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Forum > Fabrics and more... > How would you pre-treat this? ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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How would you pre-treat this?
...Or would you?
stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
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Date: 4/24/13 3:33 PM

I bought 9 yards of lightweight rayon satin with a metallic finish to make a costume skirt like this.

Usually I am an abusive pre-treater, aggressively machine washing and drying everything. However, this says hand wash only, which I'm kinda sorta inclined to believe, due to the metallic finish. I think my greatest fear, however, is that no matter how careful I am in washing and hanging to try, it will wrinkle, and it might lose whatever crispness it has now (it's already slightly drapier than I was planning).

Since this is for a costume (though I wear my costumes outside and generally expect them to be washable), I'm leaning on the radical side of not doing anything. If it gets a little dusty during wear, it will fit with the overall look of the character. But it goes against every instinct I have not to do *something.* LOL

What do y'all think? Oh! Here's the fabric!

Thanks!

------
~Gem in the prairie

BriarRose
BriarRose
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USA
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Date: 4/24/13 5:33 PM

I can see the photo of the skirt but not the one of the fabric.

I'd handwash it at the very least since you'll have to wash it sooner or later. If it ends up not being crisp enough you can always underline.

Do you have enough fabric to experiment with washing?

------
I've quit fighting my inner demons. We're on the same side now.

It's just fabric; we can out-think it.

tlmck3
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tlmck3
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Illinois USA
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Date: 4/24/13 5:43 PM

I've successfully machine washed metallic type fabrics on gentle in cold water in a lingerie bag before but I'm not sure what the fibers were, since they were always thrift store purchases. I've usually folded them so they don't hang too long and heavy and dried them on a drying rack. The only bad result I had came from a fabric that was shot through with metallic threads. It was never the same--limp and wrinkly and the fabric seemed to shrink a little independently of the threads.

I would do a test on 4 inch squares. Cut a few squares of the same size and try whatever techniques you are considering on different squares and see how they each turn out.

------
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

St. Augustine

cocosloft
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cocosloft  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/25/13 11:13 AM

I love the costume and the fabric choice. I agree with your inclination of 'doing nothing'. And once it is soiled, suggest a good dry cleaner, who should be able to manage the fabric for you.

------
Coco

DonnaH
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DonnaH
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Texas USA
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Date: 4/25/13 11:45 AM

I'll play devil's advocate here and say pretreat. Personally, I agree with the gentle or handwash and dry on a rack. There is also Dryel. But, it you have enough fabric, test some squares.

Looking closely at the costume photo - it looks wrinkled. It reminds me a bit of a rayon skirt I used to have - after I washed it and it developed a network of wrinkles. They never did go away even with ironing - they were just a bit fainter.

And as BriarRose said, you can always underline if it loses body.

Nancy K
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Nancy K
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 4/25/13 5:31 PM

Wash a sample! this way you don't have to guess. I washed a sample today of a dry clean only suggested fabric. Not only did it not shrink, it softened which for me was a good thing. I didn't put it in the dryer though which I wouldn't anyway. Cut two 4 or 6" squares. Wash one by hand, one in the machine' air dry the hand washed one and machine dry the second one.

------
www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

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