christening gown

I'm hoping to have my baby christened at some point in the new year. Ideally I'd love a traditional Christening gown. My mum had the great idea that I use my own, which has been in the loft for 30 something years. Sadly it is no longer pristine and white, it is yellow and not very attractive. So, Is there anything I can do to make it look good as new, or at least better than it is now?

Before modern detergents, the

Before modern detergents, the standard go-to for whitening clothes was Reckitts Bag Blue, a small block wrapped in muslin that was swirled around in the last rinsing water (or a few grains could be scraped off the block into the last rinse) before putting in the clothes.
I’ve found something online that has a very similar name – Reckitts Crown Blue – and is £1.30, with free delivery.
It’s only for hand washing – definitely NOT to be put in a machine – and it’s really important to follow the instructions:
• Wrap the blue in a cloth
• Stir whilst squeezing the blue in the last rinsing water
• Dip articles in separately for a short time.
• Keep the articles moving
Probably best to try it on a white cotton pillow case or handkerchief first.
Best of luck!

Can you tell a bit more about

Can you tell a bit more about the material it was made from? How was it constructed (sewn, knitted, etc)? Depending on the material you could attempt gentle bleaching by using oxygen bleach - only recommended on cotton! If it is made from wool (a lace-knitted Christening gown) then it is not possible to make it white again, but you could try to dye it a cream-like colour?

The Visible Mending Programme at

Another thing they did in the

Another thing they did in the olden days was to dry items in bright sunshine, laid on grass. Something to do with the light on the chlorophyl helping to bring back the whiteness.

Or maybe the baby will have grown out of it by the time weather conditions allow?


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