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Question ID# - 123


 I have a 50's organza dress with a few spots on the skirt. I am unsure of the composition of the spots but believe they may be old wine or food. They dress has no content or care label. How do you suggest that I get it cleaned?


  The best solution is to take the dress to a professional dry cleaner in your area. Trying to clean the spots on your own can cause the entire dress to get damaged and ripped (especially vintage items that are delicate from age already)so be very careful. I asked vintage clothing specialist Ellen Christine how she would clean the stains. First of all, she warns to be very careful of washing damaged fibers... they tend to get weaker in water and can rip in your hands. Usually in museum restorations, Ellen Christine bastes the garment stain, circling the damage onto a piece of fine cotton or silk net as lightly as possible. She then covers the other side of the stain or rip creating a "sandwich" of the damage and washes the garment by gently dipping it into a basin or bathtub of distilled water and Orvis. She lets the water drain from the garment releasing any dirt in the fibers while the damaged area is protected by the basting. Again, be careful and have the garment professionally cleaned if it is a valuable item to you.

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Answered On:
2/24/2005 9:55:18 PM


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 About Janet

Janet Pytowski Janet Pytowski is a freelance fashion and beauty writer. She is the President of VIDCAT Productions, a company specializing in runway and archival fashion footage. Her company produced the documentary "Fashion Flashbacks!" that highlights fashion newsreels from the 1950s-1960s. Janet is a Press member of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and a Co-Founder of FASHIONDIG.

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