Hand Washing Fabric

Friendly reminder: Always pre-wash fabrics! This includes lace, ribbon, and trims, provided they’re washable. Exceptions can be made for silk and anything else that must be dry-cleaned, such as metallic trims.

Reason for this friendly reminder: I recently ordered a couple yards of dark brown point d’esprit (dotted net lace). It wasn’t quite as soft as I thought it should be, so I filled the sink with water, added a touch of detergent, dunked the lace, and swished it around. When I lifted the lace up in order to drain the water, the water was a surprising shade of brown. I made sure to rinse the lace repeatedly, until the water ran clear.

I wasn’t in the practice of pre-washing this sort of lace, but you’d better believe I will from now on! This is especially important if you’re sewing for dolls. Any excess fabric dye can stain a fashion doll’s vinyl body.

Bonus tip! To dry point d’esprit (or any kind of delicate lace yardage), lay it on a large towel. Fold the towel in half, or place a second towel on top, and press down with your hands. The towel will absorb a lot of the water. If it needs additional drying, arrange the lace on a fresh towel and roll it up.

About Lisha Vidler

I am a sewing instructor living near Memphis, Tennessee.
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