There are two types of embellishments. One is practical embellishments like buttons, zippers and studs that are standard, somewhat boring and less fragile. Others are fancy and fragile embellishments like sequins, beading, faux gemstones, ribbons, metallic embroidery or studs.
Embellishments are present on most, if not all clothing items. They make your dress look fancier or more beautiful, but they are also difficult to care for. They can get loose, break away and get lost in your washing machine, might rust or fade in colour during washing. This can damage the look of your beautiful outfit. There is another hazardous possibility of embellishment breaking in and getting stuck in the part of a washing machine where it can damage the washing machine or compromise its performance without you ever figure out what actually went wrong.
It’s best to read the care label of any new clothing item you purchase. Consult an expert if you are not sure if dry cleaning, machine washing or hand washing would be a better option for your clothing item with embellishment. Read here why Dry Cleaning is a Better Option for More Expensive Items.
Spot treating the items with embellishment
Every time you wash a clothing item, it loses some of its colour and embellishment gets a little dull. Try to avoid washing clothing with embellishment for as long as you can. If the clothing article is not overall dirty and it’s just mud or food stain here and there, it is best that you try a spot treatment rather than washing the entire article. Use the spot treatment method keeping in mind both the type of stain and type of fabric.
When you send away coats and dresses with large studs for dry cleaning, expert dry cleaners will assess if the embellishment can withstand the harsh dry-cleaning chemicals or not. If the plastic buttons or studs are likely to liquify with chemicals, the expert dry cleaners will carefully remove each embellishment before dry cleaning and reattach it later. If they can not remove the embellishments, they will “foil” the embellished before treating the clothing with dry cleaning chemicals to avoid any damage. Read about five things in your wardrobe that need dry cleaning service.
For ribbons and metallic embellishments like metallic buttons and studs, you can put clothing items in a mesh and wash it in a gentle cycle of the washing machine at your home. Ribbons can bleed colour on the clothing item, to minimize any such chances to wash in cold water and gentle setting. Use cold water if the embellishments are glued on rather than sewed on, hot water can soften or melt the glue and embellishment may come off. Opt for a detergent which is not too harsh so it does not take the shine away from the studs..
Some embellishments on fancy dresses like detailed designs of tiny plastic sequins and beading are so fragile that they can get detached even in a gentle cycle of washing machine and cleaning chemicals used in dry cleaning can liquefy the plastic embellishment destroying the dress. Care labels for clothing items with serious amounts of embellishment always instruct hand wash only.
Heat is not the friend of embellishments of any sort, so do not machine dry, always air dry. If the embellishment carries weight and fabric is organic like wool or cotton, it’s best to flat dry.
If the cloth needs ironing preferably use a steamer rather than an iron. If that is not an option, turn the garment inside out, set the iron temperature as low as possible and put a layer of some other fabric between the iron and the embellished clothing item.
When you buy an article with embellishment try to save the packaging it came in and put it right back in after every use. If you didn’t secure the packaging, buy a plastic bag that is used to protect fancy or professional outfits when they are not being used. Otherwise, fold it neatly and place a paper between each fold so embellishment does not get stuck in fabric or leave press marks in fabric, wrap the folded article in the clean paper and store.