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I just purchased a pillbox cap with silver lace band which looks like it could do with a little cleaning.

The 1900 Dress Regulations state that gold lace "which has become slightly tarnished can be cleaned with a mixture of Cream of Tartar and bread rubbed up very fine, applied in a dry state and brushed lightly with a clean soft brush." Where is my batman when I need him :whistle:

I have read Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate) can be used with white vinegar to make a paste-like cleaning agent. Obviously I don't want to ruin the cap so any advice greatly appreciated.

Stuart

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Hello Stuart,

if it is the "silver getting dark problem" than you can clean it with a peace of leather.

Take the same REAL-LEATHER! itmes for cleaning the windows.

It should be dry, than the tarnishing comes off.

Hope this helps

Elvis

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Hi Elvis,

Is REAL-LEATHER a product? I suppose I should have googled it first.

I haven't received the cap yet but attach a photo from the seller. The lace looks a bit grubby so I thought I would enquire of the forum members before it arrived.

Thanks,

Stuart

post-1883-056225100 1294608096_thumb.jpg

Edited by Stuart Bates
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Hello Stuart,

sorry for my bad english.:speechless1:

"real leather" means a piece of leather from the skin of a deer or beef or another animal.

So it is different from "artificial leather" which can be manufactured - from pvc - in a company.

Is it clear now?

Hope so.

Elvis

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Stuart

I've got a uniform with badly tarnished silver lace - I wear it when I do war of 1812 re-enacting [big boy war games :cheeky:]. I have used the cream of tartar treatment, just made into a paste with a little water. The bread is just an alternative to Elvis 'leather' - it takes off the paste but isn't hard enough to scratch or tear the lace.

It works fairly well, except when trying to clean crevices and folds. Your cap looks ideal, at least around the body: nice smooth surface. The vinegar might help too.

When I asked the same question on an 1812/ Napoleonic forum, someone suggested 'potatoe water' - what's left after you boil pratties - as a slightly acidic liquid to soak the lace in. It works, of course, only if the fabric under the braid is colour fast. When I tried soaking a test piece in it it got shiny but also went green - perhaps more a comment on the quality of modern 'silver' lace then on the method, so I'd stick with the paste of Cream of Tartar and water and gentle rubbing. Good luck!

Peter

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Hi Peter,

depending on the condition of the lace, and I have only that photo to go by, I will try the cream of tartar method as it is contemporary with the cap itself. I have another cap, gold lace, in very poor condition that I would try any solution (intended) on before tackling the Worcester pillbox.

cheers,

Stuart

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