Here is a very practical letter. I'm sure that many of you have wondered the same thing:
Dear Vintage Goddess,
I'm on my way to a creating a closet full of fabulous vintage clothing. You'll think I'm silly, but I've actually been afraid to wear some of the items for fear of getting them dirty and I don't know the proper way to clean delicate fabrics and other vintage pieces.
Thanks for your help!
Love this question. I hope that I can give you all the answers you need.
Generally, I would say to hand wash most of your vintage garments. Use a mild detergent. No need to be vigorous with the lukewarm wash. Gently spin, then hang to dry. Do not use a clothes dryer. If the material is silk, HOLD THE PRESSES! Get those items dry cleaned. Taffeta is another tricky material best left to the professionals. 1940's crepe rayon also falls under the category of "if in doubt, take it out". If your garment is without a tag and you are not sure what animal or fabric it is, it's best to go to the cleaners. Colour dyed linens will need quick action. Dip then hang. You may be dashing to the line as colours may run. OK, so my first statement may not be the rule of thumb as I thought!
Good luck with it. Go ahead, wear all your favourite vintage pieces! Enjoy them and worry later about how to keep them clean and neat.
Stay tuned for a sequel to Jess' answer. After all, odour is a whole other animal! We can't just turn up our noses!