WORTH CARING FOR
HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR MOST TREASURED GARMENTS
We love nothing more than a swathe of vintage silk, rows of delicate sequins and rich velvet covered in intricate hand beading here at Chasing Unicorns. To us, they are the perfect fabrics for everyday life. As we all know day-to-day life comes complete with plenty of wear and tear from rain, sunshine, sand, baby dribble, red mud, coffee and plenty of red wine so it is imperative to know just how to care for these beautiful fabrics and trimmings to ensure they stay in dreamy condition forever. Chasing Unicorns has grown from a lifelong love affair with vintage and the desire to create breathtaking, timeless, quality pieces that are made to stand the test of time. We have a strong belief and adoration for the idea of long lasting fashion and endeavour to bestow each and every one of our pieces with bespoke hand finishes, opulent fabrics and unique special touches that will ensure the wearer will want to treasure these garments forever. These pieces are designed with the intention of becoming tomorrows vintage, to be passed on from mother to daughter, from one sibling to the next and then on to your children's children an heirloom piece in every sense. In order for the Chasing Unicorns vintage legacy to live on, and for our gorgeous customers to be able to live their best life every day in our pieces we would like share with you some our tips, tricks and secrets to caring for your incredible Chasing Unicorns pieces in all their silky, velvety, embellished, sequinned glory.
Silk is a natural protein fibre, and with the right care will be a wardrobe staple for many years. The best and easiest way to clean your silk is by hand washing it with cold water rather than dry cleaning.
1. Pre-treat any stains before washing with cold water and an oil-free hand or body soap.
2. Soak for up to 15 minutes in cold water with a gentle soap or use a washing liquid or powder which specifies it can be used for delicate fabrics.
3. Rinse until the water runs clean, don’t wring dry – this can change the shape of the garment.
4. Lay the silk flat on top of a towel and in its original shape; use another towel to soak up excess moisture and roll up using a light pressing motion.
5. Leave indoors until completely dry (avoiding natural sunlight as this can discolour silk).
6. If you do need to iron, turn your silk garment inside out and when it is 80% dry iron gently using the ‘cool’ setting. Alternatively, silk can be steamed when dry to flatten out small wrinkles.
Tips & Tricks: The delicate nature of Silk means that it can be prone to stains; waiting until your perfume, makeup, moisturiser, deodorant or oil is dry will help you avoid any possible staining. If you do need to spot clean, following the pre-treatment instructions above can maintain your garment for longer periods between cleaning. Bleaching, heavy mechanical pressure and direct sunlight will deteriorate silk quickly. Removing stains on the garment before packing it away will keep your silk in pristine condition for when you’re ready to wear it again if stowing away for long periods of time silk is best wrapped in tissue paper and stored in an archival box or wooden chest.
Velvet is a soft, luxurious fabric that is formed from silk and requires specialised, gentle care to avoid crushing the pile of the fabric and losing its lush texture.
1. Read the manufacturer’s label to determine how to clean your velvet clothing. Some velvet fabrics, such as knit velvet and fine velvet with plain weave, must be dry cleaned. Others, such as crushed velvet, can be machine washed. When in doubt, take your special clothing, such as a velvet dress or velvet jacket, to a professional dry cleaner.
2. Use a steamer to remove mild creases. Turn the garment inside out and point the nozzle of a steamer at the creases and folds. You may also hang the item in a steam-filled bathroom. If the folds or creases are severe, hold the problem spot over a pot of boiling water, being careful not to get the fabric wet.
3. Never iron velvet. The heat and weight of the iron will crush the velvet pile and leave an imprint. Irons can also scorch the fabric.
4. Take damaged velvet clothing to a professional dry cleaner. Hope remains for velvet dresses with stubborn folds, crushed pile and stains. Dry cleaners often have special tools that can lift velvet pile again.
5. Store velvet clothing carefully but do not fold it. Folds and creases will flatten the pile and are difficult to remove. Store your velvet jacket in a horizontal position in your closet, using the shelving system, or in a large clothing box. You can also stuff the clothing with tissue paper so that it keeps its shape.
6. Avoid other actions that might flatten the fabric. For instance, if you happen to spill a drink on your velvet dress, do not blot the spot. Blotting velvet when it is wet will press the pile down and ruin the fabric. Instead, shake as much of the moisture off as possible and let the item dry.
Velvet Tip: If you must fold your velvet clothing, put tissue paper between the folds to avoid crushing the fabric.
SEQUINS, BEADS AND EMBELLISHMENTS
Our beautiful sequinned jackets and embellished garments are made by hand to ensure they last a lifetime however they do require specialised gentle care and lots of love due to their delicate nature.
1. Always check the care tag for our recommended cleaning advice. Some sequinned clothes are machine washable or hand washable; others are dry clean only. Even if you are experienced at laundry, believe the label.
2. If the sequinned or beaded garment has a stain, try spot cleaning the stain first. Mix a solution of one teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent with one cup of cool water. Mix well and then use a cotton swab dipped in the solution to remove the stain. Work between the embellishments to reach the fabric as well as the stain on the surface of the embellishments. Keep blotting with a clean white cloth or paper towel as the stain is loosened. When the stain is gone, blot well with a cloth dipped in plain water to "rinse" and, finally, blot with a dry white cloth and allow to air dry.
2. Hand Washing Clothes With Sequins and beads is the most gentle method of cleaning. Always completely button or zip all closures and turn the garment inside out. Use cool water and a gentle detergent designed for hand washing. Do not scrub vigorously or wring the garment tightly. Too much agitation can bend or break the sequins or beads.
3. Skip the dryer. Never put embellished garments in an automatic dryer because the sequins or beads could melt. If the garment is made from a woven fabric, it can be hung to air dry. Knitted items with sequins and any especially heavy garment should be dried flat.
4. Never iron clothes with sequins. Even ironing on the wrong side with a pressing cloth can cause the sequins or glue to melt. If you must remove wrinkles, carefully steam the garment using a steamer. Steam on the wrong side and keep the steam wand at least twelve inches away from the fabric. You can also remove wrinkles from sequinned clothes by hanging them in a steamy bathroom for 30 minutes before wearing. Allow the garment to dry completely before wearing to avoid creating more wrinkles.
Top tip: When storing sequinned or embellished items it is always best to so in acid-free tissue paper to avoid discolouration to the sequins over time. Also, avoid hanging embellished garments in your wardrobe for storage as they can snag other delicate items or cause an indentation in delicate fabrics when pushed against one another.
HAND CROCHET EDGING
We favour beautiful hand crochet edging on a lot of our garments for both its aesthetic flair as well as its ode to artisanal techniques of decades past. These trims should be cared for in the same way you do your garment, with gentle loving care, however, do be careful to avoid snagging or pulling any sections of your trim and if you do so it is best to allow a seamstress to repair your crochet to ensure longevity!
As the great Geoffrey Beene put it "There's a wonderful preoccupation in caring for something that's beautiful. Very fragile fabrics require care, and they're worth caring for.” We couldn’t agree more and we are sure that one day in the distant future when you unearth your sequinned treasures from their tissue paper and hold them in your hands or place them into those of a daughter or granddaughter that you will be forever great full that you took the time to care for all that breathtaking, magical beauty.