Trying to Save a Damaged Piece of Stitching

This piece is one I did in high school and framed while work­ing in Rod­er­ick­’s Arts & Crafts, so around 1983–1984. I gave it to my par­ents, and it hung in their fam­i­ly room for 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 smoked through­out those decades. He worked 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 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 more Oxi­Clean, and put the piece 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 fear it nev­er will be with­out mea­sures that would dam­age the stitching. 


Damaged piece in frame Damaged piece out of its frame

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