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The Cleaning Clothes (vintage or other) Thread

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

  1. You would have to strip out the old colour first and then re-dye to get a uniform colour, otherwise the lighter patches will still be lighter. If actual bleach is what has removed the colour in the first place, it still may not dye.

    I took apart a dress to redye part of it which worked well but it was a cotton type fabric. I have a rayon dress I need to do the same thing to sitting around waiting for me to have the time. Good luck!
  2. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

    I just bought a 50s wool-mohair dress, and am unsure whether I should hand wash it or try to get it dry-cleaned? I normally hand wash woollens, especially sweaters, but this is quite heavy, and am wondering if it should be treated more like a coat? Any thoughts?
  3. I think you would probably get it dry cleaned. I prefer to hand wash anything I can, but I assume this has a silky lining, and I think if you washed it it would be hard to get it back to a perfect shape. I have done this before, and then the lining hung down longer than the top layer because I couldn't stretch it enough after washing. Good luck! BTW, I LOVE this dress!!! It is so very lovely!
  4. Marla, perhaps it would it do enough to clean the fabric covered belt if you were to just use a damp cloth to wipe it down on the top layer. Then you could sort of scrub the particularly dirty spots with out getting them soaking wet.
  5. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

    Thanks for the tip, it actually doesn't have a lining at all! The more woven bit you can see in Pictures 2 and 4 are the inside.
  6. I think you could save on the dry cleaning bill and give it a handwash, since it hasn't got any linings. Usual rules - tepid wash and rinse water. Give it a gentle reduced spin in the washing machine and lie it flat to dry. I'd iron on the reverse and use a pressing cloth for the details.
  7. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

    Thanks, I will hand wash tomorrow.
  8. susan

    susan Familiar Face

    I bought a dress, upper part is rayon and the skirt part is wool...It has no stains just a typical "vintage smell" :)
    But how should I clean it? Handwash like already replied for woolens?
  9. Hi Ladies,

    I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but I use Dryel at home for my vintage clothes. As dry-cleaning everything is WAY too expensive. Dryel has worked really well on my items and nothing has been damaged. I've done items from the 40s, 50s, all sorts of different materials - even vintage fur.

  10. Johanna

    Johanna One of the Regulars

    Sorry for this very random post, I have posted anything on the Fedora Lounge for years! I do lurk around from time to time though and I love this thread and have learned many helpful things from it.

    I was hoping you'd be able to help me with a problem. I recently managed to shrink one of my very favourite dresses. It's a 50s or early 60s dress in a pretty thick and very stretchy jersey (I think), with no fabric content label, but I guess something synthetic, perhaps with wool in. I know very little about identifying fabrics. Anyway, I had to wash it after spot cleaning a stain which left some water marks. I soaked it quickly and carefully in cool water. It looked fine after drying, but when trying it on the other day I was horrified to see that it had shrunk! It's not drastic but it's definitely tighter, and more importantly hardly covers my knees anymore which ruins the whole look of it.

    Can I block it or stretch somehow, or do you think steaming (I've read about this helping shrunken crepe and rayon earlier in this thread) or ironing might bring it back in shape?

    I really hope it can be saved and I'm trying to not freak out about about it until I'm sure it's really lost.
  11. Oh Johanna, how frustrating. You're not alone, i have accidentally shrunk a jersey recently which is now fit for Barbie to wear.

    Personally i would try steaming it and then pressing it gently on the reverse to try and get it back into shape. I'm not an expert, but that would be what i would try in your situation.

    Drappa - what a lovely dress. I have successfully handwashed a mohair mix jacket before with no probs at all. Then pressed it using a cool iron and a cloth and it was good as new!
  12. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

    I did handwash it, hung it to dry and ironed on the wool setting and it worked beautifully! Winter can come.
  13. I posted a photo of this lovely Paul Sachs dress that I bought a couple of weeks ago - it was washed before being sent to me but saw that there were parts of it that had a yellow hue to them. I got it dry cleaned but still it looks a little on the yellow side in spots - I love the dress being white and want to keep it white if possible and not have to dye it - has anyone had any success in getting this yellowing out of dresses before? The dress is in great condition and not delicate in the least. I read somewhere about washing it in vinegar - is this right? Any tips would be most welcome - thank you!

  14. Flicka

    Flicka One Too Many

    My mother's wedding dress from 1970 had turned yellow - and had a huge coffee stain. My mother tried washing ir with Klorin (a chlorine solution) in 1991 and it turned a pristine white. As good as new. I don't know how well old fragile clothes would handle that, though. Mum just figured she had nothing to lose.

    My book on house hold tips suggests soaking yellowed fabric in milk, or in severe cases, boiling it in milj (I suppose that might work for linen that can withstand high temperatures but I wouldn't advice it for most fabrics). Then let it dry in the sun and wash as usual. Haven't tried it myself though.
  15. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

    I wouldn't use vinegar as that helps to set natural dyes, so may set the stains more than they already are. If it's not delicate, I have had great results with Vanish (the powder). Let the powder dissolve in very warm water, then soak the dress as per instructions - for colours they say not more than an hour, but I have soaked clothes for a few and it's been fine. My recent Swirl was filthy when it arrived, after soaking for ten minutes the water had turned completely brown. I use Vanish on everything except wool and silk, and it really works.
  16. I'd say use Vanish or Napisan if it's linen (the powdered kinds) but if you aren't sure what the fabric is, you can get a liquid Vanish in a large pink bottle that is suitable for wool and silk. Check the label on the back.

    I've found it very good on more delicate fabrics.
  17. Penny Dreadful

    Penny Dreadful One of the Regulars

    I have my first vintage dress, it's from the early 60s. The fabric looks like taffeta but it's thinner and softer. It has a great gold sheen to it. I have no idea how to wash it. The Etsy seller was dry-cleaning it, but that's a bit much for me, I hand wash all my clothes that can't go in the machine. What would you recommend for this? [​IMG]
  18. Be careful with taffeta. Sometimes all the shape can go out taffeta items if you wash them yourselves. I'd find out what fabric it is first.
  19. Ladies - thank you so much for your tips - I'm going to give the Vanish a go this weekend and see how I get on *fingers crossed*! I used Napisan on a white t-shirt that got ruined in a communal washing machine when I lived in Oz - it's brilliant stuff - the t-shirt looked like new afterwards - not sure if I can get Napisan here but will check into it.

    Thanks again!:)
  20. Miss G, here in England you can get Napisan in the baby items aisle. Down Under it was always with the washing stuff, so it took me a while to track it down over here!

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