How do I clean old embroidery that is yellowing?
Q. Dear Donia,
I have a piece of needlework my grandmother stitched from the 1970s, It consists of linen fabric (medium weave), wool yarn with embroidery that has many different stitches including pom poms. It has yellowed with dark yellow and brown spots on it. Any suggestions for it's cleaning? Thanks, Sally
A. Dear Sally,
I am sorry to hear your grandmother's embroidery is yellowing. It sounds like the linen is starting to deteriorate. Knowing you are in Florida, I believe that the humidity may be causing your linen to yellow and to start foxing (the brown spots) I would not recommend washing as there are too many ways that something can go wrong. I would recommend contacting a conservator to consult about potential treatments. The closest conservator to you can be found is Alexandra vonHawk in Paisley, FL.
She should be able to help you determine what can be done and what you can expect.