How do I Clean Vintage Satin Fabric?

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Vintage clothing is popular with nostalgia lovers.
Vintage clothing is popular with nostalgia lovers. (Image: vintage woman image by gajatz from Fotolia.com)

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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