Vintage Sewing

Any Advice?

June 22, 2010

Hi everyone! I’m hoping someone can help me out..

I found some vintage heels that perfectly match a dress I am making, but the fabric is dirty around the soles and heel, and because they are yellow satin it is noticable. I was just wondering if anyone had any tips or tricks on cleaning old satin, or is it probably a lost cause? I haven’t bought them yet because I don’t know if I would be able to get them clean, and I’m not sure if a damp cloth would be the best thing because I’m afraid it would leave water marks.

I haven’t cross-posted this to my blog so you can reply here if you like, but feel free to visit!


Ruth x

  1. It is really a question as to the fiber from which the fabric is made. If it is Acetate (common for certain eras of vintage shoes), that would be tough because if water even splashes on it the dye will run and leave a spot.
    I would start by taking a spritzer bottle and finely misting somewhere on the shoe. If it slightly lightens in color, spritz the rest of the shoe to match and then you at least know whether or not cleaning it with water will ruin it.
    Could you post photos of the shoes?

  2. It is always a risk. Sometimes one can get it out, but often not. Try vacuuming first. (a hand held soft brush like for cleaning sewing machines and computers). Then pop the shoes in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes (the cold lifts dirt to the surface) vacuum again.

    still there, try talcum powder or one of the "chalk" stain removal sticks, brush or vacuum away.

    If the stain remains – then try painting over it — use an oil base fabric paint stick – but don't roll the stick on the stain, lightly fill a dabbing brush with the paint, dab on fade it into the clean area of the shoe. Heat set using a hair dryer.

    Fluids to clean often make the stain worse or create a different stain. At least that is my experience.

    HTH, best wishes, Jane

  3. If the cleaning methods don't work and the marks are just on the sole and heel (not anywhere on the upper part of the shoes) could you perhaps dye the sole and heel to a subtle contrasting color?

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