When accepting lace tablecloths, check with the customer to see if any attempts to remove spots and stains were tried at home and what methods were used. Soaking for prolonged periods in chlorine bleach can weaken and damage the fibers. The agitation of cleaning can make this damage more evident.
Older lace and embroidered tablecloths should be checked for stains, insect damage, damage to the decorative trim, and loss of tensile strength. Check lace for holes, and check embroidered designs for loose or pulled threads. Measure crocheted or lace tablecloths before processing so they can be returned to their original size and shape after cleaning.
Pretreat any large or difficult stains before cleaning. Always test for colorfastness. Lace and embroidered work can be affected by some stain removal agents. Washable, less fragile tablecloths may be machine washed on a gentle cycle. Fragile, washable tablecloths should be soaked with no agitation. Soak in a mild detergent, follow with two rinses, and lightly extract. Block and lay flat to dry.
If the piece has raised cut work, embroidery, or a lot of lace, use a double- faced flannel during finishing to avoid flattening the design areas. Lay the edges of the tablecloth on a straight line and square the corners. Any touch up should be done by hand.
This is from Hot Press post.