Some times ago, I was gifted with some antique lace curtains which now hang in my old home. So I was on a quest to learn how they used to wash these delicate items. Here is one article I found in how they would clean them as part of the fall cleaning routine.
Washing Lace Curtains. — At the time of fall house cleaning, the washing of lace curtains is an important matter. After shaking the dust out of them thoroughly, soak them over night in cold water; if very much soiled, let them soak twenty-four hours, changing the water once or twice, and putting them through the wringer from one water into another. Do not rub them on a washboard, but rub gently with the hands, pressing and squeezing mostly. Scald them, rinse, and hang on the line to dry. Do this in the morning and after they are dry, look them over carefully and mend any places that need it. The next morning starch them in well-boiled starch, but do not make them too stiff or they will not hang in graceful folds. If you do not want them white, add strong coffee to the starch until the required shade is obtained. The best way to dry them after they are starched is to have frames, which are made like quilting-frames, the side pieces as long as the curtains, and the end pieces as long as the widest curtain, with holes and pins for shortening them to other widths. Sew white cotton around the bars of the frames, and pin the curtains to them, both ends and sides. On a bright day they will dry very quickly. They may be hung over a sheet on the line until partly dry, and then pinned to a sheet that has been previously pinned to the carpet; but the frame is much more convenient, and any man can make one in a short time. A kitchen chair set at each corner will hold the frame up if you have nothing better. Curtains washed and dried in this way will look very nearly, if not quite as good as new.
Farm and fireside October 1, 1891