Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Infant of Prague

This statue of the Infant of Prague has been in my family for about 50 years.  My mother recently received it and everyone believed that the outfit the infant Jesus wore was beyond hope.  Mom let me take a stab at cleaning the poor dear.   As you can see, I managed to get those 50 years of tobacco stains out of the dress and cloak.  Woohoo!  Here's how.

I used baking soda, Tide, and room temperature water as a soak.   This is what the bathtub water looked like after only a minute long soak.

Scary, huh?   Notice that the blue cloak went from faded blue grey to a greenish blue from the tobacco acting as a yellow dye.  I quickly took the cloak out, rinsed it in the sink, and washed it separately from the dress and petticoat.   By wash, I mean scrub at the stains by rubbing the fabric together and using the Tide as the soap.  A bit of shampoo as well.  I also drained the tub and started again.  And again.  And...again.  In all, I had to wash the dress and petticoat in this rinse a good five times and the cloak took a beating at eight.   One bad stain on the cloak also took a bit of rubbing alcohol.  I wouldn't recommend that on natural fibers but it works fine on the acetate brocade.

Once the water looked more like a weak lemonade than the urine color (sorry, but there isn't another way to describe that!) you see above, I left the cloak, dress, and petticoat to soak overnight.   The next morning, I washed them all again and then rinsed out the garments to leave them to dry on the shower curtain rod.

The dress is in a bit of tatters but it at least is CLEAN now. 


Post a Comment