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Question about acetate

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by sMarie, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. sMarie

    sMarie Registered Guest

    Hi there!

    I have many 40s-50s dresses that have acetate lining but are stained or otherwise need cleaning. I was told by my dry cleaner that wetting acetate will make it shrinkm but dry cleaning bills really add up. I was wondering how you guys clean your acetate vintage cocktail/prom dresses? Do you do it at home? What type of cleaner do you use? Can I hand wash acetate? What about ironing it?
    Thank so much for reading this! Any answers will be much appreciated!
  2. bycin

    bycin Guest

    I would not handwash such a dress. Even if someone told me I could. Had the worst experience washing a 50s dress at home. The lining bleed all over the dress. It was awful.

    Dry clean for me always. I'd love to hear a tip that could get me to change my mind though. It DOES add up, doesn't it?
  3. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    I don't have a problem hand washing acetate, although it tends to get crushed and it's hard to iron out all the creases - for this reason I generally dry clean it but as for your dresses, it depends on the outside material, as that might be dry clean only! Evening dresses I generally dry clean anyway.

  4. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Administrator Staff Member

    I know that with rayon and silk, if you add a hair conditioner to the rinse water (I also add some in with the wash water, too), it keeps the fabric soft so it doesn't "scrunch up" and keeps it from shrinking. You can't be shy with the conditioner, but don't overdo it. I've never tried it on acetate, though, and if these dresses are worth quite a bit each, I would dry clean. I've had great luck with silk, and mixed results with rayon.
  5. TangerineBoutique

    TangerineBoutique Trade Member

    Great tip Anne! Another way to minimize the stubborn wrinkles when you wash acetate is to press when wet. Not dripping but more than damp. Press from the back and use a really thin press cloth. I use a piece of cotton voile.

  6. Wonderful tips Anne and Melody. I've also hand washed acetate and ironed it whilst still damp. As mentioned, you've got to make sure the outer shell is also washable. If it's not, just wrap it carefully in a large towel to keep it away from the water. Good luck. :)

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