Sequins are the circular, shiny discs applied to garments making them more eye-catching and adorned. Cleaning of these garments depends on the material used and the method in which the sequins were attached. For the best results with your garment, be sure to pay special attention to your garment in any of the following situations:
- COATED SEQUINS – Many colored coatings on sequins are only applied to the surface with an adhesive. The adhesive dissolves in the cleaning process thus removing the color and leaving the dye free to transfer to other parts of the garment.
- SEQUIN COMPOSITION – Some sequins are made from a gelatinous material that is affected by heat so the pressing process or even sunlight can cause the sequins to cloud, melt or curl. Plastics are also used in the manufacture of the sequins and these often dissolve completely in the cleaning solvent.
- METHOD OF APPLICATION – Sequins are often applied to the garment with a chain stitch which would unravel if the stitch is broken. If they are glued to the garment, they may fall off due to friction from normal wear, or the glue may dissolve in the cleaning process resulting in a total loss of the sequins.
Beads, Glitter, & Mirrors
These items no doubt add brilliance to a garment. While most beads are made of glass, many others made with other materials and require extra care. With these, and most other adornments, plastics may dissolve, wood can crack and loose dye could transfer to the garment. In addition, with glitter or cracked ice glued to the the surface of a fabric, be aware that these may detach from the garment in normal wear or the adhesive that holds it may dissolve in dry-cleaning. Mini mirrors also present cleaning challenges. They are often clear silver-coated plastic pieces adhered to a fabric. This adhesive that holds on the silver coating can dissolve in dry-cleaning solvent thus resulting in the loss of the mirror affect.
Most buttons present no problems in the cleaning process. However, some buttons are fragile, so you may want to to avoid purchasing garments with such characteristics. It’s always a good idea to ask the salesperson where you purchase the garment if the buttons are safe in dry-cleaning! Be aware of these special situations:
- Although there are solvent resistant buttons, some manufacturers continue to use polystyrene buttons that dissolve in the cleaning solvent.
- Button substances have specific affinities to certain dyes. When the improper dye is used, the button will not fully absorb or accept it. When moisture contacts the button, whether in normal wear or cleaning and finishing, the dye can bleed onto the garment. Unfortunately, these stains are often permanent and cannot be removed.
- Diamond shaped glass is often inserted into buttons to give a more ornate appearance. These inserts are held in place by a glue that may not be permanent and therefore could be lost in normal wear or dissolved or in the dry cleaning process.
Leather is a popular material for jackets, sweaters, skirts and pants. Though manufacturers are careful to use suede or leather trimmings that do not bleed, frequently the problem of bleeding will occur if there is a dark colored trimming in combination with a light fabric. In addition, items trimmed with real leather, or leather covered buttons or buckles can not only lose dye, but break from friction and rubbing in normal wear or routine dry-cleaning. This problem usually occurs because the manufacturer used an inferior leather covering where the cleaning process may have accentuated the condition. Unfortunately, a “dry cleanable” label is not necessarily a guarantee of serviceability. Make your cleaner aware of your knowledge of the issue and your concern that if the trimming is unserviceable and it should be returned.
Shoulder pads are a very popular addition to women’s and men’s better clothing. This fashion trend has created new cleaning needs for consumers and drycleaners. Because shoulder pads are an integral part of the garment, they should be serviceable as part of the garment. However, poorly manufactured shoulder pads or pads that are improperly fitted to the garment, may break up, distort or shrink after just one cleaning and become totally unusable.