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Vintage Doily Stretcher

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AnythingObsc…'s loves302 of 7675Table Top Ashtray Vintage tool box repurposed for living room furniture
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    Posted 2 months ago

    (74 items)

    This is a doily stretcher….probably not something found in most modern-day laundry rooms!
    It’s 20” X 29”. It’s a flat board—probably compressed paper or some other fiber. It’s very smooth on both sides and it’s finish repels dampness. even tho it’s very “holey”.
    There are hundreds of tiny holes meant to hold little pegs of wood, plastic or aluminum.
    One side has concentric circles and concentric ovals, each in graduated sizes. The 4 corners have right angles.
    The other side has concentric stars of graduated sizes, rectangles, and straight lines.
    All lines on both sides have holes spaced about every half inch along them.

    The object of the thing is to be able to take a washed and starched (or unstarched) still damp doily and “shape” or “square” it up by pinning it along the guide lines.
    When the doily is dry, remove the pins and you have a perfectly shaped doily.
    (by the way…NEVER put doilies in the clothes dryer…they will come out shrunken and wadded up. If you should sin in that particular way, you must re-wet the doily and properly stretch and shape it….then vow never to do that again.)

    I’ve used this doily stretcher many times….I didn’t need any instructions because, as a child, I had watched my Granny use her’s every time she finished crocheting a doily or after she washed doilies.

    I never knew what became of Granny’s doily stretcher but I wanted one. I actively looked for years for one, then, finally came across one in a Tennessee antique store about 20 years ago.

    As I paid for it ($20, I think), I was blabbing about it to the teen or 20-something young man clerk. He told me he had seen it in the store but thought it was some kind of old game board with it’s pieces missing. :^)
    So he learned something new and I found something old! I was happy!

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    1. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 2 months ago
      I have never seen one of those. (even if I *have*, but just didn't realize it?) Mom always hand-washed her doilies, I guess...?? (and I don't have any?) :-) :-) :-)
    2. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 2 months ago
      Thanks for the loves AO and Dav2no1!
      AO, your mom was doing it right…hand wash or put in a lingerie bag to machine wash. Doilies can also just be spread on lid of washer or any flat surface water won’t hurt, then just keep tugging and arranging and “messing with it” till you are satisfied with the looks of it….
    3. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 months ago
      I want one !!!
    4. kyratango kyratango, 2 months ago
      Great! That's a clever thing!!!
    5. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Watchsearcher, Woo hoo!
    6. Daisy1000 Daisy1000, 2 months ago
      Oh, nice! Thank you for posting.
    7. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 2 months ago
      Daisy1000, you are welcome!
    8. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 1 month ago
      Great story Patricia!
      It’s nice to see things from “days gone by” and appreciate their worth!
    9. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 1 month ago
      Thank you, Eileen. I don’t think there’s been any “new and improved” version of a doily stretcher…just can’t improve on perfection, I guess. ;^)

      The real reason, sadly, is not many people care about doilies any more. \:^(

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