How can I preserve and display a tablecloth?
September 3, 2007 6:49 AM Subscribe
For at least 25 years, my grandmother had a table cloth which every person who visited her house signed, and their signature was embroidered onto the cloth. Now my family is looking for a way to preserve and display it. Any cool ideas?
The table cloth is kind of thin now, from years of washing. It's covered with, I'd estimate, at least 100 signatures, backstiched into the cloth. My grandparents are still living, but going to have to move into a retirement community, and I'm not sure grandma's capable of sewing anymore, so the tablecloth won't be added to in the future.
The main goals here are a.) to preserve it, and b.) to make it displayable. It's approx 102 inches long, (her table was long, rectangular, and sat 8-10) though the sides that hang down the table were sewed on, and there are no signatures on it, so those could be removed. The signature area is no larger than the top of her table.
Someone came up with the idea of cutting the cloth into squares and somehow pasting it into the pages of a scrapbook type thing, but the names were signed randomly, and I don't think we could cut it without cutting through names.
There was also the idea of somehow forming it into some sort of a throw or quilt, but we're not sure how to do this best (the cloth is too thin now to just throw some batting in and a backing cloth and sew it together). Also, there are holes in the cloth where there have been cigarette burns. My grandma would embroider around the edge of the hole (often in the same color thread that whoever dropped their cigarette had their name embroidered in!), so they're stable, and smaller than a dime, but still, any batting or whatever might come through.
Didn't know if the hive mind could come up with any additional ideas for displaying this? Any companies out there who might handle this sort of thing?