Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds

The Cleaning Clothes (vintage or other) Thread

C-dot

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,908
Location
Toronto, Canada
dgenevieve said:
C-dot: I'm going to try that tea-bag tip! I think Earl Grey would be a lovely smell to wear!

I think so too, much better than drinking it, IMHO ;)

My brother said he learned it from Kim and Aggie on "How Clean is Your House?"
 

cecil

A-List Customer
Messages
396
Location
Sydney, Aus.
C-dot said:
It's only been 5 days, but the dress smells better already. It has that "old" smell now, which goes lovely with the Earl Grey. No more pungent wet-leather-trunk-and-mothballs smell *yucky*

Blahh!!

I managed to clean my rayon dress without killing it! Just handwashed in lukewarm water. It smells funny now, i think the washing liquid washed out the 'old smell' and left a faint residual mothball smell, because it smells a bit peppery. Not unpleasant though, and you have to stick the thing under your nose to pick it up, so all is well. yaaay.
 

dgenevieve

Familiar Face
Messages
87
Location
Montecito/SB, CA
dgenevieve said:
I found this gorgeous golden gown (definitely Cicada Club fare!), and I would love to buy it, but I'm concerned about a water stain a couple feet up from the hem. Sorry for the cruddy cameraphone pic, but if you look closely you can see the line across about the knee where it looks like it was literally dipped in water. Would this be difficult to get out? The fabric is rayon, maybe late '30s judging by the style. Any thoughts/suggestions? I saw some previous posts in here that said people tried re-dipping water-stained satin in water. But definitely not rayon, though?

P.S. Is it considered gauche to quote oneself? ;)

In any case, I spoke with my grandmother on the phone yesterday and she suggested that I pin the dress to my ironing board and carefully sponge out the water line. Or, if that didn't work, I should just hem it...! She has such a wicked sense of humor, that one!

I'm just terrified to ruin it!!! My aunt apparently owned a beautiful vintage dress years and years ago, and as she handwashed it, she watched it shrink to toddler-size right in front of her eyes!!! :eek:
 

C-dot

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,908
Location
Toronto, Canada
dgenevieve said:
My aunt apparently owned a beautiful vintage dress years and years ago, and as she handwashed it, she watched it shrink to toddler-size right in front of her eyes!!! :eek:

That's the trouble with washing rayon, it shrinks so drastically! I hand-wash in cold water to reduce shrinkage, then hang it to dry. It usually falls back into its original shape. If not, I give it a good steam. Haven't had a problem yet, although washing is my absolute last resort. Steaming it right away is usually best.

cecil said:
I managed to clean my rayon dress without killing it! Just handwashed in lukewarm water. It smells funny now, i think the washing liquid washed out the 'old smell' and left a faint residual mothball smell, because it smells a bit peppery. Not unpleasant though, and you have to stick the thing under your nose to pick it up, so all is well. yaaay.

Hooray! :D
 

crazydaisy

Practically Family
Messages
696
Location
UK
I have now read the whole thread and took notes - yet I feel completely paralyzed by fear of ruining my dresses! I'll have to be brave though and give it a try, if I don't clean them I can't wear them!

what about fur, ladies, how do you go about that?
 

crazydaisy

Practically Family
Messages
696
Location
UK
Ok I have now washed the net dress - all buttons, covered in pink satin. went dark in the wash, looks like it is metal underneath - hope they'll dry and go back to their initial colour??!!!!
This is very stressful! :(

And the promised pics of the cotton lace dress, Miss Sis suggested to hands wash this one too. the worry Ii have is related to the lining, like I said I don't know what fabric it is, feels nylony, I just hope I won't have shrinkage issues. I said acetate first time, but acetate feels harder, so I really don't know. I am so bad with fabrics!
(If I ruin this dress I'll cry forever, it is very nicely made and perfect on! I bought it in September and still hangs in my room waiting for me to make a cleaning decision...)
So I am posting the pics for a final advice before I venture...
4075228660_bb5000e82d_b.jpg

4075228680_6ac2f25c48_b.jpg
 

C-dot

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,908
Location
Toronto, Canada
You won't have shrinkage issues at all. I think that dress (which is cute, btw!) would be fine with a hand wash, or even the gentle cycle in the machine. The only thing that came to mind was when I saw the lining - I thought it was silk, which would water stain, but if its nylon then no problem.
 

crazydaisy

Practically Family
Messages
696
Location
UK
Ok so I am officially stupid; looking back at the description of this I can see the seller thinks lining is actually rayon - they are not 100% sure but they seem to know a lot more than I do :eek:
What do I do now? :eusa_doh:

There seem to be different opinions about rayon in this thread, some people say dry clean rayons, other hand wash the slinky shiny ones (mine is not terribly shiny but not matte either ha ha). plus there's a rule here about dry cleaning everything with an interface/lining.
I am about to pull my hair...or is it me, really?! am I over complicating it? I am good at doing that,you know...
 

maisie

Practically Family
Messages
513
Location
Kent
I think the dress would be find to handwash. The lining will probably crinkle up but should be fine once you iron it out.
I definitely wouldn't put it in the washing machine though, even on a gentle wash and its more than likely that with that old lace you will get one if not a few holes forming.
 

Miss Neecerie

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,616
Location
The land of Sinatra, Hoboken
crazydaisy said:
(If I ruin this dress I'll cry forever, it is very nicely made and perfect on! I bought it in September and still hangs in my room waiting for me to make a cleaning decision...)


Ok....if you say this about a dress...then why why why on earth would you even chance it?

Go take it to the proper cleaners.....and be done with it.

Taking risks on handwashing is for things you would not 'cry forever' if ruined.
 

crazydaisy

Practically Family
Messages
696
Location
UK
Well...because a number of people have said how dry cleaning is not indicated in all cases or how dry cleaning ruined their clothes.
I'm not trying to chance anything, nor do I avoid take it to the cleaners so I don't pay the money - I have to take 2 other dresses anyway - all I'm trying to do is establish the right method to clean this. :) Sorry if I've been a pain.
 

Miss Neecerie

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,616
Location
The land of Sinatra, Hoboken
You arn't being a pain.....but believing people on the -internet- (no matter how knowledgeable they may be)...about a matter of fabric, which none of them can see, feel or otherwise realistically assess in person.....

The 'right' method cannot 100% be established by these means.

The right method can instead be established by a specialist who can touch the fabric instead of guessing. And sure..that cleaner may decide to handwash....or not...but they are using their knowledge from seeing the dress and touching the fabrics to decide.


shrugs...if the dress is really an important one...go find the nearest specialty cleaners...even if you have to mail it to them.....
 

Vanessa

One Too Many
Messages
1,055
Location
SoCal
As far as specialty cleaners - may I recommend the French Hand Laundry in Pasadena? They cleaned & repaired my best friend's 100 year old entirely-made-of-handmade-lace wedding gown. They're not cheap - but if you are that concerned about a particular piece of clothing, they are the best at what they do.
 

Foofoogal

Banned
Messages
4,890
Location
Vintage Land
:eek:fftopic: I did not know where else to put this. I have a huge thing for beaded and sequined vintage Christmas textiles. Aprons, tree skirts etc.
I have a huge Christmas tablecloth adorned with felt trees, poinsettias and more. All hand done with sequins etc.
My ? is has anyone ever tried oxyclean on felt? A few spots I may want to try it to get them out but before thought I would ask..
http://sandysfancypants.blogspot.com
 

C-dot

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,908
Location
Toronto, Canada
exquisitebones said:
Just for fun and FYI, a while back I scanned a page from my 1951 homemaking book on how to wash rayon :)

Perfect! Washing rayon is one of the many difficult feats we vintage gals have to overcome lol
 

Miss Sis

One Too Many
Messages
1,888
Location
Hampshire, England Via the Antipodes.
Foofoogal said:
My ? is has anyone ever tried oxyclean on felt? A few spots I may want to try it to get them out but before thought I would ask..

DON'T USE OXICLEAN ON ANIMAL FIBRES! It breaks them down and you end up with crunchy fabric.

Try milder methods first like spot cleaning with a delicate wash detergent or even a mild dishwashing liquid if you think the mark is greasy.
 
Top