Doll Clothing · Restoration and Conservation

A Fortunate Find

During the holidays I had a chance to go rummage around some vintage clothing stores with my youngest son and his girlfriend.  We unearthed several treasures, including this antique doll dress made of a ombre printed pink cotton.  The dress is not quite right for any of my Izannahs, but it will be perfect on one of my antique German bisque dolls.

The first thing I did once I got the dress home was to wash it using Orvis and sodium perborate.  If you would like to read more about how to do this, check out my previous post on the subject.

This is what the dress looked like when I bought it.
A good washing made a huge difference to it's appearance and will help prolong the life of the fabric.
A close-up look at the dress fabric.

2 thoughts on “A Fortunate Find

  1. I just loved the distresed look of that dress. But preparing it this way is a good reason for washing it. It’s amazing what it does to the fabric. Orvis is something I don’t know. But there will be a good alternative here in the Netherlands.

    I’m curious what you will do with the dress…

    1. I am going to put the dress on one of my antique German bisque dolls. Orvis is a washing paste that is used for textile conservation, it is also used to shampoo horse’s coats, manes and tails. Cleaning washable antique textiles properly will help slow decay and preserve them. If you can not find Orvis or a similar museum quality washing paste in the Netherlands, I’m sure that you could order some online and have it shipped to you. It is not very expensive, especially if you buy it from a farm supply store rather than from some where that sells textile conservation supplies. 🙂


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