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The Cleaning Clothes (vintage or other) Thread

Discussion in 'The Powder Room' started by Dahlia, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. cherry lips

    cherry lips Call Me a Cab

    I handwash cotton dresses, but for fancier fabrics I swear by dress-shields! I've never dry cleaned anything in my life (it's expensive here). I just pin the shields on with safety pins, then pop them into the laundry machine when they need freshening up.
  2. LinaSofia

    LinaSofia A-List Customer

    thanks Miss Sis! I'm going to have to learn how to do all this properly because I've just gone and bought another two rayon dresses! :eusa_doh:
    How do I best press them? [huh] between two towels? thanks! :)
  3. LinaSofia

    LinaSofia A-List Customer

    I've heard about these! Seems like such a good idea! where do you buy them?
  4. cherry lips

    cherry lips Call Me a Cab

    ^I buy them at shops that sell sewing-materials, what do you call those?
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  5. I usually just press on the wrong side with a pressing cloth, which is just a fairly fine piece of cotton in a decent sized square/rectangle. If you have details that you need to press from the outside like pleating or such, line it all up carefully, pop the pressing cloth over and iron over the top. Make sure your iron is not too hot. I find it is better to take a bit longer to press dry with a slightly cooler iron.

    You may need to press in both width and length directions, depending on how the rayon has shrunk up when washed, but don't worry, it will go back into shape. Just be patient. I like to start when the fabric is really damp rather than nearly dry. I find it easier to work with then.
  6. maisie

    maisie Practically Family

    They sell them one the UK ebay really cheaply, like £1.50 or something and they come in small, medium or large. I find medium is the best size for me, but they really are great! They also stop deodrant marks on dresses, as I've had black dresses go a slight grey under the arms (which even showed on the outside) because of deodrant (And on my favorite dress it wouldn't come out :(!!!). I really can't recommend them enough!
  7. LinaSofia

    LinaSofia A-List Customer

    thanks so much! I'll do that from now on! :)
  8. LinaSofia

    LinaSofia A-List Customer

    Oh brilliant! thanks :) I'm going to go hunt for some on ebay right now!
  9. LinaSofia

    LinaSofia A-List Customer

    I can only find self-adhesive ones or disposable ones on ebay, so I might try a haberdashery and see if they have ones without adhesive! Don't think I want glue on my vintage dresses!
  10. Odile

    Odile New in Town

    Thanks Miss Sis, this particular sweater was actually just cotton, but I'll remember that for the future.

    If anyone could give me any advice on anther question I have, I would be very grateful. I am interning at a vintage boutique and the man I am working for asked me to do some work for him on a beautiful early 60s Balenciaga dress. The dress is silk and is trimmed at the neckline and hem with large sequins, beads, and rhinestones. There are a couple of stains on the dress, and in order to get it dry cleaned (by a dry cleaner specializing in vintage and antique garments, of course), the sequin trim needs to be removed so that it doesn't melt. It initially looked to me as though the sequins beads and rhinestones were all sewn on to a band of tulle, and the band of tulle was sewn to the dress itself. But after looking at it more closely I am afraid that the tulle was just used to help support all of the weight of the decorations and that the tulle was first sewn to the dress, then then hundreds of sequins individually hand sewn on to both layers (tulle and silk). He wants me to remove the trim, and then sew it back on after it is dry cleaned--but I am really afraid to start taking if off because I have this horrible vision of sequins falling all over the place and me spending the next year hand sewing them back on. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this or knows if there is any way that a dry cleaner could maybe somehow cover the trim to protect it. Thanks for taking the time to read all of this!
  11. maisie

    maisie Practically Family

  12. Smuterella

    Smuterella One Too Many

    Hello all!

    Feels like a long time since I've been around these parts!

    I need some advice. I have just taken delivery of the most beautiful two tone blue dress which I suspect is rayon crepe. It is handmade from older garments and very detailed (smocking, piping, all sorts).

    Thing is, it is absolutely filthy - I've never bought anything so mucky before and I don't think dry cleaning will cut it this time. It looks like it was worn several times to some raucous parties and had a jolly good time too.

    I have read mixed reports on washing rayon crepe, but I think it is the dresses only hope. Any tips?
  13. LinaSofia

    LinaSofia A-List Customer

  14. LinaSofia

    LinaSofia A-List Customer

    I am certainly no expert, but during my recent rayon cleaning adventures I've read some bad things about washing rayon crepe especially... I think you'd have to be very careful not to shrink it out of all recognition... but you could try the pressing tip that I got from miss Sis below...
  15. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

    I would still be really careful, I washed two rayon crepe dresses, or soaked them rather, and both shrunk. I did press them whilst damp, and they went back to original size somewhat, put the sleeves on one just didn't, and the other one had a lovely pleat details to the front that was just completely ruined before pressing and then after.
    I suppose if it is unwearable now, it won't be such a risk because you couldn't wear it as it is anyhow. I soaked mine in a bit of Vanish and water, then showered it all off, then lay it on the rack to dry and ironed whilst damp. It could work well if it is a little too big currently.
  16. Marla

    Marla A-List Customer

    I need advice on laundering a fabric-covered belt, please. I just bought a cotton vintage dress with a matching fabric-covered belt. The dress I will be hand-washing, but how to clean the belt? It looks grimy, but I wonder if soaking it in water would ruin it. At least the buckle looks like it was glued. Does anyone know what kind of material the bottom part of fabric-covered belts is made out of, and whether it can be laundered?
  17. maisie

    maisie Practically Family

    I'm looking to clean a checked 1940s wool skirt that has quite a few stains on it. I was thinking of having it dry cleaned but typically this process just doesn't get 70 year old stains out! So I will probably end up handwashing it (lukewarm water with soapsuds and dried flat after), would there be any major problem with washing a wool skirt this way? Or any alternitaive ways of cleaning?

    Thanks :)
  18. Frenchy56

    Frenchy56 A-List Customer

    I've never tried cleaning anything that old, but I have washed a vintage wool skirt- using stain remover on some marks, then handwashing and line drying. It got the stains out with no perceivable damage to the fabric. I don't know if that's any help to you. I would hesitate to be the one who advises you to use stain removers on a 70 year-old skirt, but I think lukewarm handwashing is about the safest home method.

    (just as an aside, when I handwashed my skirt, once it was dry it actually smelt worse than it had before washing- I expect wool absorbs a lot of smells, dirt etc, but I was really surprised- I thought I washed it pretty thoroughly and it certainly wasn't dirty or smelly when I was wearing it! So weird :()
  19. Wash wool in COLD water. It's just safer that way. I'd recommend getting your hands on some Orvus paste (farm supply stores have it!) - it's a gentle, simple, fragrance free soap used by conservationists. Easy to rinse out, which is a plus. Biz is also really great on stains and fairly safe on old fabrics, especially protein fibers, like wool and silk, that are susceptible to other stain removers. Drying flat is always a good idea, but if the weave and grain of the fabric is fairly firm, hanging to dry isn't too harmful, especially after the bulk of the water has been removed by drying flat.

    A quick tip on drying - lay the garment flat on a towel. If it's really wet, throw another towel on top. Roll that up into a tight roll, then stamp on it. So effective in drying - doesn't require spinning or ringing and is really gentle on the fabric itself. From there, dry flat if it's fragile or easily warped, or hang to dry. Or both! Some dresses I dry flat until damp then hang up until completely dry.
  20. LinaSofia

    LinaSofia A-List Customer

    This is not strictly about cleaning, so I hope it's not totally out of place on this thread.. but I have a question about dying vintage rayon. I have a 40s rayon dress that had bleached patches on it. It's a dark navy colour with the bleached patches a sort of peach colour. Would it work to dye the dress to cover the patches? But since dying involves soaking, I'm a little hesitant. But I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do to salvage the dress :/

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