Before you store your costumes from this season, check that your costumes are in good repair and are clean and odor free. At Satin Stitches Ltd, we have had decades of experience for laundering/repair do’s and don’ts. Check out http://www.satinstitches.com/services-costume-care
VERY IMPORTANT: Please recognize that spot-cleaning is often the only laundering option for many fabrics and trims used in dance costumes.
DO NOT TAKE YOUR DANCE COSTUMES TO A DRY-CLEANER that you don’t have a good relationship with, and trust that they will be cautious with the laundering of your costumes. Most dry-cleaners are great with ‘regular’ street clothes. But they have less experience with fragile dance costume fabrics and fabric combinations.
I’ve recently heard that dry-cleaners have been using an industrial washing machine set on ‘delicate’ and have been machine washing garments with the laundering instruction labels of ‘hand wash only’. DO NOT allow this. ‘Hand wash only’ should indicate that you should spot-clean and possibly quickly immerse your costume into water to release any soiled areas, keeping the water away from possible troublesome trims that if soaked in water, could lose their integrity.
On ALL of our laundering/care instructions for costumes – we state:
- Test your ‘care swatch’ that we provide with your finished costumes, FIRST, with your preferred laundering option. If this ‘care swatch’ turns out OK, then move on to step #2
- Launder ONE costume and if it turns out OK, then move on to step #3
- Proceed to launder the balance of your costumes with the same care as your test costume
- If your ‘care swatch’ or your test costume did not stand up to your laundering choice – call us for our suggestions – most likely your only option will be to spot-clean your soiled areas and use Fresh Again® to remove odors.
If you have followed my blogs over the years, by now you should be aware of a product that I endorse: FRESH AGAIN®, an odor eliminator that can help to preserve your performance costumes and keep them odor-free. I have personally tested this product for safeness on all types of costume fabrics and trims, and have not once been disappointed! The product is also safe for sensitive skin. This product has been used by theatrical companies, costume rental companies, police departments and fire departments with their garments that cannot be dry-cleaned or washed. And unlike other products on the market, there is no added fragrance.
For years, I have published a “Hot Costume Care Tip of the Month” as part of our Satin Stitches monthly e-News, which can be accessed at www.satinstitches.com/costume-enews. Additionally, we have assembled many of these tips and published them in e-Books, ‘8 Steps to Keep Your Costumes Fresh’ and ‘11 Tips for Caring For Your Costumes’. They are free and available for download on our website. Our other e-Books, ‘7 Tips For Repairing Your Costume’ and ‘5 Costume Budget Savings & Planning Tips’ can be found at http://www.satinstitches.com/ebooks, may not directly address laundering issues, but still includes information that can help you make wise decisions regarding costume selection and repair. I welcome you to take advantage of this free information, it may help extend your costume’s life!
Please be very cautious with the laundering of your dance costumes. Refer to the many blogs and articles that I (Satin Stitches’ founder and head designer, Deborah Nelson) have written that will help you with this task.