The Sewing Place

New lining for very old curtains - dry clean first or give them a good beating


20+ years ago I shortened a lovely pair of second hand curtains that my mother had been given.  Fast forward to now and the linings have gone to pot and are falling apart.  Being a creature of habit my mother wants the curtains to remain, so has asked me to re-line them.

I’m not a fan of having hand made curtains dry cleaned, there is no dirt on them as such and I worry that the stitches will come undone. I’m wondering if a good beating would do instead?  By good I mean how they used to do it ‘in the olden days’ , firm but careful.


What about going over them with the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner?


OOh Oh Me Miss , please Miss ... I know about this ....

I relined my full length heavy old Velvet curtains a year or so back (yes I did!! I had advice but the work was all mine and they are fabulous!  :angel:  :D )

When I took them to the cleaners they said they charged by the weight ... So as the lining was ripped and going to be replaced, I decided not to have it cleaned, ripped them out there and then and saved myself £££'s.
The Imperfect Perfectionist sews again


I think I'd be cautious about having them dry cleaned. I've just re-lined a huge pair that I made a good 20 years ago. I stripped the old lining out first but left the header tape in place, tacked the sides down and put them through the washer on a delicates programme, slower speed then line dried them. I tried to re-use the header tape which was a big mistake so I'd recommend you use new.
They were 8.5' long x 35' foot wide (made for a different window) I never had time to alter them after we moved 10 years ago until this year.


I’m not a fan of having hand made curtains dry cleaned,

What do you mean by hand made curtains?  Is everything sewn by hand, or is it just the linings attached by hand?   If the curtains have survived in excess of twenty years it suggests that they are securely sewn at the top where most of the strain is.

Iminie's comment about dry cleaners charging by weight is a good one although the last time I took curtains for dry cleaning they measured and charged by area.  They were also purplexed about there not being any label in them - well I don't sew ugly labels into anything that I've made myself.

I think that if they were mine I would vacuum them gently, take the lining out and then decide whether or not they need cleaning.

Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.


I agree with taking the linings out to save £££’s!  Well done on your work with the velvet curtains, that sounds like heavy work.

They are completely hand sewn apart from the heading tape, which was put on by me 20 odd years ago (I shortened from the top), testament to Rufflette, the tapes are still in very good condition!  I won’t, but at a pinch I could re-use.  They have lead weights so I’m not sure they would stay in place through the washing machine.