What to Do with Antique Lace Curtains in Need of Some TLC?
I really appreciate you reaching out with your question! I should start by admitting that I don’t have any direct experience in working with antique lace-like what you’ve described. I’d love to see a picture of your curtains, in fact! I will tell you that a lot of my readers often wonder what to do with older or antique items that are in need of repair, so your question really is a good one.
Start by Seeking Out an Expert in Lace Antiquities
I’m no expert in lace fabric antiquities, so I thought I’d try to help find you someone who is. For information about your lace curtains, I reached out to the American Textile History Museum, (affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution). They referred me to the American Institute for Conservation, which has some more specific information about caring for your treasures, as well as a searchable directory of professional conservators in your area. You could reach out to a textile conservator to get more information about your lace panels and their value, as well as some potential options and costs for professional repair.
Financial Value vs. Sentimental Value
Of course, not every antique is financially valuable – and even if it is, it’s only worth money if you intend to sell it. On the other hand, if something has sentimental value to you or your family, or if it’s just something that you’d like to keep around, it’s often worthwhile to invest in either having your item repaired or repurposing it. And if you’re someone who’s not afraid to take on a DIY repair project, the internet can certainly be a great resource for that.
If You Can’t Fix the Curtains, Repurpose Them with Other Fabrics
If you find that the lace panels are not repairable (or simply aren’t worth your time, effort, and money to repair), repurposing them is always a great option to consider. Depending on the size of your panels, here are some ideas for reuse that I’d suggest. You can cut sections of the lace curtains for embellishing throw pillows, tablecloths, placemats, or lampshades. Alternatively, you could use cut sections as window treatments for smaller windows. You could also try stitching the cut panels to clothing for a romantic touch, or just use them to make doll clothes. And this may go without saying in 2019, but Pinterest is also full of some great ideas!
A Few More Thoughts
If the lace doesn’t appear to be salvageable, here’s another suggestion for preservation. You could lay the lace over a wood panel or piece of furniture, tape the edges, and then use the lace as a stencil for some spray paint. The downside to this strategy is that it will result in destroying what’s left of the lace, but the upside is that you’ll be able to preserve the pattern in a fun, creative fashion!
I wish you the best of luck with your antique treasures! For some other tips and ideas related to home décor and helping to make your house feel like home, I invite you to check out my blogs on the topic here. And when you’re ready to create a more comfortable and stylish bedroom environment, please take a moment and check out our Jennifer Adams Luxury Bedding Collections!