Vintage garment Care

Vintage Garment Care by Maru Aldea


Although garments made in cotton or polyester can be hand or machine washed in the same way you would care for a modern piece of clothing; I recommend washing the garment by itself in the delicate cycle and line drying to maximize life cycle of garment.

Silks, rayons, and wools need more attention. Most silks SHOULD be hand washed in warm water.

Do not use harsh detergents and never apply chlorine bleach to silk, which will cause permanent damage.

It’s also important to treat wet silk gently. Do not ring or twist, and always blot rather than rub when spot treating.

Rayon can also be hand laundered, though it is more prone to shrinking or warping than silk. Rayon crepe is particularly susceptible, and should be dry cleaned to remain safe.

Wool garments can be tricky to clean, and it’s often best to consult with a professional dry cleaner to find the best method for your particular garment. If a wool garment is lined, this can also affect the choice of cleaning method. Wool sweaters and knits are generally fine to gently hand wash in lukewarm water.

Do not wash garments made of Acetate in the washing machine. These should be dry cleaned.

Woven dresses, suits, and coats often need a professional cleaning.

Spot cleaning is recommended for treating small spots or spills.

Make sure to use gentle detergents and dilute any harsh spot treatment detergents in warm water.

Use a dry iron on low for anything structured like a blazer or jacket--do not steam as it may affect the shape.

Do not iron shiny or embellished fabrics and always steam on a low setting.

Please test steaming or ironing on a small area first in a low setting.

Below is a sample of garment care symbols and what they mean.