How To Rescue Vintage Lace Crocheted Directly Onto Fabric

Many vintage tablecloths or pillowcases aren’t usable because the fabric has holes and stains. In most cases the lace edging that was crocheted directly into the hem will be in perfect condition. If you cut away the fabric, the lace will unravel, but you can safely rescue and reuse the crocheted lace with the following technique.

First, thread a needle with contrasting colored thread, so it will show up against the lace and fabric. Pass this thread through the loops of the crochet thread that are in the hem of the fabric, being careful not to twist the loops.

Next, cut away the fabric from each loop. Be careful not to cut the loops of crochet thread or your contrasting thread. This may be very fiddly, depending on the size of the original crochet thread and how close the stitches are together. Small, sharp embroidery scissors like Havel’s Snip-A-Stitch 4-½-Inch Scissors or Westcott 4-Inch Sewing Titanium Bonded Curved Embroidery Scissors will be the best tool for the job.

Then, using crochet thread as close as possible to the vintage thread, fasten in to one loop. Use a slip stitch or single crochet in each loop. Add as many chains as necessary between the loops so the lace stays flat. Fasten off when you’re finished and remove the contrasting thread.

If you have to cut across the lace, use the technique from this tip: How To Cut Crocheted Lace Without Unraveling the Edge to finish the cut edges.

Now you have a beautiful piece of heirloom lace to use in other projects!