Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How to Clean Vintage Clothing

Have you ever noticed that vintage garments do not have care/cleaning labels in them? Those little symbols were not introduced until the 1970s, and all those little circles, squares and triangles are a mess to figure out.

So you just bought a vintage garment but you are not sure how to clean it. If you went thrifting chances are there was no-one available there to help you. Don't take chances on ruining your garment by cleaning it the wrong way. Here are some helpful tips.
Antique and vintage clothing, although they survive decades, they are more fragile than modern. They need a lot of care and attention. Formal dress materials such as old silks and chiffons are especially fragile and should be treated with great care.
1 - When shopping for vintage, check the condition inside and out. Even if the item you have found looks great at first sight, you should smell the fabric, check the seams, inspect any trims and look out for dreaded stains and moth holes.
2 - Do not trust dry cleaners blind-folded. Dry cleaners at times use harsh chemicals and very high temperatures that can cause fine fabrics to disintegrate and damage buttons and beading. Look for a reliable dry cleaning company, preferably with vintage cleaning experience.

3 - If you are sure you can wash something at home, use a gentle wash detergent and don’t scrub the fabric too much. Do not use a washing machine or a dryer for any delicate vintage items at all. It might raze your dress completely.
4 - Does your garment have that 'old' smell? Try hanging in fresh air for a few hours – it does work.
5 - Rust stains are especially difficult to remove and happen if a garment stayed on a metal hanger too long. Instead of hanging the garment, fold it and keep it in your cupboard.

1 comment:

[Tara] said...

Thanks for the tips...I just got a coat that smells very musty. I didn't even think to just hang out for a bit!