Subversive Femme

Your advice requested!

On the weekend we hit the Rock and Roll Markets for the last dance of the year, and I picked up this gorgeous 1940’s silk dress for $10!
(I think the lovely Pia from Vintage Allsorts was just being nice because I was so taken with it)

 Its everything I love in a 1940s dress – washable silk, gathers at the front so it fits my wide hips and contrast bakelite buttons!
The front actually closes with hooks and eyes, the buttons are just decorative.

It has a couple of issues which I can deal with, but I’m really stumped with how to treat some brownish stains – they might be tea??
I hand washed it in wool-wash, and the stains didn’t budge. Normally I would use Napi-san/Oxy, but the bleach would turn the silk yellow.
Close up of hooks and eyes, with stains near the buttons

Does anyone have a good solution for removing unknown stains from vintage silk?
Has anyone tried glycerine and white spirits? (recommended in my Spotless book).

I really need some advice – thank you all in advance!

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  • Reply
    December 2, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Bac-Out enzymatic cleaner does wonders for all kids on stains, but I have been weary of using it on anything vintage, especially anything that might not be colorfast. Try it on the inside hem maybe? That is, if it's even available in your area?

  • Reply
    December 2, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    I've heard white vinegar is good for lifting stains but I don't know how it would react with silk. Maybe try it on unnoticeable place ans see what it does. Make sure to dilute the vinegar first 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar.
    Hope this helps and you look lovely in the dress.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2012 at 8:55 am

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    December 3, 2012 at 8:55 am

    What an amazing dress and such a bargain! I'm insanely jealous. I'm so bummed that I missed the last market of this year and didn't get to snap up that amazing dress before you!

    Have you tried bi carb of soda for the stains. As other people have suggested I would test it in an unnoticeable area first though.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2012 at 9:28 am

    hi and congratulations to the gorgeous dress, I had very good results in the past with a bit of wet salt, I would suggest, you try it first on a small spot.. here in Switzerland we have special salt to remove tea stains…
    good luck with the problem
    ciao ciao Christa

  • Reply
    December 4, 2012 at 2:23 am

    Thanks so much guys! I'm going to try the salt and the bi-carb.

    @Emma – yeah she had heaps of affordable stuff for a change, but I'm on a budget so just stuck to this dress 🙂

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 10:08 am

    No wonder you loved this dress so much, it fits you beautifully…touching everywhere and nowhere…and the fabric print is a really nice change on the standard stripe. Hope the marks come out, fingers crossed. xx Shauna

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