salvage Old Sheer Drapes
Vintage sheer drapes can be found in many thrift stores and antique dealers across the country and around the world. However, when they’re sold at bargain prices, they may need a little bit of care to get them as close to new as possible. This is done through cleaning, mending, and then pressing the drapes.
The first thing to know about old sheers is that they usually are made of nylon, silk, or in rare cases, cotton rayon, which is a fabric made of strained cotton fibers in a process simulating silk. Because of the wide variety of materials, vintage sheers should be treated with care—especially if you’re unsure of their construction. It’s best to use natural, mild cleaners to clean them, and when it comes to pressing them with an iron, you should always use a low heat and low steam setting. Never, ever starch old sheers. The starch will eventually discolor the material, or worse yet, hold in any stains that may be in the fabric to begin with.
Step 1 – Clean Sheers
Fill your bathtub with hot water, and as the water’s running, add your baking soda and peroxide and agitate. Once the tub’s filled to the halfway point, shut off the water and add your sheers. Gently hand wash them in this solution. The solution of baking soda and peroxide in so much water is harmless. Don’t scrub or rub the sheers. simply move them around in the water. Pay attention to the condition of the fabric; inspect for damage that may need mending. Let them soak until the water goes tepid, then rinse with hot water and hang up to dry by folding them in half three times lengthwise so you evenly distribute the pressure of the hanging weight.
Step 2 – Mend Holes, Tears, or Rips
Vertical rips and tears are easier than horizontal ones to hide in sheers because the repair is done vertically and is in line with the natural flow of the material. Using your needle and thread, mend the tears or holes by using tight loop stitching—where you lace the fabric together on the wrong side. The smaller and tighter the stitches, the more inconspicuous they’ll be when you hang the sheers up.
Step 3 – Press Sheers
Press your sheers with a low-heat and steam setting on your iron, making sure you don’t press too hard, have the heat too high, or pull at the sheer.