So you've bought a SWEET 1950s cotton cocktail dress! It's cute, it's fun, and you've worn it out to go dancing. Now, how are you going to wash it?? Ok, first thing's first....
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT PUT THAT IN THE WASHING MACHINE!!!!
Here are a few tips for caring for your newly found vintage treasures.
1. Wear deodorant without aluminum.
The aluminum in antiperspirants can fade color in the fabric or make it more prone to tear. Pick a deodorant that is easily washed away with a gentle detergent. My favorite deodorant (THAT WORKS!!!) is Aromaco from Lush. You can visit your closest one OR you can go HERE and order it online! It's the best natural and aluminum free deodorant I've ever used.
2. Before you touch water to your new outfit, make SURE you know what kind of fabric it is.
Some fabrics are ruined by water...like rayon crepe NEVER wash rayon crepe. It will shrink up like a shrinky-dink.
3. Always hang vintage to dry. I never put my items in the dryer no matter what era they came from. Sometimes something looks like it will go in the dryer, but comes out 3 sizes smaller with dryer lint burnt to it. Purchase a drying rack OR if you have room make a clothes line in your laundry room with some string and 2 screw hooks!
4. Hand-wash, Dry Clean, or Washer?
I usually hand-wash all of my vintage items, but I always use a very mild detergent like baby shampoo or even a little vinegar. You will also need to divide your laundry by color more than ever. Depending on the era it was made, black dye can bleed hardcore. I will wash my black clothing one piece at a time to prevent bleeding.
You should try and take wool to the dry cleaners, but I'm terrified to take any of my stuff to the dry cleaner...HOWEVER, I do live in Chicago and don't trust any of them. If you live in a smaller community and know you can trust your dry cleaner to to take care of your garment and then not "loose" it, then by all means try the dry cleaner.
Some fabrics can go in the washer, BUT before you put a garment in the washer make sure you check a few things. First, turn the garment inside out, then check the seams to make sure none of them are going to break. You can wash polyester, nylon, linen, pure cotton, and many synthetics, but I still always put the washer on delicate.
Obviously, there are many other measures you can take to care for your vintage clothing, but these are a few basic things you can do to keep your items looking awesome and lasting forever.
As always, if you have any questions or want me to delve into more detail, just shoot me an email!
Talk to you soon!