I have washed the antique lace I bought for the 1885 costume. In the pictures you can see the lace from the dress, untouched, and the washed lace beside it. I was amazed at the difference! The washed lace is now ready to be used on the bridal repro gown. I also have found some hand made buttons, but have yet to see them for myself. Stay tuned for that.
The picture also shows the decorations from the original dress. I took these to show my friend at the museum. the original dress will be de-accessioned, because of its condition. My friend, being a textile conservator, takes a different view of these things than I do. She would never dream of cleaning the lace as I did, but would give it a museum preservation-type treatment. Not that what I did was wrong, but just a different approach.
We could have a long discussion on this, comment if you want to and I'll be happy to discuss it. What I came away with was a great idea for the museum repro gown. I will use the original lace and medallions as they are and dye the silk to match. This will give the feel of the original costume and showcase the lace in the best way. Otherwise, the spanking new white silk with old lace on it will lose its meaning for the viewers at the museum.