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Old petitpoint purse for test washing.

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Test Washing a Petit Point Purse

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CAN A PETIT POINT Purse BE WASHED?
 
Recent discussion on the APCS (Antique Purse Collector's Society) centered around cleaning a petit point purse and how one might do it.
Most felt and agreed it would be most unwise to try such a thing.
 
My curiosity got the best of me. I had an old torn petit point purse that was utterly useless to me, so I decided to experiment with it. This purse was about as dirty as you could imagine, inside and out. It had no stones set in the frame that might soak loose, so I washed it.
 
I removed the chain handle to prevent possible rust that might taint the water.
I disolved (in very hot water) 1/8 cup BIZ in a white plastic 'tub' with about 1/2 gallon of water. When the water was COLD, I put in the purse (opened) and let it soak overnight and then some. I swished it around whenever I walked by it and encouraged the inside to come clean too.
 
Below you can see the results and I was so pleased I am going to try it on a nicer petit point ........... but not the best ones!
 
I rinsed this purse to death in cold water by soaking in clean water bath several times, then running cold water with the sprayer, inside and out.
I had no fading. I just had the dirtiest water you ever saw! Ugh!
 
To dry it, I stuffed the inside of the purse (pretty tightly) with the large size clear bubble wrap, set it in a warm dry spot, left it for several days and now I have a clean, but useless purse. Even the lining looks pressed.
 
I was actually quite impressed with the results.
Now for courage to try it on something very dirty, but worth saving.
 
If you try this, please DO NOT hold me responsible for the results.
I am only conveying what I tried. I do think however, that a desperate purse could perhaps be saved if you know it is otherwise unworthy.
I also think if stones are present in the frame, and they are set, not glued, it would be OK to soak them.
 
Also, our premier purse advisor, Paula,  cautioned that, especially the older petit point bags, will have thread colors that 'run' no matter what.
 
Finding a top quality Dry Cleaners IS the best bet, if at all possible.
 
I would love to hear back your comments.  jwlsystyr@aol.com
 
Also, notice the shapes of the purse ..... the original shape returned.
No flash was used for any of the pictures. Just natural daylight.


Dirty Petitpoint

Can you believe the linings below? Yellow with age, it has returned to pretty pink! Even looks pressed. Note that the lipstick stain or whatever it was is also gone.


Dirty Lining


Clean Petitpoint

Above: Quite a bit of life returned to this old bag!
Including the frame.


Clean Lining

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