April 30, 2010

Vintage Lingerie and How Do We Care For Thee!

Vintage lingerie and how do we care for thee. You can take this several ways. Well, I am going to tell you how exactly I care for my vintage lingerie. I get asked this all time, so thought, why not blog about it and it's forever yours.

First off, these are not your typical granny quilted robes and terry cloth cover ups I'm talking about. This is for your fine, frilly, chiffon nylons, and silky rayons. Properly caring for silk, rayon and nylon vintage lingerie will help ensure long life wearability and years of enjoyment to your collection for your most valuable pieces!

Washing your Chiffon Nylons and All Nylon Gowns Lingerie:

What you will need: WOOLITE, IVORY SNOW OR DREFT laundry soap.

1. Sort out with lights and darks, never mix the two.
2. Stain treat any areas you may have, but wetting the area first with water, and applying a commercial stain remover gently on the area, be sure to rub the stain gently with your fingers to get the stain remover in the fibers.
3. Lightly pile in your items to be washed and wash with a gentle detergent such as Dreft, Woolite or Ivory Snow. Always use the MOST GENTLE CYCLE (I am lucky enough to have a hand wash/lingerie option) on my washing machine. If you do not have one, then wash on any the lowest washing cycle you have, or wash by hand (follow the directions below for rayons/silks).

As for drying these chiffon nylon lingerie pieces, the absolute BEST method is to air dry these on your laundry line. If that isn't feasible, I simply fluff in the dryer for about 20 minutes on the lowest setting in your dryer, or no heat at all (if you have a no heat setting on your dryer). Typically chiffon lingerie only takes a FEW MINUTES to dry, so do not over dry these, as you will shrink the chiffon.

WARNING! Never EVER iron nylon or chiffon. To remove wrinkles, simple mist with water, shake out and fluff up in your dryer for 5 minutes, OR a clothing steamer works well.

Washing your RAYONS and SILKS vintage lingerie requires HAND WASHING:
What you will need:
  • Lukewarm water
  • A washing basin (your sink will do)
  • Mild soap (suck as WOOLITE, IVORY SNOW OR DREFT)
  • Thick White cotton towels
  • Plastic hangers
  • A flat drying surface (I like my kitchen counter, table or even your bathtub)
If you happen to have original care instructions, follow those instructions carefully.
1. Wash each garment separately that is not fast-colored, that is new or that's dyed with more than one color.
2. Use lukewarm water * (95-100 F.) fill your sink or basin up and use a mild liquid detergent such as WOOLITE, IVORY SNOW OR DREFT and add to your water and mix to suds up.
3. Squeeze garments gently under water until they are clean. Rayon fibers weaken when wet and must be handled gently. Never rub silks or rayons when you wash them.
4. GENTLY Squeeze out suds, do not twist, or wring out!
5. Rinse at least three times in lukewarm water 95 F.), and squeeze out water after each rinsing. Lay flat on a white towel to dry, or hang on a NON metal hanger. To remove wrinkles in your silks and rayons, you will need to use a clothing steamer. NEVER EVER use an iron!

  • Washing by hand is always best.
  • Store your vintage lingerie/nylons and other small delicates/intimates in acid free WHITE tissue paper (NEVER use plastic for storing or covering your delicates and intimates).
  • Stuff bullet (pointy) bras with acid free WHITE tissue paper to reserve their shape.
  • NEVER EVER use bleach.
  • Never wring. Lay clean thick white towels on a flat surface and place the delicates atop and the excess water will just go into the towel.
  • NEVER place lingerie and nylons in the dryer. Let them air dry.
  • Always use plastic hangers, NEVER metal, they will rust on intimates.
  • Avoid direct sunlight, will definitely bleach out your darker colors, and weaken the delicate fabrics.



Empress Jade Vintage said...

Good common sense instructions. I've heard some people complain they loose the glossy finish when they wash vintage silk or rayon satin, but I've never had that problem. I think it is probably because the rinse water is too hard.


Treacle said...

Great article!

Suzanne Prochaska said...

Hi Shelley - Thanks for a great article! I am sharing it with my Twitter friends & followers. Hope you are doing great!

Sweet Cherry Vintage Lingerie said...

Hi Suzanne!
How nice and thank you! I hope you are well! Nice to "see" you again and thanks for keeping up my article on your blog!

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