Getting Long Doilies To Lay Flat

I have just finished a two day project, washing and starching then ironing the many doilies I use through our home. Some are antique from my grandmother and newer ones (10 years old) from my aunt. I had a difficult time with one long crocheted runner, it is uneven now and does not lay flat. Short of redoing and trying to get it straighter, what can I do?


I do not have a doily stretcher-, not sure if they make such things anymore. This runner is about 50 years old, a favorite and on our bedroom dresser. It is 3 feet long, by 14 inches wide. Sure would like to get it straight again! Any ideas?

Pat from La Crescent MN

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July 12, 20070 found this helpful

when the runner is wet pin it to some thing flat and stretch the runner to the size you want then maybe use a wet cloth on top of runner and steam the runner

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By Susan Mickelson (Guest Post)
July 19, 20070 found this helpful

The old crocheted doilies are made of pure cotton. You will have to wet it again, easiest with a spray bottle. Once it's damp, blocking it on a towel should do the trick.


I love the old doilies too. Just thinking of the time it took for our elders to make them, makes them so special. Good luck!

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July 19, 20070 found this helpful

I am not sure if you use spray starch or put liquid starch in the rinse but here we go. I perfer liquid. First buy 2 thick poster boards from craft store and the old fashioned flat push pins, coated if possible so you can reuse and not have to worry about metal marks with lots of use. And plain paper towels. Lay one board on table or other flat surface. Cover with enough paper towels to fit doilie. While still damp lay out on the towel/board. Hand press into desired shape and pin in several location to hold. Cover with more towels, place second board over all. I place mine under mattress a night or two, because I do not use my dryer often.


If you use yours you can place boards on top of dry during use or a shelf in laundry room to absorb the heat and dry faster in the shape you wish. During the summer you can place the board sandwich out side to dry without fear of sun damage to your doilie. Weigh down the board to prevent flying away in a breeze. If your afraid the board will be overturned you can tape the sides in several spots to secure. Once dry you can spray with starch,even if you had done so in washer, for a stiffer effect and iron as usual. I make doilies and have not had a problem doing it this way even when I make the kind with the rippled edging. Hope this works for you to.

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By Sallie (Guest Post)
July 22, 20070 found this helpful

When I was a kid (I'm 73) my mom would use a thick starch, soak the doilie in it, wring it out, then put it on a piece of corrigated (sp?) box, stretch it out at points opposite each other,stick a straight pin in at the edge, and let dry. For ruffles, she'd put coke bottles under and over all the way around. The doilies lasted a long time in between washing that way.

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