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Forum > Fabrics and more... > Dry cleaning silk charmeuse? ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Dry cleaning silk charmeuse?
Shrinkage vs. chance of water staining
Sybillance
Sybillance
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NETHERLANDS
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Date: 4/17/12 12:23 PM

First post - hello.
I'm totally face-palming for not considering this earlier in my project, but I'm wondering what your experience is with shrinkage in dry cleaning silk charmeuse.

I'm working on a bias cut gown (V1014), but did not pre-treat the fabric. I'd read that SC water-stains badly, and when I recently tested on scrap, lo and behold, it stains awful. I've read that handwashing or dry-cleaning reduces this effect, but now I'm concerned with shrinkage from cleaning it after the fact.

At this point fabric is cut and basted, not machine sewn yet - so I'm weighing whether to get it dry-cleaned which might cause shrinking and affect fit (bad), or proceeding without wash but seeing water staining (also bad). Gown is to be worn in May, sometime on a boat, so yes, water will be a realistic threat.

Thoughts, opinions on the next step?

ASiverson
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ASiverson  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/18/12 9:09 AM

I've got to admit I've not yet worked with Silk Charmeuse, though it is sooo lovely. Anyway, I would say if you can, get the pieces dry cleaned and perhaps ask them what they think about water stains. You could also ask about shrinkage before they dry clean and then make your decision. But you don't want to make a gorgeous article of clothing to only perhaps wear it once. Good luck. I'll be following this post to see if others with more experience have answered too. TFS! Annette

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Annette

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/18/12 10:46 AM

Test a scrap in a cold water rinse/gentle wash and see what happens. I would hand wash over drycleaning if it was me. Is there any room to let the dress out, if need be?
Silk does shrink, but each weight/weave is different.

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

Elona
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In reply to Sybillance <<


Date: 4/18/12 3:35 PM

Here is a copy of what I posted in an earlier discussion of this subject:

According to Janet Stoyer in her article about sewing with silk in Threads Magazine,

"All fabrics are treated with sizing to keep them looking fresh and to keep them on the bolts evenly. But it's the sizing that causes the fabric to spot if water is splashed on it, because the sizing evaporates when wet. Prewashing usually eliminates the problem and makes sewing easier as well."
(Threads Magazine, page 36, issue #4)

Dry cleaning tends to keep the finish intact; the process does not expose the fabric to water, so my guess is that it would continue to show water spots.

I should think that gentle handwashing of the completed dress (tepid or cold water) would minimize the chance of shrinkage, which I have found to be minimal with silk, anyhow.

Personally, I have never had problems with any of my silks water-spotting after being pre-washed. However, if you are using anything but distilled water in an iron that spits, you could still run the risk of a stain due to minerals dissolved in the boiling water.

HDWen
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Date: 4/18/12 5:14 PM

Agree - Hand wash in cold water!

The vintage dress and jacket I made was using a raisin colored silk charmeuse with a polyester for the contrast. I cut mine first, then hand washed in cold water, hung dry. Since my dress was cut on the bias I didn't see any shrinkage (or so very little it still fit like a dream). Depending on the weight of the silk charmeuse you may have the same great outcome *hope so*!

I wouldn't take silk charmeuse to a dry cleaner, just my opinion!

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I have a great enthusium for sewing, but lack talent to be great.

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RMJ
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Date: 4/18/12 9:03 PM

I've taken silk charmeuse ready-to-wear to the dry cleaner with no problems but the blouse I'm thinking of had plenty of ease so I might not have noticed if it shrank.

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