This piece is one I did in high school and framed while working in a craft store. I gave it to my parents, and it hung in their family room for the last 20 years or so. At some point its glass was broken (probably early on, as my mother swears she doesn't remember it having glass).
My father smokes. He works in HVAC, so their house has always had the very best air cleaners money can buy, with the filters changed/cleaned religiously. His computer(s) were in the family room, so he spent a lot of time there.
The first picture shows the piece with its frame and mats. The second shows it after I took it out - note the huge difference in the area that had been protected by the matting. Yes, that fabric really was white at one time! While I should be able to clean the metal frame, I think the mats are probably a loss, as they've been discolored, too.
I'm going to try to clean the piece, but I feel these pictures are both a strong argument for using glass when framing stitched pieces, and against smoking.
After soaking overnight in a strong OxiClean solution, the piece was much cleaner but still visibly soiled. The solution was a nasty yellow-brown color. Anything that can discolor OxiClean scares me. I dumped it out, rinsed the piece, mixed up new solution and put it back in to soak longer.
The third image is the result of about 24 hours of soaking in OxiClean. Obviously, it isn't truly clean yet. I wanted to see how it looked after drying, but it looks like I'll be mixing up more solution and soaking it again tonight.
graphics created by Sam
Chupp and Cynthia Armistead
This file last modified 05/26/18