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Cleaning a Headbow 
28th-Jan-2013 01:59 pm
I have a problem. A few years back at a convention I bought a very simple BlackxWhite Angelic Pretty headbow and wore it a couple of times but that was about it. Now it only makes sense to sell it, and I plan on doing so, but it had gotten SO DINGY from dust and whatnot that the black faded a bit and the white lace is grey-ish. I...feel kind of ashamed.

Please tell me, how should I go about cleaning it? Thank you for the advice beforehand! m(_ _)m
28th-Jan-2013 08:39 pm (UTC)
If its just from dust, CAREFULLY vaccum it on a low setting, and gently brush with a soft lint brush, making sure to brush in the same direction as the grain in the fabric (if this makes any sense!)
Failing this, lukewarm water and lots of suds from washing up liquid. But only if it is not decorated with beads and whatnot. You can also spot clean with a sponge covered in suds.
If there is anything metal on the item, don't touch it with anything wet.

Hope this helps!
28th-Jan-2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
If you put an old stocking over the hose of the vacum cleaner, you can hoover it without worries :D
29th-Jan-2013 12:24 am (UTC)
Good plan, I hadn't thought of that :)

28th-Jan-2013 11:28 pm (UTC)
tinyeagle and skyblue_pink have the right idea, vacuuming it the easy way to go!

When I worked curatorial cleaning we used fiberglass mesh and for my own personal collection I use plastic canvas (it's 25 cents at walmart so woo). You place that over the item and then vacuum. If you do place a mesh or plastic canvas over your item then don't use the brush setting, just the regular nozzle and gently place it against the mesh, acting like you're dabbing.

If you rather use a brush attachment (which if your headbow is still sturdy would be what I would do since it'll clean the folded areas better) then put your vacuum on low and gently brush over it starting from the center of the bow and working to the edges. Act like you're painting, gentle flowing strokes. If you still have some dust then turn up the power a bit and try again. Since this isn't silk chiffon from the 1920s it should be able to handle a bit of suction.

If you want to wet clean it (say you vacuum it and the discoloration is more than just dust) then first lay the bow on a white fluffy towel and dab a little water on a discreet place (try lifting up the folded bit of the bow and testing on the place on the tail where the folded part covers) you don't want to pour on a ton but you need to get the towel beneath it a little wet. If you see discoloration on the bow or color on the towel then stop, you can't wet wash it. Repeat the process with a very light dab of the detergent you want to use on the same spot with another dab of water. If there are no issues with bleeding use a dab of unscented gentle laundry detergent (baby detergent and most stuff labelled as free and clear fit this, if you know someone in a museum see if you can bum some Orvus paste off of them) in a bowl of warm distilled water. You don't want it too sudsy. Gently agitate in the bowl then pour out the contents and rinse in at least four more bowl fulls of distilled water but your main goal is to get all the suds/detergent out. If it still seems dingy then you can try it again. Lay on a fluffy towel to dry.

And like tinyeagle said, if there's any metal on it (including snaps or a comb) then no wet cleaning methods.
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