Vintage printed tablecloths. What are they worth and how do I clean them?

for sale in my ebay store

 

for sale in my ebay store

Lilacs, lily of the valley, PA Dutch girls, farmers, snow scenes, Christmas holly and poinsettias, these are some of the designs you can find on the great old cotton printed tablecloths from the 1950s. I love finding these at the local auctions! My favorites are the bold flowers—the bolder the better!

If I look through the linen boxes before the auction starts, I might find some tablecloths buried on the bottom and I can’t wait to bid and hope no one else has discovered them! Usually they have and I’ll have some people bidding against me. Other times I get lucky and I can get a tablecloth for 1.00 or an entire box of linens for 1.00 that has some tablecloths in it—yeah! It’s gold to me.

for sale in my eBay store

 

for sale in my eBay store

Then there’s the condition to think about. It is rare to find a tablecloth that doesn’t have any wears, tears, or stains. The stains can be worked on, especially if they are in a white area. Even the worn and torn ones can be valuable to someone who wants them to make aprons or curtains or purses out of them.

When I list a tablecloth on eBay that has some damage, I put the word “cutter” in the title. Those who are looking for craft projects can find them this way.

I don't have many printed ones left in my store!

I don't have many printed ones left in my store!

Here are some stats as to what they are worth: 123 “vintage printed tablecloths” are listed on eBay at the time I am writing this. I think it is important to use the word “printed” in the title. In the last 30 days, 149 out of 247 listed have been sold. This is a sell through rate of 60%. The highest price was 83.76 for a Wilendur Christmas tablecloth (Wilendur and Vera, and Startex are all good brand names). The average price was 14.91. This info comes from HAMMERTAP (see sidebar for info).

cross stitch on auction until Nov. 26

cross stitch on auction until Nov. 26

I have a few tablecloths in my laundry room right now that need to be washed and the stains worked on. They can be soaked in oxyclean for a few hours or a few days to see how much of a stain will come out. Then I use a bleach stick for small areas. If I have to, I will bleach the entire tablecloth but I won’t soak it too long or the fibers could weaken. Not too worry too much though because the cotton these are made out of is pretty tough! Hanging them in the sun to dry also helps the stain.

CLICK ON ANY OF THE PHOTOS or visit me at everythingvintagesteph.com THANKS!

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