Caring for Vintage Garments

Please keep in mind, your grandmother’s wedding dress, that gorgeous vintage coat, the antique handbag you found at a thrift store. These kinds of items are special and irreplaceable. Cleaning and storing these delicate items properly is essential to preserving them in the best condition possible.

Saving Your Grandmas Wedding Gown

 An expert shares his thoughts on how to restore and preserve vintage garments 97% of the time.

Q: I recently took ownership of my grandmother’s wedding dress. It’s 67 years old. It started to turn yellow and some of the lace is starting to tear. I want to wear it for my wedding, but I don’t know how to revive its vintage look. Thoughts?

Joe: With age, fabrics become brittle. They can either fade or turn yellow depending on how it has been stored or what may have been on the fabric when it was put away. Things like old wine stains will turn brown due to the sugars. I recently had a couple of boxes of old fabrics dropped off at our cleaners that were found in an old house. Most of it has that old musty smell to it and has been folded for so long it will take some work to get it to be usable in any way. But the first thing we can do is soak the items and let them hang dry. Most all fabrics can be washed or soaked in water with a few drops of our “special” detergent. Our expertise comes in handy at the beginning of this delicate process because we use a proven safe and gentle process perfect for vintage and antique garments.

So that’s where I would start with this 67 year old wedding dress by soaking it in warm water and a few drops of “special” detergent. We may decide that doing our process a few times will give you the best results.