I recently acquired two 1950's beaded knit dresses (from different sources) and noticed that they both have the same odd smell to them. This isnt the typical vintage smell. Its more like a very strong, odd chemical smell. I thought maybe it came from decades of dry cleaning chemicals. I ended up hand washing one of the dresses (yeah I know, bad idea) and it actually turned out perfect. It looks so clean and the most of the smell is gone. The other dress is the one that smells the worst. Its so pungent that I dont think a dry clean will be enough to help it, to the point were it wont bother the wearer. So im thinking about hand washing this one too. But now im thinking maybe the smell is some kind of chemical it was coated with to protect the fibers? Im thinking of putting this one up for sell so I dont want to strip it of its coating if thats what it is. When you guys buy vintage knit dresses do they usually stink?