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Message Board > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > Washing Fraying Silk Organza Wedding Dress ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Washing Fraying Silk Organza Wedding Dress
Clc204
Clc204
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Date: 5/14/13 6:10 PM

I bought the very last size 12 of this wedding dressbhldn monarch gown from bhldn, but it was the store sample that had been used for ladies to try on, so it has some wear and tear. I am planning on soaking some of the dingier parts (buttons, skirt hem, skirt sides at hips) in eucalan to spruce it up. Is this crazy or a bad move or the right cleaner?

Second question. If you look at the dress it is covered in butterflies which are silk organza, like the over skirt, but have no edge finishing. These have started to fray quite a bit and some are curled up and quite wilted. I am going to remove the worst and trim them then soak them in eucalan and then starch to perk them up, but was wondering if there is something I can treat them with to slow down the fraying?

Also do you think I should remove all the butterflies before soaking the dress itself, or just the worst worn ones for rehabbing?

------
"You can have it good, fast, or cheap - pick two." On the wall of the Penn State University Costume Shop

tlmck3
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tlmck3
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 5/14/13 6:26 PM

I generally wash everything but I wouldn't mess with that dress. I'd take it to a cleaner that does a lot of wedding dresses and leave it to the pros.

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I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

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RMJ
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Date: 5/14/13 7:29 PM

I would remove one butterfly and try trimming/washing it before doing more. I would only take it to a dry cleaner with an excellent reputation for wedding dresses and delicate items. I had a dry cleaner shred all of the lace on my mother's wedding dress. Does it really need cleaning? How does it look from 10 feet away?

Clc204
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In reply to RMJ <<


Date: 5/14/13 8:55 PM

It looks pretty tired 10 feet away - and the discoloration is noticable around the buttons. But I think you are right not to over think it. I was thinking of trying to wash the hem too, but honestly I'm just going to get that part dirtier anyway.

But I think you are right about the testing I've got a few butterflies soaking now.....

Also the only drycleaners that are certain not to trash the dress start at like 400 dollars for a wedding dress, which is over half of what I paid for the dress in the first place.

------
"You can have it good, fast, or cheap - pick two." On the wall of the Penn State University Costume Shop

clothingengineer
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In reply to Clc204 <<
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Date: 5/14/13 10:59 PM

Very pretty gown!

I have had good results hand washing silk in Eucalan. The main issue with washing silk is that the dyes sometimes bleed, but that would not be an issue for a white wedding dress. For something that is stained I prefer using Forever New. The advantage to Eucalan is that it does not need to be rinsed and it helps condition the silk, but I don't feel like it does as good of a job as Forever New does. I've used Forever New to spot clean the dirtier parts of a silk jersey dress and then soaked the entire thing in Eucalan to freshen up the rest of it.

If I was going to clean this at home I would take it in the bathroom and spot clean the worst areas with Forever New (using the shower nozzle to rinse the soap off). If after doing that you think the whole dress still needs to be cleaned then you could fill the bathtub up with cool water and soak it in Eucalan. I would remove all the butterflies if I was cleaning the whole dress as it would make pressing a lot easier. Do you have a large, clean place outside where you could set up a few sturdy racks and air dry it flat on a nice sunny day? Also, are you prepared to spend a lot of time carefully pressing it? If not it would be worth spending the $400 to have a pro do it.

Maybe the starch will help stop some of the fraying, but you could also experiment with applying a very thin coat of Fray Check to the outer edges.

------
-- Anne

Pamela R
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Pamela R  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/15/13 8:32 AM

I think that the suggestions are valid.
I used to work in a drycleaning shoppe and the owner would regularly take home the special/wedding gowns and wash them in the tub as he said that that caused less damage than any other method.
remember that if you get the whole gown wet.
1/ there will be less chance of rings and lines than if you spot clean.

2/ the gown will be very heavy and needs to be supported while it drys, or it will pull and shift it's shape.

3/It will need to be pressed as it drys, as silk needs to be damp to get a crisp finish when pressed. Or you will need it to be professionally pressed which costs about 50% of having it cleaned and pressed.

4/There is good chance that the butterflies will be perfect after they are trimmed and steam pressed. The chance of a drycleaner giving each butterfly special attention is nil!
Good Luck
Beautiful project.
-- Edited on 5/15/13 8:33 AM --

tourist
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Date: 5/15/13 10:05 AM

I have a couple of knit tops with frayed organza decorations. As they are light coloured and basically dressier t-shirts, they go in the wash on delicate. The flower on one are too small to press and have cheap plastic "pearls" inside that would probably melt if I could get the iron near them anyway. My best strategy for reviving them after the wash was to use my hair dryer pointed directly into the center of the flower. The heat seems to be enough to relax the organza and the angle of the air blowing seems to encourage them to flatten out.

If that didn't work, I would think if you carefully wetted each butterfly (maybe shield the dress with towels or something and lightly spray?) then spread the wings out and let them dry. Tedious but likely worth it.

Gorgeous dress. Good find!

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

beauturbo
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Date: 5/16/13 3:17 AM

Liquid Fray check stops fraying often, and does not leave a mark for me on cotton often, but I think if you run it along the edge of Silk Orangza, even after it has dried, it might leave a darker mark, but you could try it someplace inside the dress where it does not show to see what happens. I think most times leaves things a little stiffer there too. And there are an awful lot of Butterflies on that dress.

Vonnevo
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In reply to Clc204 <<


Date: 5/16/13 3:28 AM

Quote: Clc204
I bought the very last size 12 of this wedding dressbhldn monarch gown from bhldn, but it was the store sample that had been used for ladies to try on, so it has some wear and tear. I am planning on soaking some of the dingier parts (buttons, skirt hem, skirt sides at hips) in eucalan to spruce it up. Is this crazy or a bad move or the right cleaner?



Second question. If you look at the dress it is covered in butterflies which are silk organza, like the over skirt, but have no edge finishing. These have started to fray quite a bit and some are curled up and quite wilted. I am going to remove the worst and trim them then soak them in eucalan and then starch to perk them up, but was wondering if there is something I can treat them with to slow down the fraying?



Also do you think I should remove all the butterflies before soaking the dress itself, or just the worst worn ones for rehabbing?

Gosh, this is a beautiful dress
However you find a way to clean it, please let us know
I have some fabric with cut flowers, that very similar.

------
Vonne šOš Brisbane Australia
---------------------------------
Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

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