How do I Clean Vintage Satin Fabric?


Satin clothing and fabric produced between 1920 and 1980 is classified as "vintage" and is worthy of top-notch care. If a recent foray to the thrift store has landed you a satin dress or set of satin pillowcases, you will need to clean them properly before using them. Leaving stains on vintage clothing may permanently damage your fabric. Avoid dry-cleaning these antique clothes, as they may not hold up to a rigorous cleaning, until you have had them assessed by a professional garment cleaner. Learn how to care for and clean your vintage satin fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Gentle liquid laundry detergent
  • Towels
  • Hanger
  • Iron
  • Fill a clean bathtub with cool water.

  • Mix 1/4 cup of gentle laundry liquid in the water as it is running. Blend the water and soap together with your hands.

  • Place your fabric in the tub and push it lightly into the water. Allow the fabric to soak for 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Drain the water from the tub and refill it with cool, clean water. You only need enough water to cover the dress. Do not twist or wring the satin---you can wrinkle it.

  • Lay a large towel on a flat surface. Place the satin fabric on the towel. Cover the fabric with another towel.

  • Roll the towels with the garment in the center in the towel. Start at the bottom and roll it up completely.

  • Change out towels and continue to roll, squeezing out the excess water.

  • Hang the garment on a hanger so it may air dry. Do not place the garment in direct sunlight.

  • Iron the dry garment with your iron on a light setting. Turn the garment inside out before you iron it. Keep your ironing movements light and continuously moving.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult a trusted dry cleaner before you consider dry cleaning a vintage garment. If your fabric is too fragile, the garment may be destroyed.

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  • Photo Credit vintage woman image by gajatz from
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