Vintage Garments

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Our guiding principle: Do No Harm

At RAVE FabriCARE, we understand the delicate nature of vintage garments. We respect their value to you. And we’ll do our very best to safeguard them.

Cleaning a vintage garment is a skillful process that involves great thought and care at every stage of the cleaning and finishing process.

The guiding principle should always be “Do No Harm”.

At RAVE FabriCARE, our strength is our personalized advisory service. When you bring in or send in a vintage garment to us, a knowledgeable Fabricare Consultant will:

  • Examine the piece carefully
  • Identify the challenges presented by the piece
  • Discuss the areas of risk
  • Explain our recommended restoration and/or cleaning process
  • Identify the results that we believe you can and cannot expect from our work.

Specifically, we will discuss the problems and/or conditions of use, storage or manufacture that may limit whether such items can be safely cleaned and yield satisfactory results.

Potential issues to consider

At the very least, the following potential problems and/or conditions require careful examination:

Beads/Sequins

May peel, separate, dissolve, lose color, fall off due to loose, broken or rotted threads. If glued on, the glue may dissolve in either an aqueous solution or in dry cleaning fluid.

Lace

May be discolored, stained, or deteriorated due to age. If glued on, the color may change. If the item is a garment trimmed with lace, the lace may have to be separated from the garment, independently cleaned, and then reattached after the rest of the garment has been cleaned.

Hemlines

May be badly soiled, scuffed, frayed, torn or glued. Soil removal may be limited.

Linings

May be discolored, worn, frayed, torn, or stained.

Stains

May be stained from food or beverage, perspiration (can be invisible and turn yellow or brown in processing), dye bleed, or rust from metal components (buttons, hooks, zippers, etc.).

Trims

Bows, buttons, buckles, flowers, appliques, rhinestones and other ornamental attachments may separate or discolor. If trim is glued on, the glue may dissolve. Trims might have to be removed and then reattached after the rest of the garment has been cleaned.

Overall Condition

Scuffing, pulls and snags; yarn slippage; crushed nap; yellowing due to age, exposure to light (natural and artificial) or improper storage in appropriate climate conditions and/or acidic storage materials; stained and soiled; worn necklines, cuffs and hems; insect damage; dry rot and tears. Weakened or rotted fabric may tear. Unstable dyes may bleed.

Summary

The catchword on any vintage garment is test, test and test again before proceeding with any cleaning process.

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Risks and rewards

Cleaning a vintage garment is a skillful process that involves great thought and care at every stage of the cleaning and finishing process. It also involves potential risk. So it’s important to understand the potential risks involved before proceeding.

Especially if your vintage garments have been contaminated by fire, smoke, soot, water, mold, mildew and/or humidity as a result of a fire or flood.

When you’ve been entrusted with maintaining and preserving the integrity of a precious and valuable textile, you can trust the experts at RAVE FabriCARE for an informed consultation and care at every stage of the cleaning and finishing process should you decide to proceed.

 

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