For the love of Vintage Lingerie

From the time I started designing lingerie, back in the ’90, I also fell in love with vintage lingerie. They were my first encounters with these delicate wonders of imagination.Together with another single mom I was searching for ways to earn some extra money from our homes. We came across an opportunity to buy loads of stretch fabrics for a very cheap price. The shop owner was just diagnosed with cancer and would die within a few months, he wanted to get rid of all the boxes. It was kind of awkward with him and his wife crying in the shop but we went for it.

In those days nowhere in my home country Holland was any possibility to learn how lingerie was made. No wonder, because these materials were nowhere to be found. So we just bought cheap second hand lingerie at jumble sales, preferably damaged ones because they were the cheapest, and ripped them apart. Just to learn how they were put together. And on these incursions for new designs and more sizes to compare I came across gorgeous real vintage lingerie as well.

No good for our DIY mission since none of these were stretchable but too lovely to leave on that pile of old clothes … And here I am now, after all those years of collecting, with quite a collection of golden oldies! Some years ago I’ve bought a vintage trunk cupboard with sweet pink flowers on the inside, like the ones rich people used on their fancy cruises. That’s where all those treasures have found a good place to rest. Maybe in the near future I’ll make an online gallery of them …


The trunk is pretty full now and I had convinced myself not to buy any more. It’s getting harder to find good ones anyway, what was just a bit old back then is almost antique nowadays. Oh boy, I’m really starting to feel very old! But … once in awhile a real gem turns up and I simply can’t resist. Yesterday was one of those occasions. Just 2 minutes away from my home in Rotterdam is a second-hand market twice a week. Of course I visit this regularly and there she was, this stunning silky slipdress with butterfly applique in the delicate lace.

Vslipdress vlinder  Vslipdress vlinderzoom

I was completely drooling of course! Only a small problem, there are some stains midfront. No idea what they are from, it’s some yellowish dirt. As skillfull as I am concerning designing and sewing lingerie, household issues are not my strong point. So I was wondering, has anyone of you experience getting something like this out of such delicate fabric? It’s not reel silk, maybe acetate or a nylon blend. It would be such a shame to ruin this beautie!

Vslipdress vlinderbust  Vslipdress vlinderdet

For an overview of all the Merckwaerdigh internet activities take a look at

One thought on “For the love of Vintage Lingerie

  1. HI, in regard to cleaning this garment…in the U.S. we have a cleaning agent called “Biz”. You can soak all kinds of delicate fabrics in it and the stains are removed. I understand it’s often used by people in museums to clean very old things. Is it possible for you to talk to someone from a museum or archive place that could help you? Good luck, it’s beautiful.


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