The Cleaning Clothes (vintage or other) Thread

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

  1. Foofoogal

    Foofoogal Banned

    Messages:
    4,890
    Location:
    Vintage Land
    is felt animal based?
     
  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Real felt is -- it's basically matted, processed fur, hair, or fleece.
     
  3. Foofoogal

    Foofoogal Banned

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Interesting. learn something every day. thanks Lizzie.

    too cold today.
     
  4. texasgirl

    texasgirl One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    So I recently got this cute little 30s crocheted bag. I think it is homemade as there is no lining or zipper like another one I have. Anyway, it's kinda dingy. Any thoughts on how to clean it? Or if I should just leave it alone. It's not real bad, just surface dirt. The inside is a lot cleaner.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Inky

    Inky One Too Many

    Have you tried gently brushing it with a clothing brush? that usually works for the crocheted bags I have collected.

    Since there's no zipper and no danger of rust if you washed it, and you feel it needs a wash, you could give it a gentle soak (cool water only) in some ivory and MAYBE some oxyclean or such thing. remove excess water from it by squeezing gently between towels and lay flat to dry. i'd turn it over frequently to let it get lots of air drying all around.
     
  6. texasgirl

    texasgirl One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Oh, good ideas. I'll try the brush first. My mother-in-law just gave me a couple of vintage ones! Thanks!
     
  7. JupitersDarling

    JupitersDarling One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    South Carolina
    How would you treat "acetate & rayon" and "rayon brocade satin"?

    I found two dresses today from the mid 50s. Both unworn with tags! Fit perfectly! My favorite has a self-crinoline and chinese-calligraphy embroidered cream colored acetate/rayon brocade. The other is a lovely yellow & tan brocade satin.

    Despite still having their tags, they both have some staining on the hems/edges and discoloring (esp. on the acetate/rayon) though.

    My mother is telling me to take them to the cheapo $2 DC place but I am wary. I don't dry clean much so not sure what the cheapy place cuts corners on or how different they treat clothes... I was lucky enough to find these for... $1 each (!!!) in thrift bins so it wouldn't be much off my nose, but these dresses are pretty awesome & I don't want to shrink or destroy them (and would like to get these stains out). The tags do say dry clean, but will dry cleaning 50 year old rayon brocades come out ok?
     
  8. Gracie Lee

    Gracie Lee A-List Customer

    Messages:
    386
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Hi! Rayon is washable, but with a vintage dress, I would test a hidden spot with a mild solution of Woolite/Biz/(insert your favorite gentle cleaner here). If no fading or discoloration occurs, I'd say you're ok with a gentle cold hand wash, drip dry. Acetate, on the other hand, is never washable and must always be dry cleaned. In some cases, even contact with a dry cleaning solution that has been mixed with too much water can ruin the fabric. For a good dry cleaner, I would ask around, check Angie's List, and be willing to pay a little more. I once had to have a bright red punch stain removed from a pale green dress (you can guess how my prom went), and I shelled out just short of $20 for the cleaning job, but it was worth every penny. As a side note, acetate oxidizes over time, causing fading and color changes that no amount of washing can fix. An experienced and conscientious dry cleaner will know this, and recognize the difference. Best of luck!
     
  9. JupitersDarling

    JupitersDarling One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Goodness, I didn't know acetate tended to oxidize. That might explain why it has that discoloration despite apparently never being worn. Thanks Gracie Lee for the info!

    I looked up Angies List, and it seems to be a pay-fer-access review site? I guess I'll just have to ask around... (pssst if anyone knows good cleaners in the upstate SC/western NC region, do tell!)
     
  10. KittyT

    KittyT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,466
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Oxyclean should be fine! I have one of those 50s bags with all the plastic beads glued to the outside and I soaked that in a mild bleach solution. It worked wonders. So Oxyclean overnight should be fine!
     
  11. Gracie Lee

    Gracie Lee A-List Customer

    Messages:
    386
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I've had fellow collectors recommend Biz, if you can get it in your area. It's usually in the laundry aisle of the grocery store, up on the highest shelf. It's very similar to Oxyclean, but I've been told it's gentler.
     
  12. Wire9Vintage

    Wire9Vintage A-List Customer

    Messages:
    411
    Location:
    Texas
    Biz is amazing stuff. It's shocking what comes out of clothes with that stuff. And I've never had it damage anything, even soaking for two days.

    Target carries it, for sure.
     
  13. Wire9Vintage

    Wire9Vintage A-List Customer

    Messages:
    411
    Location:
    Texas
    Oh, and Texas Girl. HEB has Biz, too (at least here).
     
  14. KittyT

    KittyT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,466
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Including wool?
     
  15. texasgirl

    texasgirl One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I tried the brush and it didn't do much. But I was afraid to brush too hard. But I'll look for some Biz, thanks girls :)
     
  16. Gracie Lee

    Gracie Lee A-List Customer

    Messages:
    386
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I can't say I've ever tried Oxyclean on anything, but my go-to for woolens is always Woolite, the hand wash formula. I love that stuff. Though, if you've got stubborn stains, I'm not sure what would do it.
     
  17. MaryMary

    MaryMary One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    Toronto
    Message for C-Dot & other TO gals!

    Hey Toronto ladies,

    I just acquired my first non cotton vintage dresses and am a little paranoid about handwashing. Especially my 50's cocktail dress which I have no clue what the material is, but it rustles and have a sheen to it....

    Have any of the Toronto girls taken their vintage to be drycleaned in the city? I heard that Parkers and Creeds are reputable, but wanted to see if anyone has experienced it first hand.

    Thanks!
     
  18. Miss Sis

    Miss Sis One Too Many

    Especially wool. Wrecks the fibres - they get all brittle and crunchy. It does say on the pack not to use on wool or silk.
     
  19. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,439
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Biz + Seventh Generation

    I've gotten good results with the combination of Biz and Seventh Generation detergent that I hadn't gotten with either of them alone. I soak the item in Biz for about an hour, then wash it in Seventh Generation liquid detergent. Results:

    My dingy 10-year-old bedspread looks like new
    The funk is gone from a linen shirt
    A white shirt that had underarm stains is once again in service
    A white shirt with stubborn ring-around-the-collar and cuffs looks clean again

    All the items are made of cotton or linen, and were purchased new.
     
  20. MissQueenie

    MissQueenie Practically Family

    Messages:
    502
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Washing Vintage Fabric

    I have a 6 yard length of vintage fabric (I believe it is a rayon) that has some brownish stains and small holes/weak fabric in the stained areas. I took a small swatch of the stained portion to see what would happen if I were to hand wash the yardage and ran it under a warm tap.

    The fabric immediately hardened and turned more brown. The transformation was so astonishing I am still struggling to find words to accurately describe what happened. The dyes did not bleed, which was what I was most concerned about originally, but the once smooth and drapey fabric is now stiff as a board, discolored, and coarse.

    Does anyone have an idea about what is going on with the swatch? I am going to wet a swatch from the unstained portion and compare.
     

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