Fine laces should be washed as seldom as possible; but when it is necessary, most women prefer to have them washed under their own eyes. Make hot soap suds with rain water and glycerine soap. The laces, after having been rolled on a glass bottle under a band of linen, must be put in the suds and remain there for twelve hours. Renew the soap suds three times, plunge the bottle into soft and clear water, and take it out immediately. The soap which remains serves to give some stifiness to the lace when pressed by a hot iron. Pin each point down under a fine muslin, and iron on the wrong side. When all is finished, raise each flower by a suitable pointed instrument.
Laces may be bleached by being exposed to the sunlight in soap suds. The points are afterward dried on a cloth to which they are pinned. They are then rubbed carefully by the aid of a sponge dipped in soap suds of glycerine soap. First clean one side, and then the other. Rinse in clear water, in which a little alum is dissolved, to remove the soap.
A little rice water should be passed over the wrong side of the lace with a sponge ; then it is to be ironed, and when finished. the flowers should be picked out as in the above method. If the lace is not very much soiled, it can be cleaned with bread crumbs.
As for cream-colored laces, they should be boiled for one hour in soapy bluing water, then taken out and the operation repeated twice, always in fresh water. The third time there should be no bluing in the water, and it should not be rinsed. The lace should afterward be put in gum water, with a little brandy and alum dissolved in it. Then powder lightly with sulphur flour and iron while damp.
Valenciennes should be folded together in a regular length, sewed in a sack of fine white linen, and soaked in olive oil for twelve hours. Afterward put some sliced pure soap in water and boil the sack containing the lace for fifteen minutes. Rinse well, dip in a thin rice water, then rip open the sack and pin down the lace to dry. Iron it under a muslin cloth.
Black laces should also be folded in a short package and kept in place by stitching at the top, in the middle, and at the bottom. Dip the lace in beer and roll it with the hands, not rubbing too much to clean it. When it is taken out of the beer, press it between the hands without wringing, then roll it in a cloth. Iron it after it has been partly dried, according to the desired stiffness. To iron it, stretch it on a thick flannel, and let it remain there. Cover it with a thin piece of muslin to prevent the iron from making it glossy.
To cleanse silver laces and braids, put them in a sack of white linen, which dip into one pint of water, adding sixty grams of soap. Boil well, and rinse in cold water. Apply a little spirits of wine to the tarnished
Place. H.C. Pros..