Saturday, February 02, 2008

You Can't Save Them All

One of the things I love about buying and selling vintage clothing is being able to take a garment that you think is beyond any hope of saving due to years or neglect and bring it back to life.
In unfortunately there is a flip side to this when something you
have fallen in love with is just beyond saving.
Case in point these two awesome dresses.
They both look wonderful and lovely in these pictures, don't they?
Looks can be deceiving.
Both came in together and both had the same issue.
Dark water and mildew stains all over, but really
concentrated at the hem.

The 40's chiffon evening gown cleaned up like a dream, the
stains just melted away.
I was so happy...giddy even.
The slight shift from pale, pale pink to creamy yellow became more
apparent like a pastel sunrise.
Then I touched it.
The chiffon tore anywhere I moved it.
Sigh....dry rot had taken its tool.
The stitching has begun to tear too.

The early 60's evening gown on the other hand is strong and totally wearable, BUT I cannot get a single stain to move.
The same stains that just disappeared on the chiffon are locked in on the acetate taffeta. They will not move. I have used EVERYTHING I have in the way of stain removal equipment short of setting it on fire.
I love the color combination.
I really wanted to save this one.

What can be done? Neither can be altered.

Both would be good "display garments".
In the end the 60's might be good for costume use and the chiffon could live one more time as a dead prom queen on Halloween night.
I think the fabric of the green and brown would be wonderful pillows.

They may become a couple of little girl’s favorite dress-up gowns for a season.

Let this be a lesson to those of you that either collect vintage clothing or are hording your past garments. Make sure you properly store them so they can live again in the future.

And other vintage dealers will be spared the pain and sorrow of not being able to save all the vintage dresses.

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