Vintage Linens: How to Preserve Your Family Heritage

Life Lesson #6: Heritage matters

Not everyone is blessed to have family mementos from generations past, but if you are one of the lucky ones, please don’t take them for granted! I recently heard from a reader asking how to get some of her family treasures back into circulation. I enjoyed hearing Lori’s story. I always love hearing what you reader-friends have going on in your lives! I think you’ll enjoy her story, too…so I invited her to do a guest post. Someday Lori hopes to have a blog of her own, but today, let’s welcome her to My Place.

Hello everyone. Susan is my vintage fabric hero. When our oldest daughter got engaged this past March, she originally wanted to wear my veil. I pulled it out of the closet for her to look at. Unfortunately, my beautiful 33-year-old veil was just that. OLD. It was greyed and yellowed with age, and there was a tiny tear on one side. She opted to buy a new veil of her own.


I didn’t let that defeat me, though. I contacted Susan and bought a container of the Restoration cleaner she recommends in hopes that I would be able to brighten my dull-looking veil. I also asked her advice on how to handle the tear–and she suggested Fabri-Tac.


When the Restoration arrived, I anxiously followed the package directions. (In my excitement, I forgot to take “before” pictures.) Within an hour, my veil looked brand new. I was also able to repair the tear using Susan’s suggestion. I had a new-looking veil–that our daughter wasn’t going to wear, so I used it as part of the decorations at her Breakfast at Tiffany’s bridal shower.
Tiffany veil-001

After the success with my veil, I decided to try the Restoration on some other items. My Father’s naval hat was dirty and dingy with age, and we wanted to use it as part of one of the centerpieces for the wedding.

Dirty Navy hat

I also had a pair of my Mother-in-law’s gloves we were planning to use in another centerpiece, but they, too, were dirty and yellowed.

Dirty gloves

Finally, I had two vintage runners and my Mother-in-law”s baby dress that also showed their age.

dirty linens

I decided to try to clean them all!  Once again, I filled my kitchen sink wit hot water and added the Restoration. I put all of the items into the sink.

Cleaning linens

I was a little concerned about my Dad’s hat; after all, it was roughly 70 years old. I didn’t want to ruin it, but we also didn’t want to use it in our centerpiece looking dirty…

You’re going to have to come back tomorrow to see how Lori’s story turns out. Were her results 100% successful? 50%? Did her persistence pay off? Does it ever–or is that just a myth? 

Lori, thanks for sharing with us! I can’t wait to hear the rest of your family treasures story…

What about the rest of you? Do you have family pieces you’d like to get back into circulation? What’s stopping you? Are you afraid you’ll ruin them? Check out my How to Care for Vintage Linens & Lace series for encouragement. Of course, you can always do what Lori did and email me. I’m here to help!
This is part of a 31-day series. Did you miss a previous Life Lesson? They’re all listed HERE.


  1. Good morning Susan! I am so excited that I found your blog. I am also in awe of vintage linens…the beauty, the handwork, the quality…but mostly how they are an art that gives us a glimpse into times past. To me, they carry the memories of all of the times we set tables to gather our family and friends around….a wonderful tradition!