July 18, 2015

Holland Covers

There is this thing in historical novels where the author describes a room with the upholstered furniture covered with white fabric cloth to protect it.  The name for it was holland covers.  It was something you did as a maintenance chore for when you were away from the house, travelling.  I've always thought it sounded rather nice, all that white and an uncluttered feeling.  Not livable, but interesting and out of the scope of my ordinary life.

I was recently given a vintage damask linen tablecloth with yellow stains and holes to see if I could revive it.  The woman said, "lemon juice and sunlight."  I used citric acid powder in the wash, followed by time to dry in the sun out on some grass.  Had to wash the cloth twice, and then the stains were gone.  Then I gave the cloth two dips in the indigo vat, a vat which was successful by the way.

I threw the mottled blue thing over some boxes of packing supplies and buckets of wool in the wool room to envelope them and get them out of sight, sort of like holland covers.  It's mottled because the cloth was too large for the dye to penetrate everywhere.

Over top is a thrift store linen dress, bright blue flowers on a white background.  Someday it may become an apron.

I still have most of an indigo vat outside, dormant, and am thinking what I could do with it.  When I finish knitting the baby hat, I will pop that in the vat.  I keep forgetting to pretreat some wool with alum mordant overnight for a madder dye pot.

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