One of our new members, Theresa, asked if needle lace is washable.  I actually haven't tried to make anything to use on clothing, or that might need washing.  Would our experienced lacemakers jump in and give us their opinions about this issue.

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Personnellement, je lave toujours mes travaux (crochet, frivolité, broderie et dentelle à l'aiguille) dans de l'eau tiède avec du savon doux. Des heures passées à travailler une pièce la défraîchisse déjà un peu et s'y on y ajoute aussi la durée de vie de ces pièces, je crois qu'elles doivent être conçues de façon à bien résister à un lavage occasionnel.

I just finished my damask flower piece, and washed it in while it was still attached to its backing (eliminating the need to pin out later, since it can not shrink or shift while it's still tacked down.  I washed it in cold water with Charlie's laundry soap (a natural and gentle soap that my sister uses for baby clothes).  I did not rub or wring it, and it came out nice! 

Marie-France is right that needlelace is well designed to withstand occasional washing--especially when the one doing the washing understands its construction!  Antique needlelace needs more care and knowledge, but I am not nervous to wash my own stuff. 

I'm full of queries today - has anyone ever used stiffening solution on lace with success? I've used starch on lace tablecloths but never with the stiffening solution from craft shops and just wondered if there are any drawbacks.

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