Sunday, September 5, 2010

Guide - Caring For Your Vintage Garment

So you've found the perfect item of vintage clothing and it is in wearable condition, but it is discolored and perhaps has some stains? How do you clean and care for the piece, to ensure that it will last for years to come?

First, check your antique linen or garment for places where it may need to be mended. It is best to do any mending or reconstructing before you wash it, as washing can aggravate tears and rips. Then, check for spots that need cleaning. We do not recommend dry cleaning, because the process uses strong chemicals that can damage delicate fabrics and timeworn garments. Instead, use a gentle washing solution. You can mix one gallon of distilled water with 1/4 cup of a gentle washing solution and 1/4 cup of a gently non-chlorine bleach. If your piece is fragile, you can lay it between two sheets of washed cotton fabric. Soak your garment in a plastic tub or sink. Be careful handling your garment and do not wring or swish it around. Fabric and lace is most fragile when wet, and so it is best just to leave the garment in the solution and let time do its work.

After some time, you will see the solution discolored with dirt and residue. Pour out the solution and replace with fresh water. You may need to repeat this process several times if the garment is very yellowed and stained. Lay out the garment in the sun, making sure you turn the garment so that all sides are exposed to sun. For rust spots on whites, you can try sprinkling a solution of lemon juice and salt and place the garment in the sun.

If you are ironing vintage linens, iron on low heat and iron on the wrong side of the fabric, using a thin layer of fabric between the iron and the garment. When storing linens, make sure you store them clean. Never store in a cool, well-ventilated area. You can also store your garments and linens in acid-free paper or fabric bags (linen, cotton or muslin.) Never use plastic garment bags to store your pieces. Do not store in cardboard or cedar chests because the acids in cardboard and unvarnished wood can cause linen to yellow and streak.

By following these simple instructions, you can protect your vintage piece, to enjoy for years to come. re soiled garments or linens as dirty linens encourage mildew.

Golden Rules for Hand Washing Vintage:

You find perfect vintage dress or the 50's circle skirt & it is an extreme bargain and your are so excited fearing your world will whd if u dont snarch it up, then you get it home and you are ready to admire and snuggle it close to your body and finally you see tiny unidentidied spots, oh what to do??? Dont be upset as this guide may help you turn your dissappointment into a salvation of hope. It just requires a few steps, a little knowlwdge, patience and love before your beloved bargain becomes the new dust rag for your record collection.

Important things to remember : always check the integrity of the pieces by determine the content it is made from

Tools needed : washing machine, spot treatment or hand for handwashing

If you attempt to launder in the washing machine here are some quick tips:
  • Turn garments inside out
  • Check a hidden piece for possible bleeding
  • Remove all belts and other attachments
  • Use cold water delicate cycle
  • Know that spin cycle and the agitator can damage delicates
If you plan to handwash more delicate items keep these tip in mind. Pulling or wringing can damage fibers or cause tears.

  • I do not recommend using a dryer. To dry a garment, lay flat between two fluffy lint free towels to absorb water or drip dry on a padded hanger. Another no no is bleach. Chemically it it too harsh for most fabrics. It can also cause yellowing and a breakdown of the fibers.
The methods listed below are just a small sampling of products used to fight stains like permanent marker, blood, mildew, makeup, food, wine, and rust. Always test a small hidden area and check the fabrics' integrity.

  • Fabreeze, great for refreshing items just spray and let air dry They just came out with an odor eliminator that really works well on tough smells, just add and launder.
  • Fab Detergent, a powerful enzyme cleaner for stubborn stains good for soaking a garment or adding with other detergent for double the cleaning power.
  • Downy, cold water wash a great standby for washing delicates like vintage lingerie and cashmere sweaters.
  • Lux Soap, a little goes a long way. I use in combination with a soft toothbrush for stubborn stains.
  • Baby Detergent, the detergent used for babies is also gentle and powerful for tough enzyme stains.
  • Club soda, another faithful standby that helps the stain not to set.
  • Lemon juice, a natural remedy that works well on rust and mildew.
  • White vinegar, great for underarm discoloration and deodorant staining. Just dab on dab off.
  • The sun, a natural bleaching agent in the suns rays help whiten as well as help with mildew killing the bacteria.
  • Steam cleaning, a great investment to press your favorite vintage pieces but great to help loosen grime and dirt before cleaning. 
When in doubt you have several options. You can keep it and wear it and love it imperfections and all. I believe that is what vintage is all about.

I hope you have found this guide useful and will have fun shopping on Pieces Of Key for more great treasures.


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