Tat Fact #5 The Dirty Dainty…making your whites brighter!

Snappy Tatter lace-work comes in a variety of colors. I try to steer clear of white for everyday jewelry unless it is requested because whites will discolor from the oils and cells from your skin. I think white is fabulous for small work that can easily be cleaned like a Dainty Flake Pendant P1110479 or for earrings that are not close to your skin.P1110487 I enjoy using white and light colors in my Couture designs, like the Winter Gala shown here, because they are not meant to be worn frequently and with proper storage, stay clean for a long time.  wingala1

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The Angel Couture is backed with sheer gold organdy for a shimmery natural effect and to protect the white lace from your skin.

P1110828

Snappy Couture “Angel”

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Designs like Chardonnay, Princess and Chantilly are stunning in shades of white.

To me, keeping these gorgeous pieces of jewelry looking new should be simple. Spot cleaning is all that is usually necessary but there is a tip that can help prevent the need to clean:

Keep your hands and skin clean and dry!

Easy Peasy. Try to avoid moisturizers on skin that will be showcasing your glamorous jewelry. Moisture will make it easier for skin to stain the fiber. There are a couple of things I have tried and found success with when it comes to cleaning your whites and light colors. I will use the “dirty Dainty” as an example. I had made a little snowflake and found a dark fiber trapped in the knots so, to me, it was unusable. So I abused it. I put a little dusty dirt on my fingers and rubbed it on half and touched my oily, makeup-laden, face and rubbed that on part of the Dainty Flake as well. Then I let it sit around for months. Seriously. I forgot about it on purpose.

Here’s what the Dirty Dainty looked like before my attempts to clean it: P1110466

When I found the dirty Dainty a few months later, it looked filthy. Ew! Determined to bring this Flake back to it’s original non-color I first worked with Hydrogen Peroxide. Nothing special. The same stuff you get at the drugstore for a dollar that most everyone has in their medicine cabinet. Hydrogen Peroxide has gentle bleaching properties. I saturated a Q-tip (a cotton ball for larger areas) and gently rubbed the stains, moistening the area with the H2O2. I let it sit for a few minutes, repeated the gentle rubbing and rinsed well with cool water. A little stain remained but the Dainty had become mostly white. The top right ring was still dark and I knew that was where I had applied the skin oil/makeup from my face. So I chose Rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip rubbed into the fibers in the same manner as the Peroxide. P1140609

Voila! A crisp white Snowflake. No editing needed for this photo! The background was pretty dirty too, so I switched to a darker cloth that gives better contrast.  I think the Flake may be whiter than it was originally! And now I can’t find the dark fiber that was tangled in the knot.

I suggest Hydrogen Peroxide for most stains and dirt. Rubbing alcohol seemed to work well with the greasy stain. I would also use rubbing alcohol around metal jewelry components and beads because of its ability to evaporate quickly. That way your Sterling or gold is not exposed to moisture for a prolonged period which can cause it to oxidize.

These suggestions are only meant for my own handmade lace jewelry. Other tatters may have different suggestions for their tatting. I would contact the designer to find out what they recommend. I send simple information on TLC (tatted lace care) with every order from my Etsy shop. And I am always available to answer questions just send me a message!

I hope this is informative and helps ease the minds of my peeps who enjoy buying light-colored tatted jewelry.

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

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