Cleaning and restoring a custom-made vintage silk coat
By: Stu Bloom
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We received the following letter from our client:
Here’s the coat I talked to you about. I’d like to see if it’s worth restoring. If RAVE can’t do it, I know no one can. You can deliver it to the house or send it to Chicago. If you don’t think you can restore it, maybe one of these days (name deleted) will do a movie in Hong Kong and I can have a tailor copy it. With thanks. M.C
Based on a further conversation with our client, I discovered that the coat had belonged to her mother and was, at least, 40 years old. As it had no brand or care label, we assumed that it was custom made.
From a restoration point of view, the coat presented a number of challenges:
- The coat was heavily water stained
- The coat had a funky, musty smell
- The coat was heavily stained
- The coat was discolored in numerous areas
- The coat was light faded on the shoulders and along the top of the sleeves.
- The lining was weak and rotted in numerous places.
After careful examination of the coat and a discussion with the client as to the results she could reasonably expect, we proceeded with the restoration.
The restoration removed the water stains, the musty smell, the heavy staining, the discoloration and the light fading. As expected, we could not save the lining and our client gave us the go ahead to replace the lining.[ctt template=”3″ link=”2_6Lb” via=”no” ]The restoration of a vintage garment often requires skill, judgement and process plus a healthy dose of compromise and luck @ravefabricare[/ctt]
The following BEFORE and AFTER pictures reflect the transformation of this vintage silk coat:
For even more BEFORE and AFTER photos, please view the following slide show:
To view this slide show on a full screen, hit the X button with the arrow tips.
The client appreciation
After returning the coat to our client, we received the following comment from our client:
I have 2 words for you: OMG and WOW! There is no wonder why you are the best in the US. What you did with my blue silk vintage coat is beyond gorgeous — astonishing and miraculous is more like it. Can you do the same for people? Again, thank you, thank you. M.C.
What’s been your experience cleaning and/or restoring vintage garments, household textiles and/or accessories?Please share your comments below.
Photo credit: stocksnap.io/Annie Spratt
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