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Learn more about Wedding Gown Restoration
Learn more about Vintage Lace Restoration
Learn more about Vintage Heirloom Textiles Restoration
Care of Leather Goods

What is Wet Cleaning

The common term for “wet cleaning” is professional laundering.  Specialized techniques are employed when cleaning an article with water and soap or detergent, as dry cleaners are trained to use specific agents with water.

Fabric stains, soil, or discoloration (yellowing) can be successfully handled by home hand washing.  Fabrics of cotton, linen, wool, some rayon and “man­made silk” are candidates for “do-it-yourself” cleaning.  Embossed, embroidered, trimmed, beaded, or special ornamental textiles require professional cleaning care.  Consult with a textile specialist prior to a home attempt to clean, as an article could be permanently damaged.

  • Water softeners used to soak a fabric are baking soda and borax.  These can be used safely with medium to hard water.
  • Pre-spotters such as laundry bar soap can be used to remove perspiration and “ring around the collar.”  Always read directions on the product before use.
  • Commercial stain removers or - pre-soak products carry specific instructions for use.   The product directions will explain the types of fabrics and fibers for application and cleaning techniques.
  • Soaps normally have a high suds factor and may leave a scum or film on fabric if not properly handled and/or rinsed.  Soap generally is best used with only soft or softened water.
  • Detergents may give better results with medium or hard water, and also may contain additives to lighten or brighten fabrics. Suds are normally low and controlled, and will respond to less rinsing than soap and water cleaning.

A Care Label is affixed to almost every textile article on the market.  Read the label at point of purchase to be certain of care and maintenance of the article.  Note especially whether or not the item is colorfast and washable, or dry clean only.

When in doubt about the method of care; to dry or wet clean, consult with a professional textile specialist.  Contact Evelyn S. Kennedy at 860-464-2001 or by e-mail

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