Monday, April 23, 2018

Salvaging a worn doily

Years ago, I crocheted a large doily out of a pretty lime-green color crochet cotton that I was just wild about at the time. Not surprisingly, I quickly grew tired of that not-so-subtle color, and I would go on to use that doily outdoors, where it suffered the ravages of time and ended up a dirty and very faded shade of green. I couldn't bear to throw it out, though, because it had taken so much time to crochet, so I threw it in the washing machine a few times but eventually just stored it with a pile of old linens.

Recently I was going through some of the linens and ran across the old doily.

It featured the pineapple design shown here, that sort of fan-shaped motif that women like me have been crocheting for decades. And then it dawned on me: Why not let the doily soak in some tea for a few days? I had some old (loose) tea and boiled it in a pot, the brew stout enough to trot a mouse over, I'm sure, but it did the trick of bringing the doily back to life.

And my tea-dyed doily in the soft cotton thread is now in use once again! So if you've got some old linen piece that's discolored but usable, I thought you might like to know that my tea-dyeing solution worked out quite well for me here.

Funny enough, not long after the tea-dyeing episode, I came across this hardback book in Goodwill for a dollar and some change. "A Bit of Velvet & A Dash of Lace" by Robin Brown, it's called. Didn't I once own that book? I'm almost sure I did, but it had long since disappeared or been loaned out, so I bought this one.

And inside is a lovely feature on "How to Tea Stain Lace." Guess you could say we're on the same page!


  1. I'm so glad you found a way to make your doily usable again! I'm not at all surprised that tea-dying was your solution.

  2. Perfect idea! I will keep it in mind for some of my mine. I think I have a lime green doily too!

  3. How clever of you to think of tea-staining to bring that faded old doily back to life! It looks great now. (And I love that teapot with the small roses on it.)
    --from Vernona in DC

  4. It is hard to throw out things you have spent hours making. The doily looks great in your setting. Lime green seems to be back, I've seen it in a few places lately but tea-staining is always in.

  5. I love the tea stain doily and have used that trick a time or two. This post reminds me I need to go to Goodwill on Wednesday. I am looking for teacups for our tea festival this summer and two weeks ago I found some really nice ones, but on Wednesday is senior discount day so I will go looking again. Then I also must check out the books when I go too.


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