Aging/antiquing fabrics – l’aspect des tissus anciens

If, like me, you have been searching for something specific for your house for AGES and either you can’t get the colours you want, or the price of a genuine period piece would pay one of your utility bills…………..there are options.

You all know how much I love my antique textiles but the perfect original, French, affordable, antique piqué  “quilted” cushion covers , or some authentic matelassé fabric to make some up are proving elusive. So, I have bought some new ones and set about losing their crisp, new , whiteness and slightly naff germolene pink shades and creating something softer to set next to my really old pieces.

Here is my “secret” technique for aging new cotton or linen fabrics. Don’t try it on anything else, it won’t work!

For small pieces (if you want to try  eight foot long portière curtains in the bath , go ahead, but they will weigh a ton) put 3-4 inches of  hot water in your sink and dissolve two tea bags and four heaped teaspoonfuls of instant coffee thoroughly.

Put in your fabric, swirl it around and immerse fully, even if that means loading it down with something weighty. Leave for an hour NO MORE or any stitching will stain darker than the rest and look odd.

Don’t rinse, just take out and put straight into washing machine into which you have already sprinkled a large handful of salt. wash on the shortest,coldest cycle. Dry naturally. Done.

The salt will fix the tint   and make your piece washable and therefore more practical than something antique and irreplaceable. see below left- “before and right- “after”



About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Antique and Vintage finds, Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Aging/antiquing fabrics – l’aspect des tissus anciens

  1. Thanks Rosemary- these did come out well
    Some more due to be “dyed” over Christmas, will post result unless it is a disaster!


  2. Such a clever idea – the effect is beautiful! 🙂


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