Restoring Antique Cross Stitch Patterns

 French-court

Last week at an estate sale, I picked up a French DMC cross-stitch pamplet that I believe is from between 1915-1920 (based on the motifs and the presence of Charlie Chaplin in one of the panels). Given that it was only $.50, I didn't look through the whole instructional booklet before buying it an bringing it home. When I did bring it home, I saw that the majority of the pages were not just old and crumbly, but had a significant amount of mold. 

I don't know about you, but I'm not a big fan of mold. Go figure.

Mold-pamphlet

I decided that even though it was ephemera worth keeping, I didn't want the thing in my house. Right now, days after I handled the thing, I'm getting hives just thinking about the thing. My skin is incredibly sensitive to molds (and most things) so the only thing I could do was scan it and toss it. 

I do want to preserve the patterns so I've started restoring the pages digitally. Here's the above page after a little TLC:

Flower-dmc-restored
There are 19 pages in all, so it'll be a bit of an undertaking. I was thinking that if people were interested, I'd sell the PDF of the restored booklet  on Etsy for a few dollars. I should have searched before doing this restoration! Someone beat me to the punch and already created a PDF of the booklet. I love the Internet! Along with so many more. What a great resource!

Author

Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.

6 Comments

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  1. What is the name of the pattern/book? Because when I click your PDF link, it gives me an “Acrobat cannot decrypt this document” error.

  2. Shannon Burchard

    You can book the book in the freezer to ‘dry’ it out and then clean the pages with rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball.

  3. It’s DMCPointNou6.pdf

  4. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Yes, I was going to say, lay the booklet on a flat surface in your freezer, the cold will freeze out any moisture present. Then you can gently clean the pages with rubbing alcohol. Return to freezer overnight and repeat as needed. This should kill the mold spores, although the pages may still appeared discolored due to the acid content of the paper. If you are still concerned about mold and want to keep the booklet, store it in a sealed zip baggie after treatment. You also may want to freeze it with the pages fanned out if interior pages still seem moist.

  6. I’m also having trouble getting any of the PDFs to open at that website.