Auction Find: Turkish tablecloths

I have been trying to renovate and make decorating decisions that respect the house without getting all museum-restoration about it or worse, without getting all Miss Havisham, which is to say heavy and dark, cobwebs optional. These tablecloths, I don’t know, too Havisham?

They are Turkish, early 20th century. I had thought that they were cotton but now I am leaning towards silk. The bottom one is densely woven, heavy fabric with copper and silver threads. the top one is gossamer thin with silver thread. They were pretty dark until a certain blog buddy who knows all about textiles explained how to pull the yellow out and, while I was at it, remove the tarnish from the threads. I had to wash them twice to get them to look like this.

The idea is that I have some dark corners in the guest rooms. I like dark but I also like sparkly things glinting in the darkness, reflecting the light. The plan is to get a couple of simple tables and hide them under these cloths. We’ll see. Combined with the kitschy Orientalist lampshades that I have earmarked for the same room, they could be fun.

So how did I get the yellow out? Each cloth got its own mesh bag. Into the machine on a low-temperature cycle with mild laundry soap, 2 of those Decolor-Stop stain-absorbing cloths and, because I tend toward the foolhardy, a little Vanish. I ironed them dry.

Rumor has it that the windows in the guest room are going in. Soon enough I’ll be able to show you how things are coming together.