Take great care when cleaning vintage fabric. Chemicals in the cleaners on the grocery shelves today may not be compatible with the dyes that were used to print vintage fabrics. Use the wrong cleaner and the dye may run in some vintage fabrics.
To avoid faded and fabrics stripped of their color, clean fabrics from Grandma's time as Grandma did. Grandma washed garments and fabrics by hand, and didn't use a dryer. Instead she laid textiles flat to dry or hung on a line. We don't have all of the same cleaners as Grandma; use proper substitutes.
• Rust stains may come out with a paste of salt and white vinegar.
• Avoid the use of fabric softener and fabric softener sheets. Both can leave residue behind.
• Don't use hairspray as a stain remover. Hairspray may stain, especially silk fabric.
• Gently squeeze, not wring, water out. Blot dry with a towel and lay flat to dry on a clean surface.
• It's good practice to professionally clean silk, rayon, and home decorating weight fabrics
• Make sure your chosen professional cleaner or dry cleaner is experienced with old textiles.
• Test a small piece for color-fastness before cleaning the whole fabric.
• Wear rubber gloves while handling fabric and chemicals.
• Do not wash vintage Fiberglass fabrics in the washing machine. Fine pieces of glass will be in your next load. Wear gloves when handling wet Fiberglass, hand wash, and lay flat to dry.
• Handle wet vintage rayon fabric with care. Professional cleaning is advised.
• Vintage and antique chintz fabrics may lose original glaze if washed. Professional cleaning is recommended.